State senate candidate Bill Konopnicki has spent more than $110,000 this campaign season to beat incumbent Sen. Sylvia Allen in next week’s Republican primary, the second highest amount spent by any candidate running for the state legislature.
Only Mesa Republican incumbent Rep. Kirk Adams has spent more.
By comparison, Allen has spent under a quarter of what Konopnicki has, with just under $32,000 worth of campaign expenditures so far this election season.
And Payson resident Elaine Bohlmeyer has spent just $7,000 so far in the uncontested Democratic primary. All told, Bohlmeyer has raised $17,000, most of which came from Clean Elections funding. Most of her individual campaign contributions came from Payson residents. Bohlmeyer spent most of her money on campaign signs and advertising.
Meanwhile, Konopnicki’s $104,000 advertising blitz during the past two months has included more than $60,000 for campaign mailers, $17,000 for billboards and $2,200 for auto dialing campaign calls.
Allen has spent more than $4,000 on radio ads in Show Low, $6,700 on miscellaneous campaign materials and $360 on parades and candy.
All told, Konopnicki’s campaign is in debt by more than $25,000, while Allen still had roughly $18,000 left to spend as of Aug. 4.
Just 4 percent of Konopnicki’s campaign contributions came from within his legislative district, up from zero during the previous reporting period, according to documents from the Secretary of State’s office.
Many of Konopnicki’s contributions are coming from prominent Valley figures, such as Andrew McCain of Hensley Beverage Company and several high-level businesspeople for the Arizona Cardinals, including owner William Bidwell.
Konopnicki received one $100 contribution from a Payson resident. The remaining contributions from Legislative District 5 consisted mostly of smaller, $5 or $50 contributions. Several Graham County officials donated to Konopnicki’s campaign, including Graham County Manager Terry Cooper and Graham County Supervisors James Palmer and Mark Herrington.
Allen, by comparison, still had more contributions from people within her district. Her contributors are more likely retired or working class, and donated anywhere from $20 to $100, except for a few larger contributions.