Challengers report higher contributions than incumbents

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SHERIDAN — Challengers in local races for the 2014 primary election raised more money than incumbents by huge margins for the May 12-Aug. 12 filing period. On the state level, though, candidate contributions vary more based on sources rather than total dollar amounts.

The largest margins could be seen in the race for Sheridan County Commission and Sheridan County treasurer.

County Commission challenger Dennis Fox raised $6,729 in contributions, though all but $100 of it was out of his own pockets. In comparison, the three incumbent commissioners — Bob Rolston, Steve Maier and Terry Cram — reported a combined $500 in contributions.

In the race for county treasurer, challenger Scott Hininger raised $6,634.08, all of it coming from his own pockets. In comparison, 12-year incumbent Pete Carroll raised $2,790, but more than half came from 14 contributors.

The candidates in the remaining county races, which are all unopposed, reported little or no contributions for the early filing period.

Two challengers in the race for the 2-year Sheridan City Council seat, Mona Hansen and Thayer Shafer, reported contributions higher than current Councilman Bob Webster. Hansen and Shafer had $2,444 and $2,255 in contributions, respectively. Nearly all of both candidates contributions were from their own pockets. Webster raised $1,363 in contributions, all of which were also personal.

None of the candidates for the four-year Sheridan City Council term, Ranchester mayor, Ranchester Town Council or Dayton mayor raised more than $420 in contributions for their campaigns.

At the state level, Rep. John Patton, R-Sheridan, is the only incumbent candidate that has not accepted contributions from state or federal PACs.

Patton’s candidate committee, Friends of John W. Patton, has raised $5,207 in contributions with $685 coming from private individual contributions. Patton or his immediate family members gave the remainder of the contributions.

His challenger, Sheridan businessman Ryan Mulholland, has raised $3,425 through the Committee to Elect Ryan Mulholland. All of the contributions came from private donors.

In House District 30, Rep. Kathy Coleman racked up $6,972 in contributions, $2,400 of which came from state and federal PACs. Those organizations giving to Coleman include the United Transportation Union PAC, Wyoming Education Association PAC for education, Wyoming Stock Growers Ag PAC and the Wyoming Hospital Association PAC. Of Coleman’s total contributions, $150 came from the House Republican Caucus, $1,200 came from individuals and $3,222 came from immediate family or personal contributions from the candidate.

Coleman’s challenger Mark Jennings raised $7,692 in contributions, including  $5,420 from 41 individual donors. The remainder of the money Jennings raised came from immediate family or personal contributions and in-kind gifts.

In House District 40, incumbent Rep. Mike Madden reported $5,078 in contributions, including $3,800 from PACs. The $1,800 Madden received from federal PACs came from the BNSF Rail PAC, BP employee PAC, Arch Coal Inc. PAC, Oneok employees PAC, Cloud Peak Energy employees PAC and the Chesapeake Energy Corporation Federal PAC. Statewide PACs that contributed to Madden were the Lawyers Active in Wyoming, Wyoming Rural Electric Association, Wyoming Stock Growers Ag PAC, Wyoming Realtors and the Wyoming Mining Association.

HD40 challenger Jenny Wuerker raised $3,923 in contributions. Of that total, 10 individuals gave a total of $2,670 to her campaign.

Statewide candidates running unopposed in the 2014 primary reported contributions from PACs too. Rep. Rosie Berger, R-Big Horn, brought in $3,150 from state and federal PACs for her Committee to Re-Elect Rosie Berger. Sen. Bruce Burns, R-Sheridan, brought in $450 in PAC contributions through his Citizens for Bruce Burns committee.

By |August 18th, 2014|

About the Author:

Kristen Czaban joined The Sheridan Press staff in 2008 and covered beats including local government, cops and courts and the energy industry. In 2012, she was promoted and now serves as the managing editor for The Press. Czaban has a journalism degree from Northwestern University.