Fundraising in Utah AG’s race slowed post- John Swallow
After years of scandal stemming from money and campaign contributions flowing to the attorney general’s race, it appears both candidates have taken a more reserved approach, although big donations continue to flow to Republican incumbent Attorney General Sean Reyes.
Reyes has received a handful of contributions in excess of $10,000 during the campaign, including a $20,000 donation last week from a renewable-energy company.
Reyes has raised more than $262,000 since taking office last December and has nearly $93,000 at his disposal for the campaign.
It is considerably less than the $1.1 million that was raked in by former Attorney General John Swallow during his run in 2012 — before a massive political scandal forced him out of office less than a year into his term — but enough to give Reyes a sizable fundraising lead over his Democratic challenger, Charles Stormont.
Stormont, who swore off contributions from industries that he said were likely to come under scrutiny by the attorney general’s office, raised scores of small donations, bringing in $42,107 over the last three months with an average contribution of just over $144.
"We actually feel really good," Stormont said of his fundraising total. "We haven’t spent much either. I feel like we’re being very efficient with our fundraising. … Most of those folks don’t have $10,000 checks they can write, but they can write a check for $10, $50 or $100, because they believe in what we’re up to and trying to bring reform to the attorney general’s office."
Stormont said it doesn’t cost money to go out and meet people, which he’s done at parades and fairs around the state. It’s also telling, he said, that many local lawyers and law firms have kicked in money to his campaign, a sign that he has support in the local legal community. His first billboards are expected to go up this week and he is outlining a radio and television strategy.
One legislative candidate — Democrat Mark Byrge, who was charged in July with kidnapping and aggravated assault for an incident in which he allegedly pistol-whipped a man — failed to file his report and will be kicked off the ballot in House District 56 in American Fork.
In House District 31, where Rep. Larry Wiley eked out a razor-thin 71-vote victory in 2012, he and Sophia DiCaro, the deputy director of the Governors Office of Economic Development, are tight in fundraising in what promises to be another close contest.
DiCaro has out-raised the incumbent, bringing in $32,253 this year and has $22,750 left in her account; Wiley has raised $28,394 and has more than $19,000 to spend in the final two months.
Former Democratic Rep. Brad King, D-Price, had raised more than $8,000 in the quarter and $12,000 so far in the year, as he tries to regain a seat he held until 2008. King has $6,652 left to spend. He is facing Republican Bill Labrum, who knocked off incumbent Rep. Jerry Anderson at the GOP convention. Labrum has raised nearly $19,000 this year and has just under $6,000 left in his account.
Democratic candidate Mike Lee — no relation to the U.S. senator by the same name — had a sizeable fundraising edge over his Republican opponent, former Rep. Fred Cox, in West Valley City’s House District 30.
In Senate District 12, which includes Magna and Tooele County, Democratic challenger Clare Collard has raised more than $30,000 in her challenge to Republican Sen. Daniel Thatcher. Collard has burned through much of it, however, and has just over $8,000 left in the bank. Thatcher has raised $42,647 but spent very little and has more than $36,000 on hand.