Park City mayoral candidates amass campaign war chests topping $30,000 each
Beerman, Worel receive funds from prominent figures while Dobkin largely self-finances campaign
Each of the three Park City mayoral candidates amassed campaign war chests topping $30,000 as they prepared for Tuesday’s primary election, an indication the two well-known contestants wanted to attempt to guard against an upset while the third needed to greatly increase name recognition in a condensed timeframe.
Incumbent Mayor Andy Beerman beat the fundraising numbers of the two challengers, according to campaign financial reports filed this month by each of the candidates. Beerman received a little less than $40,000 in contributions and spent nearly $8,700 through Aug. 2. The campaign had a balance of a little over $31,000 at the time of the filing.
Nann Worel, a member of the Park City Council, raised a little less than $31,000 and spent nearly $13,900, leaving the campaign with a balance of approximately $16,700 when the report was filed. Investment banker David Dobkin, who is a recent arrival to Park City political circles, raised a little less than $30,600 and spent upward of $24,500. The campaign had a balance of a little more than $6,000 when he filed the report.
Beerman and Worel are two of the top political names in Park City. The incumbent served on the City Council prior to his mayoral victory four years ago and came to prominence as a Main Street businessman while Worel was a member of the Park City Planning Commission and a not-for-profit leader. Dobkin moved to Park City on a full-time basis in 2020 and lacks a record of public service in the community.
Dobkin self-financed much of the campaign to date, contributing a little more than $26,700 to the effort. He said in an interview he needed to rapidly become known to voters, influencing the campaign’s spending on advertising. He said the campaign launched from a “standing start.”
“Quite frankly, name recognition is part of it,” he said, adding he planned to continue spending on advertising prior to the primary.
He said he has not “outwardly solicited” contributions during the primary season and has told potential contributors to wait until the general election to give to the campaign should he clear the primary.
In an unusual set of expenditures for a City Hall campaign, Dobkin listed a $236.79 flight for a staffer and related charges like airport parking. He said the flight and other charges were to bring a longtime administrative assistant to Park City for a town hall.
Beerman’s list of financial backers included a series of well-known figures, but two contributions of $10,000 each overshadowed the others. According to the filing, David Van Debburgh, with a listed address in Phoenix, contributed $10,000 in early July. A firm called Authentic Mexican LLC contributed $10,000 on the same day. The form identifies JC Martinez and Lily Martinez on the mailing address of Authentic Mexican LLC.
Beerman said the Martinez couple owns Tekila Mexican Grill & Cantina at the Treasure Mountain Inn on Main Street. A business entity controlled by Beerman and his wife owns the space that is leased for the restaurant.
The mayor said he does not know Van Debburgh well and said the contributor owns a vacation home close to the City Hall-owned Treasure acreage overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift. The municipal government acquired the land in a conservation deal earlier in the Beerman administration. The $64 million deal blocked a major development.
Beerman said Van Debburgh is grateful City Hall acquired the Treasure land. He said they met at a Beerman fundraiser in Old Town and Van Debburgh talked about Beerman’s work on the acquisition and other open space agreements.
“He appreciated my role,” Beerman said.
The Beerman contributor list, meanwhile, includes one of the key figures in a group that opposed the Treasure development proposal and supported the conservation deal. Niels Vernegaard contributed $750.
Well-known figures who contributed to the Beerman campaign included:
• Ski Utah President and CEO Nathan Rafferty, who contributed $500.
• former Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, who contributed $100.
• former Black Diamond Equipment CEO Peter Metcalf, who contributed a combined $500 on one day.
• Summit County Councilor Chris Robinson, who contributed $500.
• former Congressman Ben McAdams and his wife, who contributed $1,000.
Worel’s list of contributors includes individuals and several corporate interests. Two contributions of $5,000 apiece topped the list. John Kenworthy, a Main Street businessman and a member of the Planning Commission, contributed $5,000 in April while a couple listed as Jim Bartimus or Dana Bartimus, with a listed address in the Kansas City, Missouri, suburb of Leawood, Kansas, made a $5,000 contribution in the same month. Jim Bartimus and Dana Bartimus are personal friends of the Worels.
Three contributions of $500 each came from businesses under the same corporate umbrella. The businesses are Butcher’s Chop House & Bar, the Bone Yard, LLC and America’s Last Authentic Mining Org, which is linked to the No Name Saloon.
Some of the notable figures who contributed to the Worel campaign include former Summit County Manager Robert Jasper, who gave $100, former Park City Board of Education member Lisa Kirchenheiter and Bruce Kirchenheiter, who gave $100, Summit County Councilor Glenn Wright, who contributed $100, and longtime Parkites Charlie and Mary Wintzer, who contributed $500.
Worel said the contributor report shows she has a “broad base of support.” She noted the business backing from places in the Main Street core.
“I have a lot of support on Main Street,” she said. “They’re frustrated and they want change.”
Highlights from the financial reports filed by the Park City Council candidates include:
• Tana Toly raising just less than $10,000 and spending a little more than $9,500. Toly and her family’s Red Banjo Pizza restaurant contributed heavily to the campaign.
• Daniel Lewis raising $1,040 and spending the same amount. Volker Ritzinger contributed the majority of the funds.
• John Greenfield raising nearly $2,100 and spending nearly $2,000. Greenfield or members of his family contributed most of the funds.
• Tim Henney, an incumbent member of the City Council, raising $1,560 and spending nearly $1,100. Henney raised the monies through low-dollar contributions.
• Michael Franchek raising $399 and spending $383. Franchek self-funded the $399.
• Jeremy Rubell raising nearly $8,700 and spending nearly all of the funds. The Rubells were the largest contributor.
• Jamison Brandi raising $2,100 and spending nearly $1,400. Trevor Rathers contributed nearly all the funds.
• Thomas Purcell raising nearly $5,100 and spending the entire amount. He self-funded the entire amount.
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A former mayor of Park City, Jack Thomas, recently testified at a Park City Planning Commission meeting regarding the concept for a major development at Snow Park, essentially praising the overarching vision but cautioning the review will likely be extensive.