Lofft’s money raising beats Brown’s | ParkRecord.com

Lofft’s money raising beats Brown’s

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Statehouse challenger Democrat Kathy Lofft raised and spent about twice as much money as Mel Brown, the Republican legislator she is trying to unseat, garnering donations from numerous individuals and a few interest groups.

Lofft throughout the campaign has tried to separate herself from Brown by portraying him as a legislator who kowtows to corporate interests. The upstart Democrat, meanwhile, touts herself as somebody who has the support of regular people in District 53.

According to campaign-finance reports submitted to state election officials, Lofft raised $27,391.08 and spent $26,421.56. Brown took in $13,841 and spent $13,671.72.

The candidates have had divergent fund-raising strategies throughout the campaign. Lofft’s report to the state shows she largely tapped individuals as donors while Brown’s financial statement shows a reliance on the corporate interests.

"I think the difference is apparent . . . I think it’s very stark," Lofft said.

Recent Lofft donors include Snyderville Basin resident Kristi Cumming, who was a superdelegate supporting Barack Obama during the Democratic National Convention, Democratic state legislator Christine Johnson, Park City Planning Commissioner and developer Rory Murphy and Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.

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Last summer, meanwhile, Lofft accepted $1,000, one of her largest donations, from the Planned Parenthood Action Council in Salt Lake City.

Recent Brown donors include a Qwest political-action committee, Salt Lake City law firms, Big Oil, the food industry and manufacturers.

Brown did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment. He has previously said he has not curried favors to his corporate donors, but he does not deny them opportunities to talk to him.

Lofft this week refused to comment whether Brown’s donors influence him.