Financial reports show commission hopefuls spent more during primary election races

Sep 11, 2012 By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

Fremont County Commission District 5 challenger Jennifer McCarty spent roughly $6,161 in her primary election campaign that ended with a 19-vote difference between herself and the top candidate.

Campaign finance reports filed with Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese's election office in Lander showed McCarty was the top spender among candidates at the municipal and county levels in the Aug. 21 contest.

McCarty contributed about $5,261 of her own money to her District 5 campaign, which also benefited from $900 in seven separate donations from individuals.

By comparison, District 5 incumbent Doug Thompson won the Republican Party nomination in the contest and spent about $1,520. Thompson himself contributed $920 to his campaign, while he received two individual donations worth $600.

Fremont County commission candidates generally spent the most among primary election races reporting their campaign finances to the courthouse in Lander.

In the District 2 race that ended with a 20-vote difference between the top two candidates but resulted in a special election, Republican hopeful Larry Allen reported $3,348 in expenditures compared to incumbent Dennis Christensen who had $1,786 in spending.

Allen reported a single $25 donation to his campaign, while Christensen provided about $1,236 to his re-election bid with $550 from two individual donors.

Christensen came out on top with 20 votes more than Allen, but an error in ballots given out at the primary election resulted in a special mail-ballot election between the two candidates.

In other commission campaigns, Red Fyler in District 5 reported expenditures of $651 with all of the money coming from his own pocket. He also reported a $50 in-kind donation.

Tim Salazar in District 2 reported total expenditures of roughly $1,205 for his campaign. He contributed $100 of his own money and received $900 from three out-of-state donors.

District 4 incumbent Pat Hickerson, running unopposed in the primary election, spent $175 of his own money on his campaign. District 2 candidate Richard Denke reported zero campaign contributions and spending.

In races at the municipal level, Riverton City Council Ward 1 candidate Jonathan Faubion reported he contributed about $1,187, which he spent on his campaign.

Ward 1 incumbent Diana Mahoney, Faubion's challenger who announced earlier this week she dropped out of the race, reported zero contributions and spending.

In Riverton's Ward 3, incumbent Lars Baker reported $104 of his own money in expenditures compared to his challenger, Larry Bauman, with zero spending and contributions.

Riverton City Council Ward 2 incumbent Todd Smith reported expenditures totaling about $887. About $579 came from his own pocket, with $280 from three individual contributions.

Ward 2 challenger Lee Martinez reported zero spending and contributions, while Sarah Kalbach had not filed a finance report as of Tuesday.

Among the Lander City Council candidates, Ward 2 hopeful Ken Stroh reported $1,033 spent on his campaign, but it did not indicate who contributed the money.

Ward 2 incumbent Cade Maestas spent about $175 from $95 contributed from himself and $200 from three individual donors.

Lander City Council Ward 1 candidate Dan Hahn spent and received nothing for his campaign, while incumbent John Boulette spent $9 of his own money and challenger Sollie Cadman reported out-of-pocket expenditures of nearly $167.

Lander City Council Ward 3 incumbent Linda Barton spent about $88 of her own money in her unopposed primary contest.

Many candidates for town council races in other communities did not spend any money.

They included Pavillion candidates Tauna Richardson and Danette Williams; Shoshoni candidates Ken Cundall, Brandy Hague, Bill Marcus and Gary Weisz; Hudson candidates Michael Anderson and Sherry Oler; and Dubois candidates David Bennett, Charles Whaley and Rick Lee.

Other candidates who had not filed their finance report as of Tuesday were Shoshoni Town Council candidates Darla Keever and Dave Wood and Pavillion candidates Bud Kisling and MJ Larsen.

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