District 3 Supervisor Race Is Most Expensive

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Campaign cash is cascading in Gila County’s District 3 supervisor race, with a Republican challenger out-raising a Democratic incumbent in a heavily Democratic area, according to post-primary campaign finance reports. However, fists are not as financially fraught in the District 1 race between incumbent and Republican Tommie Martin and Independent Dan Haapala, where the incumbent has more money and voters are more Republican.

In District 3, Republican and Globe resident David Cook raised nearly $12,500 through Sept. 22, and spent just over half in the same time frame.

Cook was the sole District 3 candidate who did not donate to his own campaign during the post-primary reporting period, but collected $4,100 from mostly Gila County residents. Seven out of 22 contributors lived outside Gila County, though several names did not accompany addresses. Cook did not list his contributors’ occupations.

Democratic incumbent Shirley Dawson’s coffers hit $9,100, with $3,000 of that coming from her own pocket during the post-primary reporting period, which ran from mid-August to late September. She spent $3,200 during the reporting period, but had $4,400 left at the end, since she her total spending reached nearly $4,700.

The nonpartisan District 3 candidate, Ted Thayer, had raised $2,500, which included $113 during the last reporting period. Thayer and his wife were the sole contributors of that money. As of late September, Thayer had spent $2,000.

District 3, which is mostly southern Gila County but also includes Star Valley, has twice as many registered Democrats as Republicans. As of Oct. 30, about 5,500 were registered Democrat.

District 1

The opposite is true in District 1, where 5,800 registered Republicans dwarf their Democratic brethren at roughly 2,800.

In the District 1 race, Martin’s total fund-raising by late-September reached $2,050, which included 26 donors who contributed under $25 in the post-primary reporting period. Those donations are not required to be itemized.

Martin also reported that the majority of her $1,650 in contributions larger than $25 came from out-of-county residents, including a financial planner from Flagstaff and a Nevada rancher. Retiring Supervisor Jose Sanchez contributed $100. Many of Martin’s other contributors said they were retired.

District 2

Democrat Mike Pastor, who will replace Sanchez after winning his race in the primary, ended the campaign season out $1,000 of his own money in the post-primary reporting period. All told, he raised $7,400, which included $250 each from two retired Chandler residents. One Globe resident, also retired, contributed $50 during the post-primary reporting period.

Pastor beat two Democrats, Payson’s Bill Backes and Miami’s Danny Michels, in the September primary.

Candidates’ expenditures varied from water bottles and campaign hats to late filing fees at the elections office.

Thayer advertised mostly through signs, but he also spent $43 on campaign hats.

Dawson’s biggest expenditure since Aug. 14 was for balloons — $141 — and helium — $49.

Cook’s largest expenditure was $925 at a Chandler business for “promotional items, shirts and round flyers.” He also spent $503 on water bottles. At the candidate forum in Payson, Cook arrived with water bottles that listed his name on the label.

Martin’s campaign expenditures reached $1,380 through September — $1,075 for campaign signs and $150 in newspaper advertisements.

Haapala did not meet the $500 threshold requirement and did not list contributions for the post-primary period.

Pastor spent $6,700, which included a $30 fee for filing his finance report late with the elections office. Most of his other expenditures paid for advertising.

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