Sheriff candidates spend big |

Sheriff candidates spend big

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

So far, in his high-profile attempt to unseat Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds, write-in candidate Brody Taylor has spent nearly $20,000 more campaigning than the Republican incumbent.

Financial disclosures obtained this week indicated that Taylor, with seven days to Election Day, had spent $34,707 on his bid to replace the freshman sheriff.

The 31-year-old from Hoytsville, who is not affiliated with a political party, reported receiving $35,000 in campaign contributions from Utah County resident Jason Taylor, who is the candidate’s brother and campaign manager.

Taylor spent nearly $20,000 on yard signs and newspaper advertisements and $15,000 to retain an attorney to sue Woodland resident John Moon who allegedly attempted to blackmail Taylor into withdrawing from the contest.

While Taylor’s campaign coffers have seemingly relied on contributions made exclusively by family members, Edmunds, who is 34 years old, this week demonstrated wider spread support.

With his campaign in debt, the sheriff reported spending $15,460 and receiving $15,250 in campaign contributions.

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Among the more noteworthy contributors to Edmunds’ campaign are Don Skaggs, the sheriff’s friend from Salt Lake County who contributed $5,000 to Edmunds’ campaign.

Park City Police Department Lt. Phil Kirk gave Edmunds $250 while Park City Fire Chief Kelly Gee contributed $100 and former Park City Mayor Brad Olch $200 to the incumbent’s campaign.

Mike Hale, who owns an automobile dealership at Kimball Junction, contributed $2,000 to the sheriff’s bid for a second term and Silver Creek Communications and Executive Property Management each donated $500 to Edmunds’ re-election effort.

Tanger Outlet Centers Chief Executive Officer Stanley Tanger contributed $500 and Gary and John Vetterli each donated $2,500 to the sheriff’s campaign, according to campaign-finance documents.

"We made a decision as a campaign not to not take outside funds," said Jason Taylor, while criticizing Edmunds for accepting a $100 contribution from Sheriff’s Office Capt. Kyle Lewis. "As a sheriff, I would never accept campaign contributions from my employees."

Those remarks, however, are "preposterous," Edmunds countered.

"The fact that there is not one member from this community, including his brother, on [Taylor’s] campaign contributors list, I think says it all," the sheriff said. "If people truly support you, they’re going to support you financially."

Candidates for clerk more modest spenders

Those vying to replace lame-duck Summit County Clerk Sue Follett, who the Democratic Party ousted during its nominating convention last spring, combined had spent almost $11,000 going into the final week of the campaign.

Former Republican Summit County Clerk Kent Jones, who this year filed as a Democrat, spent about $7,698, according to campaign-finance documents obtained this week.

Having collected only $1,750 in contributions, Jones reportedly was $5,918 in the hole.

His opponent, Kathy Dopp, who is a member of the Desert Green Party running to replace Follett, had spent $2,817 on her campaign.

Dopp has contributed almost $2,768 of her own money to her campaign. She also received $20 from Jerrie Clark and Bill Adler contributed $30 to Dopp’s campaign.

The Summit County Democratic Party contributed $750 to Jones’ campaign while he received $1,000 from Dave and Cheryl Gillies.

Meanwhile, political action committees that oppose each other on whether to change the form of government in Summit County from the three-member County Commission to a five-member county council with a hired manager each reported spending several thousand dollars.

The largest contributor to Summit Steps Forward, a group encouraging voters to support the change Nov. 7, was Parkite Gill Blonsley, who donated $1,000 to the campaign.

Snyderville resident Steve Dougherty contributed $500 to Summit Steps Forward, Blonsley said, adding that the group has raised nearly $5,000.

Less is Best, a group against changing the form of government will likely spend around $5,000, Woodland resident Mike Marty said, adding that he and Summit County Democratic Party chairman Rob Weyher are the biggest contributors to Less is Best.