Summit County Council candidates disclose financial contributions
November 4, 2016
Candidates seeking spots on the Summit County Council were required to turn in their campaign financial disclosure forms on Tuesday, revealing their top contributors and where that money was spent.
Two of the candidates in the contested races received sizable donations from their respective parties, in addition to contributions from elected officials and friends.
The seats currently held by incumbents Roger Armstrong and Kim Carson are also up for election, however, they are both running unopposed. Carson declared a $250 donation from herself toward her filing fee. Armstrong did not declare anything.
The Summit County Republican Party contributed approximately $1,000 each to the campaigns of Adair and DeFord. Adair, who currently sits on the County Council and is also the county's Republican Party chair, is facing Summit County Democratic Party Chair Glenn Wright to earn the remaining two years left of a former councilor's term.
Adair raised $8,730, with his top contributions coming from the Park City Board of Realtors Political Action Committee and Utah Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, in the amounts of $5,000 and $1,000, respectively, in addition to the contribution he received from his own political party. He also received a $500 donation from former Republican council member David Ure.
Adair spent $7,560.88 on campaign signs, political post cards, social media and t-shirts.
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"Those leaders in the community see that I have the leadership skills and the relationships that are pretty broad in nature," Adair said. "I'm very appreciative of their contributions, but it also shows that those who are in leadership recognize that I have the skills necessary for the job. For Dave Ure to contribute, he's had the job and he knows what it will take."
Adair's opponent, Wright, raised $6,981.07, with his top contributors being himself and Donna Weinholtz, wife of the Democratic candidate running for governor, Mike Weinholtz. Additionally, Summit County Attorney Robert Hilder contributed $200 and Treasurer Corrie Forsling contributed $50. Wright raised the least of the candidates in the contested council races.
Wright spent approximately $6,981.07, with most of the expenses supporting digital advertising and campaign signs.
"It's gratifying for the elected officials that they are supporting me in this race," Wright said. "I think they have all done a good job in their respective positions and it shows they think I will do a good job as a County Councilor. And the Weinholtz's have been great benefactors to the Democratic Party in Utah.
"I didn't do a whole lot of work on fundraising. So many people are trying to raise money for the elections right now and I didn't want to detract from other fundraising efforts," he said.
The campaign of Democrat Doug Clyde, vying for the seat currently held by Claudia McMullin, who decided not to seek reelection, was funded by a long list of contributors that included developers, current and former leaders of Park City, Oakley and the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission. Clyde raised a total of $4,820.
Clyde's top contributors were Charles Wintzer, of Park City, James Gaddis and Hilder, He also received contributions from Rory Murphy and former Park City Mayor Bradley Olch. Clyde has spent approximately $9,432.19 and recorded a negative campaign balance of $4,612.19.
"I do have the support of a large number of former and current elected officials… It's very meaningful to me to be able to show that sort of support from people who have prior experience and understand the challenges that I will face and know me as well," Clyde said. "It's extremely meaningful and I hope it is meaningful to the voters as well."
The campaign of Clyde's opponent, DeFord, was funded mainly with contributions from himself and the Summit County Republican Party. DeFord contributed approximately $1,814.81 toward his campaign total of $7,452.91. Other top donors included Howard Maier, of Locust Valley, Casey DeFord, of Midlothian, Texas, and Rick Nemeroff, of Park City. DeFord reported spending approximately $6,609.92.
"I felt it was inappropriate to ask community leaders to make a financial contribution to my campaign. My own personal contributions to my campaign were a personal loan, and were given to my campaign early on, to get it going," DeFord said in an email to The Park Record. "I made the decision not to ask elected leaders for donations, as I felt it an uncomfortable position to put these people in since most have a relationship with both me and my opponent."
County Council candidates will be required to turn in their final campaign financial disclosure reports 30 days after the election.
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