Trauger, Davis pull in the bucks in council race
Glenwood Springs City Council candidates Kathryn Trauger and Steve Davis are benefitting from the financial support of several movers and shakers in the local business community, while Russ Arensman has the backing of a former three-term mayor and at least one sitting council member.
According to initial pre-election campaign finance disclosure reports filed Tuesday with the Glenwood Springs City Clerk’s Office, Trauger and Davis are well ahead of the other candidates in the race for campaign funding.
They also have the backing of several mutual donors, including Glenwood Chamber Resort Association CEO Marianne Virgili, Hot Springs Lodge & Pool executives Kjell Mitchell and John Bosco, Hotel Denver owners Steve and April Carver, longtime local attorney Scott Balcomb, and retired construction contractor Floyd Diemoz.
Those contributions were made individually, however, and not through any business affiliations, according to the disclosure reports.
Trauger, who is running for the open At-Large seat in the April 7 mail ballot election against Tony Hershey and Kathy Williams, reported financial contributions totaling $3,850 as of the first filing deadline.
Hershey reported $400 in campaign giving, and Williams took in no contributions for her campaign, according to their respective reports.
Meanwhile, Davis and Arensman are running for the Ward 1 seat in the only other contested race on the city ballot this spring. In that race, Davis reported $3,750 in contributions as of the first filing deadline, while Arensman had received $1,195.
The two incumbent council members who are running unopposed for their ward seats in this year’s election, Todd Leahy and Mike Gamba, reported no campaign contributions.
Voting has already begun in the election, for which nearly 4,900 ballots were mailed to registered city voters this week, including 1,040 for the Ward 1 race.
Candidates are required to file campaign disclosure reports three times before and after the election, according to City Clerk Catherine Mythen. The next filing is due four days before the election, on April 3, and a month following the election, on May 6, she said.
A look at the individual contributions gives a picture of who in the two races has the backing of whom in this year’s City Council election.
Arensman, who served in the Ward 1 seat from 2007 until 2011, has earned the support of former Glenwood Mayor Bruce Christensen, who served for six years as mayor and eight years total on council, including Arensman’s four years.
Also contributing to Arensman’s bid to return to his council seat are current Councilman Stephen Bershenyi, former Councilman Greg Jeung and longtime Glenwood Springs physician Paul Salmen.
Arensman and his wife, Debbie Crawford, also put $500 of their own money into the campaign, according to the financial report.
Davis, a longtime local businessman and former owner of Summit Canyon Mountaineering, in addition to the aforementioned donors, enjoys the financial support of outgoing Ward 1 Councilman Ted Edmonds, who is chairing Davis’s election campaign.
Davis also put $900 toward his own campaign.
In the At-Large race, outgoing Councilman Dave Sturges, who has served eight years in the At-Large seat and is term-limited, gave to the campaign of Trauger, the current chair of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and member of other city commissions and boards who is seeking to become Sturges’ replacement on council.
Other notable contributors to Trauger’s campaign include Councilman Edmonds, another former mayor, Don Vanderhoof, and Steve Beckley, owner of the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, who hosted a meet-the-candidate event for Trauger last weekend. In addition, Trauger and her husband, Gene, chipped in $700 for the campaign.
Hershey, a former Aspen City Council member and prosecutor for the 9th District Attorney’s Office who is now in private practice, has taken in contributions from his mother, Carole Hershey, Glenwood residents Dorothy and Barney Mulligan, and two Pitkin County public officials, current Pitkin Commissioner Patti Kay-Clapper and Bruce Benjamin, who is a deputy with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.
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The Glenwood Hot Springs Lodge experienced vandalism in the form of significant water damage after a man removed a pipe valve with a fire extinguisher flooding four hallways. The lodge however remains open and operational.