GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KREX) — Driving around the city you might’ve noticed billboards with names like Sandra Weckerly, Cody Kennedy, or Jason Nguyen. These are a few candidates running for seats on grand junction’s city council, but where did they get the money for all these billboards, yard signs, and door hangers?
Where is the money coming from?
All the candidates I spoke with said most of their money came from within Mesa County.
Probably 90 to 95% of it has come from Mesa County doners.Diane Schwenke, At-Large City Council Candidate
The small amounts of money that did come from out of the state were donated by friends or family. Jason Nguyen, a candidate for District B, said his mom who lives in California donated.
What is the money being spent on?
The candidates said it was mostly spent on billboards, signs, and door hangers. There were some radio and TV ads as well, Cody Kennedy, running for District A, told me he even spent some funds on targeted social media ads. But not everyone spent the same amount.
Who has the most campaign money?
Sandra Weckerly reported the most campaign funds at $30,160, with $17,000 of her own money. The lowest reported amount was from Michael Beauel who told KREX over the phone he has $0 in his campaign fund.
Jamie Porta, a candidate for District A, said she only took out a loan for $1,500, “What I kind of said, in the beginning, was if you’ve got extra money to spend on politics maybe put it towards the food bank instead they need it a lot more than we do.” Porta said she’s only spent $256 during a trip to a hardware store to get supplies to make her own campaign signs.
Weckerly told me she spent $17,000 of her own money to help get her name out there, “I know I have more of an uphill battle with name recognition which is why I’ve spent most of my funding on billboards.”
Has the campaign funding disparity made a difference in the race?
Porta said in some ways she felt it was a disadvantage.
I think we’ve had to be more targeted with how we spend, we’re looking for the most effective ways at the cheapest cost to reach voters.Jason Nguyen, District B, City Council Candidate
But besides hearing what the candidates feel, we’ll have to wait until the election on April 4th to see how much of a difference, if any, the amount of campaign funding made in the City Council race. Ballots for the election are in the mail, so start checking your mailboxes.
We tried to reach Greg Haitz multiple times but did not hear back. We chose not to include Anna Stout as she’s running unopposed in District C.