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Tea party co-founder David Kirkham raised about $124,000 and has spent almost $91,000. Several of Kirkham’s largest donors are car collectors and customers who have purchased custom-made roadsters from Kirkham’s Provo company, Kirkham Motorsports.
He said those contributions are different from the companies that gave to the governor.
The following are the top sectors contributing to Gov. Gary Herbert’s re-election campaign since Jan. 1, 2011:
Energy » $235,500
Real Estate » $205,075
Medical » $93,000
Dietary Supplements » $75,500
Tech » $72,500
Banking & Finance » $62,500
Source: Campaign disclosures for the governor’s campaign account and political action committee.
"Deseret Power obviously has business here. My donors don’t. These are people who just believe in me," Kirkham said.
He said that as long as voters have all the information on the governor’s contributors voters can make up their own minds on whether they think it is an issue for them.
In 2010, Herbert’s Democratic opponent, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, raised questions about whether Herbert’s donors were getting special treatment, including a major donor that won a $1.1 billion contract to rebuild Interstate 15 through Utah County.
The contract process was badly flawed and resulted in a $13 million settlement payment with a losing bidder.
Corroon lost that election by a two-to-one margin.
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