Candidates in high profile West Valley City race fill campaign coffers
Candidates battling for the top elected post in Utah's second largest city have raised about $38,000 as Election Day nears, with other mayoral races reporting total contributions ranging from nothing to six figures.
West Valley City mayoral hopeful Ron Bigelow reported raising $22,098. Most of that $19,843 came from his legislative campaign account, which showed a balance of $30,000 at the end of last year.
His opponent, Karen Lang, listed herself as contributing the bulk of the money $11,509 in October and $3,877 in November 2011, after she won a seat on the West Valley City Council. The other contributions she reported were a $500 contribution from the Salt Lake Board of Realtors and a $15 in-kind donation.
Lang, a business owner, is in her first term on the council after serving on the Planning Commission for a decade. Bigelow is a certified public accountant who represented West Valley City in the Utah House from 1995 until he gave up the seat in late 2010 to become state budget director.
Voters will select one of them to serve a four-year term in the general election on Tuesday. The winner will replace Mayor Mike Winder, who decided not to run for a second term.
With Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker not facing election this year (he won a second four-year term in 2011), West Valley's mayoral showdown is the highest profile race among the hundreds of municipal contests statewide to be decided Tuesday.
But the total campaign cash fueling the West Valley race is easily topped by fundraising going on in Sandy. Incumbent Mayor Tom Dolan has raised a whopping $160,205, and spent even more, while his opponent, David Perry, has raised just $1,595.
Other Salt Lake County cities with mayoral races that disclosed the following campaign finances, as of seven days before the election, include:
• Holladay. Robert Dahle raised $29,600 as of Aug. 1, including $20,000 from his personal funds. D. Blaine Anderson Raided $16,100. Holladay had not posted the most recent financial disclosures on its website.
Also up for election are three West Valley City Council seats.
In the race for an at-large seat, math teacher Lars Nordfelt raised $2,315, which includes his own $750 contribution. Phil Conder, chairman of the West Valley City Planning Commission, reported raising a campaign total of $611. The two are vying for the position now held by Don Christensen, who ran for mayor and was defeated in the primary.
In District 2, incumbent Steve Buhler, an attorney, reported a total of $6,780, including $2,510 of in-kind contributions. Jeff White, a research and development systems specialist, had $2,839.99, including his $600 contribution and about $750 of in-kind contributions.
The totals in District 4 were $780 for incumbent Steve Vincent ($80 from him) and zero for Mary Jayne Newton-Davis. Vincent is a project manager and Newton-Davis is an English professor at Salt Lake Community College.
Dan Harrie contributed to this report
WVC campaign finance statements
O See the contribution and expense reports filed by candidates for West Valley City offices online. > bit.ly/wvccash
Early voting ending soon
Friday is the last day to vote early in city elections. Polls are open at various city halls and civic locations across the Salt Lake Valley. For information on where and when you can cast your ballot, go to http://clerk.slco.org/elections/voteEarly.html. All mailed ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 4. Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.