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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Big Five, big money

Posted By on Thu, Feb 24, 2011 at 12:01 PM

The fundraising gap is widening between the contenders and the pretenders in the Colorado Springs mayoral race. If money talks and bullshit walks, then the campaigns of Bach, Bahr, Gilmore, Munger and Skorman are still in the game.


Dave Munger, once left for dead by certain pundits, has loaned his campaign $60,000. That puts him in the Big Five, but it may be too little, too late — and not just for him.

The Terrible Twosome of Richard Skorman and Steve Bach may be ready to lap the field. Collectively, they’ve marshaled community support that surpasses that of the rest of the candidates put together.

Bach has raised a total of $110,000, including a $24,000 loan from the candidate. His list of contributors includes such luminaries as Steve Bartolin ($1,000), Bill Hybl ($1,000), Scott Bryan ($1,000), Danny Mientka ($2,500) and Margo Lane ($1,000).

During the last reporting period, ending on Feb. 17, Bach raised $12,650. His ending bank balance is, at $36,740, a little skimpy. Not to worry — his murderer’s row of deep-pocketed contributors can write whatever checks are necessary.

Skorman’s supporters may not be as rich as Bach’s, but there are a lot more of them. In the last two weeks, the campaign raised $41,331 from more than 200 contributors, including $10,000 from the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association. Skorman has raised an astonishing total of $166,000, and has $80,000 in the bank. Aside from the CSPPA contribution and a $10,000 loan from the candidate, the cash has come from hundreds of small contributors and a few big ones, including Indy publisher John Weiss ($3,000), who has taken a leave of absence from the paper to work on Skorman’s campaign.

Brian Bahr and Buddy Gilmore also have plenty of money in the bank, but their somewhat quixotic campaigns are largely self-financed. That’s fine — it worked pretty well for Mayor Bloomberg in New York — but if contributions small and large reflect broad community support, Bahr and Gilmore may be wasting their money.

Bahr raised $2,600 in the cycle from nine contributors, while Gilmore took in $5,975 from eight, including a single $5,000 contribution from Richard Chandler. Gilmore also listed $300 in non-itemized contributions of $20 or less, so he may have a dozen small contributors that aren’t individually listed.

Tom Gallagher, by contrast, may be wasting his time, but he’s not wasting much money. He raised exactly $0 during the reporting period, and has $2,400 in the bank.

The remaining candidates (Mitch Christiansen, Ken Duncan, Phil MacDonald and the mysterious Kelly Pero-Luckhurst) have raised even less. They’re unknowns with no shot, but who knows? Collectively, they may siphon off enough votes from serious candidates to alter the race.

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