Office seekers disclose finances |

Office seekers disclose finances

by Kurt Hildebrand

County commission candidate Joe Denton outspent rival Doug Johnson by $2,000 going into Tuesday’s primary election, according to forms filed by the candidates this week.

Today is the last day to cast a ballot in early voting before Tuesday’s election.

Denton contributed $10,000 of his own money to the campaign, which could decide who the next county commissioner will be.

“When I talked to others about how much it costs to run for office, they said it was $30,000-$40,000,” he said.

Denton reported spending $11,779.41 to Johnson’s $9,625.35. Both men reported raising similar amounts of money, with Johnson raising $3,637 to Denton’s $3,300.

Candidate Valida McMichael spent the least of the three candidates seeking to replace commissioner Bernie Curtis in his District 3 seat.

McMichael raised $4,600, which included $2,000 of her own money and spent $3,827.59 when she’d filed her disclosure form on Monday.

Denton’s contributors included $1,000 from Jack White Homes and $500 from Sharkey’s. Summit Homes donated $300. Donating $250 each were Steve Wassner, Intralink Corp. and Nathan Young.

All three candidates spent a good portion of their budgets on signs, although Denton also invested in a television commercial appearing on seven cable networks in Douglas County.

“I think the commercial was very well done,” Denton said. “But winning the race will come down to shaking hands.”

While county commissioners represent districts, they are elected at large. However, only Douglas County registered Republicans will be able to vote for commissioner in Tuesday’s primary.

Denton has received the endorsement of the Douglas County Builder’s Industry Association while Johnson has been endorsed by the political committee established by supporters of the Sustainable Growth Initiative.

McMichael has been endorsed by nearly a dozen old Carson Valley ranching families and those who served on the planning commission with her.

With Republicans outnumbering Democrats in Douglas County by nearly 2-1, the primary is expected to decide who the next county commissioner from district 3 will be.

Democrat Jane Foraker-Thompson reported receiving $2,255 in donations. Of that $1,000 came from the Douglas County Democratic Women. She has spent $1,154.50 so far in the race.

Independent Sam Dupuis’ statement showed he raised no money and has spent nothing on his campaign, so far.

Commission chairman Kelly Kite is facing a challenge from Edie Webber in the general election.

The two Republicans both filed their financial disclosure forms this week, showing their preliminary spending in preparation for the race in November.

Incumbent Kite reported raising $7,873.08 and spending $4,148.62 so far in the election. By far his largest contributor has been the Sierra Nevada Association of Realtors, which donated $5,000 to his cause. Gerry Bing of Bing Construction donated $500 to Kite’s race and Carole Thompson donated $200.

Kites’ expenditures have mostly been for signs in this early phase of the campaign.

Webber reported raising $3,898, with several $500 contributors, including SGI activist Judy Sturgis and former county commissioner Bob Allgeier. Rounding out the list of Webber’s $500 contributors are Mary Lou Bentley, David and Janet Bingham and Ted and Helen Frederick.

Webber has so far spent $2,636.73 in the race.

— Kurt Hildebrand can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 215.