Election Edition 3/17/15: Suthers rakes it in


There's only three weeks to go before the April 7 city election, and campaign money is flowing into the mayor's race, though it doesn't appear donations will break the previously set record in 2011 when the top two candidates — Steve Bach, who was elected, and Richard Skorman — raised more than $1 million combined.

Suthers builds his bank account. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Suthers builds his bank account.
John Suthers, former Colorado attorney general, has brought in $304,068 so far, and has $85,964 cash on hand.

El Paso County Commissioner Amy Lathen has raised $93,437, and has $17,099 cash on hand.

Mary Lou Makepeace reports a total of $74,656 raised, and has $15,397 on hand.

Joel Miller has raised $12,252 and has $2,558 on hand.

Here's another way to look at donations: How many people have given to each candidate and are they rich or just like you and me?

Turns out, Lathen has the richest donors, apparently. The average donation is $898 — from her 100 or so donors.

Suthers is next with his roughly 910 donors giving an average of $333 each.

Miller's 52 donors have given an average of $236.

And then there's Makepeace, who's backers are at pauper status compared to the others. Her roughly 720 donors have given an average of $104. An overwhelming number of donors, in fact, have given her a mere $20 or $30, while Suthers rakes it in by the thousands per donor from the big developers politicians, lawyers and business people, although he, too, has many small donations.

Makepeace's donors are the little people. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Makepeace's donors are the little people.
Makepeace was hosting a community discussion today, so we couldn't reach her but found this on her website about appealing to the average Joe and those who feel disenfranchised:
Over the past few years, I have grown very discouraged by the course our city has taken. I hear from voters too often, “Face it Mary Lou, my vote doesn't count.” To live in this great country, the world's beacon of democracy, and to hear that level of discouragement from the voters is not only saddening but also unnerving. The voters' trust in their own government has been violated. When voters don't feel they have any influence in their government they exercise their last power: the power to say "no". What I want is for voters to say "yes"— yes to our future — yes to our community — yes to growing our economy, creating jobs and investing in ourselves. I will work to rebuild that trust.
Scooting on over to the Helen Collins recall, the candidate has raised $8,695 and has $4,462 cash on hand.

The recall committee, Citizens for Integrity in Council District 4, meantime, reports it's raised $46,557, all from one donor, Colorado Springs Government Watch Independent Expenditure Committee, an outfit run by the wife of Gazette editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen, who supports City for Champions, which Collins opposes.

As for the at-large Council race, here's where the candidates stand in terms of cash on hand:

Tom Strand, $5,921
Longinos Gonzalez Jr., 0
Vicki Tonkins, $223
Merv Bennett, $10,023
Glenn Carlson, $563
Jesse Brown Jr., No reports
Bill Murray, $2,220
Yolanda Avila, $294
Al Loma, no reports (Loma hasn't filed a single report, but there are signs all over town for him. What gives?)
Jariah Walker, $3,986
Vanessa Bowie, No reports
Joe Woyte, $597
Nickolas Lee, $1,280

In the Council District 2 race, Kanda Calef has $944 on hand, compared to Larry Bagley's $27,206.

As you can see, the candidates favored by the movers and shakers with the big wallets, such as developers, are Strand, Bennett and Walker for at-large, and Bagley in District 2.

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