Breaking down Utah legislature hopefuls’ war chests
October 20, 2018
With Election Day fast approaching, the candidates to represent Summit County in the Utah Legislature have filed their financial disclosure forms for the period between June 15 and Sept. 26.
The public filings indicate several trends as well as reflect the character of the races in question.
For instance, donations to the Republicans, in general, reflected a greater percentage of their financial support coming from organizations and businesses than their Democratic opponents, who reported a higher proportion of individual, "small-dollar" donations. Utah gas station powerhouse Maverik, along with several other business interests, donated to all three Republicans as well. Their reported fuel expenses indicate no preference at the pump.
Other notable filings include a large spending disparity in the House District 54 race, a trip to Washington on state business and a Park City Republican's support of a Democrat going up against the GOP nominee who defeated him in the primary.
Incumbent House District 53 Rep. Logan Wilde, a Republican from Croydon, reported a haul of $13,151 and expenses totaling $4,172.69 in expenses during the reporting period. The largest contribution to Wilde's campaign during the timeframe was $5,000 from the Utah House Republican Reelection Committee on Sept. 22.
Notable is the lack of any individual donations to Wilde's campaign reported during the period; all contributions came from political action committees, professional organizations or businesses.
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A number of expenses, including a $580.88 Marriott hotel bill, are listed for a July trip to Washington where Wilde met with members of the Utah congressional delegation and Vice President Mike Pence, as detailed on Wilde's campaign website.
The representative and other state officials were in Washington to discuss relations between the Utah state government, Congress and the White House specifically.
Meanwhile, Chris Neville, the Park City Democrat challenging Wilde, posted $9,302 in contributions to his campaign and $4,172.69 in expenses during the same timeframe.
Neville's largest contribution was a $2,000 loan from himself, while the largest from an outside source was $1,000 from the Summit County Democratic Party. Much of the remainder of his contributions is composed of smaller sums from individual donors.
Neville's expenses include a number of small payments to Democratic fundraising nonprofit ActBlue.
In the District 54 race, incumbent Republican Rep. Tim Quinn reported $16,090 raised and $3,339.21 spent during the period. The Utah House Republican Election Committee gave the single largest sum, $5,000, to the Heber businessman's effort to win a second term. Mike Schultz, a fellow House Republican from Hooper, gave the largest individual sum of $1,000.
The incumbent representative also received $250 from outgoing Republican state Sen. Kevin Van Tassell of District 26.
Quinn's biggest expenditure was $1,500 to an organization called Tactical Campaigns.
Quinn's challenger raised less while spending more. Park City Democrat Meaghan Miller reported $7,354.80 in contributions during the reporting period and expenses totaling $6,451.72. Almost all donations to her campaign came from individual donors, with a $1,000 sum from the Summit County Democratic Party as the lone exception.
Miller's campaign reported spending much of its war chest on campaign literature and promotional materials.
In the race to succeed Van Tassell in state Senate District 26, all three candidates are concluding their first state legislature campaigns.
Eileen Gallagher, a Park City physician and a Democrat, reported gathering $17,210.75 over the period and spending $13,081.52. Like the other Democratic Statehouse candidates, Gallagher also received much of her support from small donors., However, they hailed from a variety of locations. The largest single donation to the campaign was $1,500 from an individual in Massachusetts named Kim Reid Other individual donors contributed large sums as well.
The AFL-CIO, the largest governing organization of labor unions in the country, threw its weight behind Gallagher's run for the industry-heavy district with a $1,000 donation.
Jack Rubin is another notable name on the list. A $500 contribution is attributed to the Park City Republican, who lost in a primary campaign to Gallagher's Republican opponent, Duchesne county commissioner Ron Winterton.
Gallagher's expenditures include a pair of $850 payments to Elm Studios for video work, as well as $750 to register for the Park City Women's Expo, an event put on by The Park Record.
While Winterton is the presumptive favorite in the heavily conservative district, Gallagher outraised the Roosevelt businessman by more than $2,500 in the period.
Winterton's campaign reported $14,600 raised in the period along with $7,221.76 spent. The Republican reported a higher ratio of individual donations than his fellow party members in the House races.
The largest contributors to the campaign, by a wide margin, were Keith and Vivian Winterton, with two donations totaling $10,000. The largest donation from an organization was $1,425 from Reagan Outdoor Advertising. The Utah Bankers Association also pitched in with $1,000.
Cathy Callow-Heusser, of the United Utah Party, reported no donations during the period. Callow-Heusser lists one expense, a $256.11 payment to Verizon for "Phone/ipad (sic)."
The 2018 midterm election takes place on Nov. 6. Ballots were mailed to Summit County voters Wednesday. Financial disclosures are accessible to all members of the public at disclosures.utah.gov.