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Wong’s donations top field

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

Dennis Wong, the upstart Park City Council candidate with little name recognition as the campaign began, has spent more money on the contest than anyone else in the field, relying heavily on his own savings to bankroll his bid.

The six candidates seeking a City Council spot recently filed campaign-finance reports showing who donated to the campaigns and how the candidates spent the money. The figures are similar to those in recent City Council campaigns, and nobody raised or spent close to $10,000 before the end of October, when the reports were due. The candidates will file a final report after Election Day.

Wong’s statements show he has run a campaign with a balanced budget so far, raising and spending $7,709.82. He financed much of the campaign himself, putting $4,209.82 into his election account on Oct. 28. He classifies the money as a loan.

Wong was an unknown in Park City politics before he filed campaign papers earlier in the year, but he quickly attracted followers, finishing second in the September primary election.

"People needed to attach a face and name to the message," Wong says about the money he spent on the campaign.

Campaigning for the primary, when one candidate was cut, added to the expenses, Wong says. He did not want a primary held, but seven people filed as candidates for the three seats on the ballot, requiring the primary.

"I’m hoping there wouldn’t be a primary, but there was," he says about his earlier wishes. "I had to do it twice."

The largest outside donations to Wong were $500, and four people gave that amount. Three of the $500 donors are from the same Thaynes Canyon neighborhood. Notable Parkites who gave include Charlie and Mary Wintzer, who donated $100 to Wong. Charlie Wintzer is a member of the Park City Planning Commission, and the couple has large commercial holdings in the Iron Horse district.

Wong spent heavily on traditional expenses in Park City campaigns — printing signs and brochures and newspaper advertising. The other candidates spent their campaign money on similar expenses.

Highlights from campaign-finance reports from the other candidates include:

( Liza Simpson received $6,874.95 in donations and spent $2,449.49. Notable donations include $1,000 from Jesse Shetler, who owns the No Name Saloon, $200 from City Councilwoman Marianne Cone, $200 from the Wintzers, $100 from Mayor Dana Williams and his wife and $100 from developer Rory Murphy. She received $500 from Planned Parenthood.

( Bruce Taylor nabbed $5,499 in donations and spent $5,309.31. He funded $2,250 himself. Well-known donors include Summit County Commissioner Sally Elliott and her husband, who gave $50, and Bob Richer, another Summit County Commissioner, gave $100. Murphy, the developer, gave $100.

( Joe Kernan garnered $3,050 in donations and spent $1,877.11. Family members largely funded his campaign. He received $100 from Richer.

( Candy Erickson raised $2,050 in donations, including $500 donations from Tom and Kay Dunton and Phil Thompson, and $100 from Murphy.

( Kacy Quinley raised $1,300, mostly from Parkites. None of her donations topped $250.


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