One positive of announcing your candidacy early: There’s more time to raise money, and spend money.
The first campaign expense filing for the November 2020 election shows La Plata County commissioner candidate Marsha Porter-Norton handily outspent and out-raised the other candidates.
Porter-Norton, who has been on the campaign trail since February, reported Friday she has raised about $12,200 and spent about $6,000 on her bid for county commission.
Porter-Norton, a Democrat, is running against Durango resident Jack Turner, an unaffiliated candidate, for District 2.
Notable contributions came from term-limited La Plata County Commissioner Gwen Lachelt, whose seat Porter-Norton is vying for. Lachelt, who donated $100, said she has formally endorsed Porter-Norton. Commissioner Julie Westendorff also donated $100.
Other notable contributions: $1,000 from Durango resident Anne Markward; $1,000 from R. Ken and Lois Carpenter; $500 from Paulette Church (whose husband, Clyde, is a county commissioner); and $500 from Al Harper, owner of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
Deborah Uroda, the news director for Durango TV, donated $250.
Porter-Norton’s expenses included about $2,250 to a Farmington company and $850 to a Durango company for communications, graphic design and printing costs; $465 for a website; $700 to a Denver company for campaign management; and $200 to the Democratic Party for voter information.
She reported $6,180 on hand at the end of the filing period, which ran from October 2018 to Oct. 27, 2019.
“I have received 90 donations to date, and I appreciate how much people believe in me,” Porter-Norton said in an email to supporters. “My donors are from all over La Plata County. I also appreciate all investments of money and time, at any level.”
Porter-Norton’s opponent, Jack Turner, reported about $3,150 in contributions. Turner announced in mid-October his bid for county commission.
Notable contributions include: $1,000 from Thomas Duke, a Durango resident who used to own Target Rental; and $1,500 from Jim and Bill Carver with Carver Brewing Co.
Turner spent about $230 on miscellaneous campaign costs.
District 3Campaign spending hasn’t quite kicked in for the two candidates vying for the District 3 seat: Charly Minkler, an unaffiliated candidate, and Matt Salka, a Democrat who is currently mayor of Bayfield.
Minkler reported only $225 in donations. He reportedly filed a $1,000 loan to himself, which allows candidates to pay themselves back as contributions roll in.
As of Friday, Minkler, who announced his candidacy in mid-September, had not reported spending any cash on his campaign.
Salka had $1,200 in donations, notably: $500 from Markward and $150 from Paulette Church.
Westendorff, who holds District 3 and is term-limited, donated $50 to Salka. Westendorff said she has officially endorsed Salka.
Salka, who announced in May his intention to run for county commission, reported spending about $250 on miscellaneous campaign costs. He had $1,090 on hand at the end of the filing period.