Colorado Springs election draws lots of cash

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If you want to get the job done on a shoestring, Don Knight is your man.

In the April 4 city election, Knight won a second term on Colorado Springs City Council by spending the least of any winning candidate, besides David Geislinger, who ran unopposed in the northern District 2, according to final campaign finance reports due May 4.

Knight, elected to a second term in northwest District 1, spent $10,833 to win the race, which cost his campaign an average of only $1.04 per vote.

The most expensive campaign per vote was run by Deborah Hendrix in southeast District 4 where she lost to Yolanda Avila despite spending an average of $29.77 per vote, or a total of $53,132.

Topping the heap in total spending was Lynette Crow-Iverson, whose campaign shelled out $84,939, or an average of $17.46 per vote. She was defeated in the central District 5 by incumbent Jill Gaebler, who spent $52,189, or $5.44 per vote

All together, candidates spent about $450,000, while political action groups spent about $515,600, though those totals could rise, because some candidates and committees hadn't filed their final reports as of 5:30 p.m. today, Thursday, May 4.

A dark money group, Colorado Citizens Protecting Our Constitution, spent the most at $259,000.

It's not accurate to simply add the totals for candidates and committees together and say that's how much was spent, because that would mean counting some money twice, such as the money spent by PACs as contributions to candidates.

Here's a rundown of spending by committees:

*Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association, $2,500.
Strong Leadership for Colorado Springs, $3,000.
*I Am Created Equal PAC, $4,000.
Police Protective Association, $5,000.
*Together for Colorado Springs, $6,290.
*Colorado Association of Realtors - Colorado Springs, $10,000.
Sierra Club, $21,370.
Colorado Springs Professional Fire Fighters Local 5, $26,747 (About half that went to pay PAC expenses, not to candidates.)
Colorado Springs Forward, $49,749.
*Committee for Ballot Issue 2 (Taxpayer's Bill of Rights refund), $52,150.
Housing and Building Association of Colorado Springs, $75,788.
*Colorado Citizens Protecting Our Constitution, $259,000.

* Signifies final report not yet filed.

Here's a rundown of spending by candidates. The winner is listed first:

District 1
Don Knight, $10,833, 10,360 votes, $1.04 per vote.
Greg Basham, $63,725, 5,144 votes, $12.41 per vote.

District 2
David Geislinger, $112, 7,821 votes, 14 cents per vote.

District 3
Richard Skorman, $65,970, 9,077 votes, $7.27 per vote.
*Chuck Fowler, $53,490, 6,629 votes, $8.07 per vote.

District 4
Yolanda Avila, $20,436, 2,346 votes, $8.71 per vote.
Deborah Hendrix, $53,132, 1,785 votes, $29.77 per vote.
*Helen Collins, $4,698, 1,620 votes, $2.90 per vote.

District 5
Jill Gaebler, $52,189, 9,591 votes, $5.44 per vote.
Lynette Crow-Iverson, $84,939, 4,866 votes, $17.46 per vote.

District 6
Andy Pico, $32,192, 5,090 votes, $6.32 per vote.
*Melanie Bernhardt, $344, 1,813 votes, 21 cents per vote.
*Janak Joshi, $4,069, 1,594 votes, $2.55 per vote.
Robert Burns, $0, 1,265 votes.

*Signifies those whose reports weren't publicly available as of 5:30 p.m. today, Thursday, May 4, meaning their per-vote costs were figured using total spent as of the March 31 reports.



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