J. Adrian Stanley
Suthers: Wealthy people always give more to causes.
Mayor John Suthers is off to a smashing good start in fundraising for his re-election campaign in the April 2 city election.
According to four reports filed since October, the most recent submitted on Jan. 2, Suthers has raised $95,797 from 247 donations. He had $45,160 on hand to begin with and has spent $18,639, which means he has $122,318 in the bank.
(So far, no candidates have qualified for the ballot, though the City Clerk's Office is in the process of verifying petition signatures.)
Of Suthers' total raised in this race, 41.5 percent — $39,730 — came from donors in the 80906 zip code. Of his 247 donors, 101 gave 80906 as their address.
The zip code is known for including wealthier residents, as it encompasses The Broadmoor, and it's also Suthers' home zip code, though he doesn't live in the Broadmoor area itself. According to this website
, the 80906 zip code has an average household income of $97,557 a year, compared to $77,814 for the city as a whole and $81,528 for El Paso County.
The site also shows that 10.1 percent of households in the 80906 zip code make more than $200,000 a year, compared to 4.7 percent in Colorado Springs and 5.2 percent of the county.
Those figures for 80906 would be higher, except that it also includes an area to the east, including Stratmoor Hills where incomes are more modest.
We asked Suthers, who's also served as district attorney and Colorado Attorney General, to comment on such a large portion of his campaign contributions coming from the southwest segment of the city. He responded via email, saying:
To clarify, while I have lived in the 80906 zip code all my life, I do not live in the Broadmoor and never have. I have lived in the Cheyenne Canyon [sic] area and in Skyway. But I spent most of my summers as a kid mowing lawns in the Broadmoor. Some of my customers have been lifelong political supporters.
My experience is that people with higher amounts of discretionary income are more likely to contribute to charitable and political causes and that as a result a disproportionate amount of our community's philanthropic and political giving comes from the 80906 zip code. You might check statewide and national political campaign giving from Colorado Springs and citywide charitable giving to analyze this.
The bottom line is that throughout my career my political support in Colorado Springs has been wide and deep and I believe it still is.
Two candidates have expressed interested in trying to unseat Suthers. They are Lawrence Martinez, a home care specialist, and Juliette Parker, who runs a nonprofit.
Voters will also elect three at-large City Council members on April 2 and decide whether to give firefighters collective bargaining powers.