With just a couple of days left to get votes in, there are some races that can already be called. Of course, I’m talking about the money race, as of the 3rd Reporting Period for candidates. People can argue about the importance, or lack thereof, of contributions, but the candidates who raised and spent the most in 2009 won.
The 3rd Reporting Period only went until 10/23/11, so it’s possible that some candidates received more in the way of contributions in the final week and beyond – but many candidates contributions had dried up by this last period. For reference, Katie Witt held the contributions record in Longmont based on the $17,850 she raised in 2009. Ms. Witt also won by the largest margin of all the 2009 races.
But Mayor Bryan Baum has eclipsed that this year with the $20,788 he’s raised so far. It looks doubtful that any other candidate this year will knock Ms. Witt off of second place all time.
The only way one can say that contributions equal support among voters is to deduct money a candidate is pouring into their campaign. So I deducted candidates contributions to themselves. Leading this category, and by a lot, and by more than any other candidate I’ve ever seen, is Dennis Coombs. Of his $12,075, $3,800 is his own money. Of course the irony is how his supporters constantly rail against people buying their way into office, and obviously he contributed way more than any citizen could contribute – which is legal in funding your own campaign. So in real money, the mayor’s race is: Bryan Baum $20,788.39 to Dennis Coombs $8,275.64. In percentages that’s 71.53% – 28.47%.
In the At-Large race, Heath Carroll has contributed $1,200 to his campaign, although more than half of that is from his company and investment LLC. Considering Sarah Levison contributed a lower number ($300) to herself, she ends up on top (so far) with (in real money) $5,326.93, Heath Carroll $4,492.27, and Ron Gallegos $1,488.97. In percentages that’s 47.11% Levison, 39.73% Carroll, and 13.17% Gallegos.
In the Ward 1 race, self-funding was nearly non-existent. In real money the totals (so far) are: Brian Bagley $10,208.03, Suzzanne Painter $2,161.30, Paul Tiger $736.12, and Brian Hansen $70. In percentages, well, it’s not even close: 77.32% – 16.37% – 5.78% – 0.53% respectively.
In the Ward 3 race, there wasn’t a whole lot of self-funding. In real money the totals (so far) are: Bonnie Finley $6,932.94 to Sean McCoy’s $1,558.99. In percentages that’s 81.64% – 18.36%.
Obviously I don’t expect any of these percentages to equal actual vote percentages, but if the past is any indication, the results of who’s ahead in the money usually comes out ahead in votes. There has also been money spent in “independent expenditures” on both sides. Based on what I’m hearing from the grapevine, the Moving Longmont Forward attack mailer sent out against Mayor Baum may have the opposite desired effect. I’ve heard it’s mainly being sent to Republicans and unaffiliated voters, big mistake in my opinion. But we’ll soon find out the effect of this activity as well as the effect of contributions.