Spending Reports Reveal Support

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Mayoral candidate Kenny Evans has raised the most money in the current Payson council race, relying on a combination of grassroots contributions plus substantial developer, Realtor and construction money, according to an analysis of fund-raising and spending reports submitted last week.

Evans had raised about $25,000 as of Feb. 20, including $8,000 he loaned to his own campaign. Besides having the most contributors, he also had the smallest average contribution.

Mayor Bob Edwards and the two candidates he has endorsed -- Tom Loeffler and David Rutter -- relied mostly on the same group of retirees as donors. Edwards has raised $8,846, about 72 percent from retirees and about 3 percent from donors who listed development or construction related occupations.

Rutter and Loeffler have each raised about $5,000, most of it from retirees. About 57 percent of Loeffler's donors and 80 percent of Rutter's donors also donated to Edwards.

The three candidates have pooled their resources to buy ads, but combined have raised less money than Evans.

Meanwhile, the second best financed candidate in the race -- Realtor Michael Hughes running for one of three open council seats -- relied heavily on money from Realtors and development interests. He received $1,800 from a Realtor's PAC, which means that combined with money from others in the construction industry, it constituted two-thirds of the more than $9,000 he has raised.

Affordable housing advocate Richard Croy lagged well behind the other council candidates in spending, with about a quarter of his money coming from construction related interests and three quarters from retirees.

Incumbent Councilor John Wilson filed an exemption from the filing requirement, saying he raised and spent less than $500.

The filings validate Mayor Edwards' contention that Evans has dramatically outspent him, relying in part on money from Realtors, construction and development interests. In recent weeks, Edwards has increasingly portrayed the race as an attempt to roll back the restrictions on growth that he, Loeffler and Rutter all favor and which all the other candidates in the race have criticized to varying degrees. Edwards has repeatedly suggested that his critics represent development interests and the town's old guard.

On the other hand, the diversity of Evans' contributions suggest broad support in the community. He's the only candidate to have raised a significant amount of money in contributions under $25 -- about 33 percent of his total. And while he has received far more developer, construction and Realtor money than Edwards, that category still accounts for only 26 percent of the contributions from donors giving more than $25.

Moreover, the close financial and fund-raising connection between the Edwards, Rutter and Loeffler campaign, give support to Evans' professed reason for running -- to prevent the election of a single block that would effectively dominate town policy-making.

A candidate-by-candidate analysis reveals some significant trends in the money raised and spent:

Kenny Evans:

Raised $25,000, including an $8,000 loan to his campaign and $17,000 in individual donations.

One third of his donations came in amounts under $25 ($5,715).

One quarter of his donations came from people who listed construction or development-related occupations.

Half of his contributions came from people giving between $300 and the $390 maximum.

About 40 percent came from retirees.

He had 95 donors who gave more than $25 and 417 donors who gave less than $25, for an average contribution per donor of $33.

Bob Edwards:

-- Collected $8,846 in total contributions, including a $687 loan from the Citizens for Community Based Growth. He did not carry forward a balance from his previous campaign, as reported mistakenly in the Roundup on Friday.

-- About 72 percent of his donors listed their occupation as retired and about 3 percent as occupations related to development or construction.

-- He listed a loan to his own campaign of about $50.

-- His 42 donors made contributions averaging $210 each.

-- He collected no donations in amounts under $25.

Tom Loeffler:

-- He raised $5,024 and spent $3,311.

-- None of his contributors listed construction or development-related occupations.

-- He loaned his own campaign $1,050.

-- Retirees accounted for 79 percent of his donors.

-- About 57 percent of his donors also donated to Edwards.

-- His 23 donors gave an average of $174.

Dave Rutter:

-- He raised $5,376 and spent, $3,431.

-- He loaned his own campaign $1,100.

-- He received no money from people with development-related professions.

-- Retirees accounted for 95 percent of his contributions.

-- About 89 percent of his donors also donated to Edwards.

-- Edwards' campaign committee donated $297 to Rutter.

-- Rutter's 25 donors gave an average of $139.

-- Donors giving more than $300 accounted for 52 percent of his total.

Michael Hughes:

-- Raised $9,732 and spent $7,793.

-- Raised $2,190 from Political Action Committees, including $1800 from a Realtor's PAC.

-- He listed $1,179 in in-kind contributions.

-- Realtors and developer-related occupations accounted for 56 percent of his individual donations, or 66 percent if the contribution from the Realtor's PAC is included.

-- Retirees accounted for 34 percent of his contributions.

--People donating more than 300 accounted for 73 percent of his contributions.

-- His 30 donors contributed an average of $212.

Richard Croy

-- He raised $1,140, only $20 in amounts less than $25.

-- He loaned $200 to his own campaign.

-- Developers and Realtors accounted for about 24 percent of his donors.

-- Retirees contributed 76 percent.

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