Soto leads Garfield commissioner campaign fundraising by a longshot at nearly $70,000 | PostIndependent.com
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Soto leads Garfield commissioner campaign fundraising by a longshot at nearly $70,000

Nearing Jankovsky's commissioner race fundraising record

Backed by numerous individual contributions in a maximum amount of $2,500 from both near and far, Democratic challenger Beatriz Soto is leading all other candidates in the two races for Garfield County commissioner in terms of campaign contributions.

According to candidate finance reports filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office by the Oct. 13 deadline, Soto, who is running for the District 2 seat, was by far the most flush with campaign cash among the five candidates seeking two county commissioner seats this fall, at $69,929.

A distant second was the other Democrat in this year’s county commissioner races, Leslie Robinson, at $38,759; followed by Robinson’s District 3 opponent, Republican incumbent Mike Samson, $8,725; District 2 Republican incumbent John Martin, $6,681; and District 2 unaffiliated candidate Brian Bark, $2,400.

At more than $79,000 total raised by the five candidates — and nearly $40,500 spent through Oct. 13 — the 2020 campaigns are also shaping up to be among the most expensive election cycles for the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners.

With the money still rolling in two weeks before Election Day, there’s a good chance Soto will top the single-year campaign fundraising record set by current Republican County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky a decade ago.

In 2010, Jankovsky upset two-term incumbent Democrat Trési Houpt for the District 1 commissioner seat. That year, he raised a total of $79,707 in campaign contributions, according to Secretary of State’s records, to Houpt’s $56,564.

Garfield County commissioner campaign contributions over the past decade

2010

Tom Jankovsky — $79,707

Trési Houpt — $56,564

2012

Sonja Linman — $32,811

John Martin — $24,749

Aleks Briedis — $16,122

Mike Samson — $14,884

2014

Tom Jankovsky — $48,213

Michael Sullivan — $12,782

2016

John Martin — $21,030

John Acha — $6,586

2018

Paula Stepp — $47,117

Tom Jankovsky — $33,725

Source: Colorado Secretary of State TRACER webpage

An inspection of candidate contribution reports shows that Soto has benefited in her campaign to unseat Martin from numerous contributions in the maximum amount of $2,500. Many of those have come from outside of Garfield County, including donors from Pitkin County and one from former 3rd District Democratic Congressional candidate James Iacino of Ridgway.

Iacino, owner of the Seattle Fish Co., also contributed $500 to Robinson’s campaign. Others who donated big to the campaigns of both Democrats in the Garfield County races included Adam and Melony Lewis of Aspen, and Steve Elder, John Powers, Jill Soffer and Jerome Dayton of Carbondale.

Both Democrats have also benefited from outside spending by the political action group of Conservation Colorado, both in support of their candidacies and against the Republican incumbents, according to followthemoneyco.com.

Neither Martin nor Samson had received individual donations at the maximum amount. Both did receive $500 from David Keyte, CEO of Caerus Oil & Gas, one of the primary energy companies operating in Garfield County.

Martin contributed $1,200 of his own money to his campaign, and also received $1,000 from Glenwood Springs businessman Mike Fattor, and several $500 contributions from notable Garfield County Republican Party members. The same was true for Samson.

Bark, as an unaffiliated candidate, contributed $1,400 to his own campaign and also received $1,000 from Phillip Meadowcraft of Glenwood Springs, according to the Oct. 13 filings.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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