Candidates for the San Miguel County Board of Commissioners submitted their first campaign finance disclosures to the Colorado Secretary of State Office Tuesday, and Democrats Kris Holstrom of District 3 and Hilary Cooper of District 1 are leading the pack when it comes to raising and spending money.
“I think people mostly responded to what I’ve done in the community and wanted to support that move into public service in a more direct way,” Holstrom said. “Some (of the donors) are family, some friends, and some are people who think I’ve done good things in the community.”
Holstrom, who is running against Mike Kimball for the Democratic nomination for District 3, received $3,389 in contributions in the period ending June 2, and spent $1,849.07. Cooper, vying for the District 1 Democratic nomination against Brian Ahern, David Oyster and Jill Masters, received $4,490 in contributions during the reporting period and spent $3,002.06.
“My fundraising success represents a diverse representation of people who care deeply about our county and believe I am the best candidate for the job,” Cooper said in a statement. “I will continue working hard to educate voters and reach out to those beyond my supporters.”
Party primaries are June 28. A candidate forum was held Thursday night in Norwood, and the Progressive Women’s Caucus of the San Juans will host another commissioner forum on Tuesday at Rebekah Hall in Telluride (and broadcast live on koto.org). Candidates must submit another financial disclosure, for the June 3-19 period, by June 24.
In District 1, consisting mostly of the town of Telluride, the Democratic candidates are aiming to fill the seat recently vacated by Elaine Fischer, who passed away late last month. (Though candidates must reside in their districts, the entire county votes on each seat.) Amy Levek was appointed by county Democrats to fill the remaining months of Fischer’s term, and there are no declared candidates for District 1 other than the Democrats. In addition to Cooper, Masters raised $620 during the period, but spent no money. Oyster raised $250, and also spent no money. Ahern neither raised nor spent any money.
“I’m using social media, I’m using word of mouth, I’m going door to door, and I’m investing in people,” Ahern said of his campaign strategy.
In District 3, Holstrom opponent Kimball raised $907 and spent $894.18. District 3 Republican Terri Snyder Lamers, who will face either Holstrom or Kimball in November, raised $580 and spent $397.59. (Lamers will not participate in the Tuesday forum, as she is uncontested in the Republican primary.)
The District 3 candidates are vying to succeed five-term county commissioner Art Goodtimes to represent the district which runs from Sawpit west to the Utah border. Goodtimes contributed $100 to Holstrom’s campaign, according to the financial disclosure. When reached Thursday, Goodtimes declined to comment on the contribution.
Cooper’s donors include current Telluride Town Council member Ann Brady, who contributed $100, Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones, who contributed $75, and Luke Schafer, West Slope Advocacy Director for Conservation Colorado, who donated $50.
“I am supporting (Cooper), but the other candidates have a lot to offer, too,” Brady said. “I feel her positions are similar to mine.”
Donations to Masters’ campaign came from, among others, former Telluride mayor John Pryor ($200) and former San Miguel County Commissioner Jim Bedford ($50), neither of whom could be reached for comment Thursday. Bedford also contributed to Holstrom’s campaign.
Full financial disclosure reports, including all itemized contributions and expenditures for each BOCC candidate, can be found on the Secretary of State’s website, sos.state.co.us.