Basalt mayoral race was an expensive one |

Basalt mayoral race was an expensive one

BASALT – The two candidates in last month’s Basalt mayoral race spent nearly $5,200 on the contest.

Winning candidate Jacque Whitsitt collected $3,045 in contributions, according to her three finance reports required during the campaign. She spent $3,296.90, her reports showed. The balance of $251.90 came out of her pockets, she said.

Whitsitt’s expenditures included $1,873.62 in advertising in The Aspen Times and $386.04 in advertising in the Aspen Daily News, printing materials and placement of recorded telephone calls to voters.

Mayoral candidate Glenn Rappaport reported collecting $455.98 in contributions. His report said he collected donations of $19.99 or less so he didn’t have to list the individual donors under Basalt regulations.

Rappaport had expenditures of $1,900 for printing of campaign materials and construction of a website. Like Whitsitt, he covered the deficit out of his pocket.

Mayoral races in Basalt traditionally have been low-key affairs, at least in terms of campaign finances. Former Mayor Leroy Duroux ran unopposed four years ago. He faced a challenger in 2004, but he relied on personal contact rather than advertising or direct-mail pieces.

Duroux’s predecessor, Rick Stevens, also spent little on his mayoral bid in 2000. He was unopposed in the 1996 mayor’s race.

Whitsitt and Rappaport were both longtime members of the Basalt Town Council heading into the April election for mayor. Both have high name recognition among Basaltines immersed in civic matters. Whitsitt said that weighed into her decision to seek more contributions for her mayoral campaign than she had in prior elections for council.

“I knew that if I had any chance of winning I had to ramp it up from historical times,” she said.

Whitsitt and Rappaport also spent significant time going from door to door and meeting with residents at downtown businesses – campaign procedures that require investments of time rather than money.

There wasn’t much spending by the five candidates for three council seats in the April election. Stevens, the former mayor, accepted no contributions and had no expenditures, according to his disclosure form.

Robert Leavitt spent $102.83 of his own money to print fliers, his report said.

Herschel Ross spent $357.29 of his own funds on a lawn sign, printing of materials and postage, his report said.

Stevens, Leavitt and Ross won the council seats.

Bill Maron collected $1,150 in contributions and spent $1,067 on his campaign, his report said. Candidate Lemuel Bolanos didn’t collect or spend campaign funds, his disclosure form said.

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