Vallario easily outdistances challenger in fundraising | AspenTimes.com

Vallario easily outdistances challenger in fundraising

John Stroud
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Incumbent Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario has raised six times as much in campaign contributions as Doug Winters, his opponent in the Aug. 10 Republican primary election for sheriff, according to state campaign finance reports.

As of the reporting period ending July 15, Vallario had raised $16,701 in contributions, compared to $1,134 for Winters, according to reports filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office this week.

Candidates for political offices throughout Colorado, as well as political committees, were required to file their first campaign finance reports of the election year by July 20. The reports are posted on the secretary of state’s website, http://www.elections.colorado.gov.

Winters, a Rifle resident and a detective with the neighboring Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, is challenging the two-term incumbent Vallario for the Republican nomination to run for sheriff in the Nov. 2 general election.

The only Democrat in the race, former sheriff Tom Dalessandri of Carbondale, is not facing a primary. He reported no campaign contributions or spending for the first reporting period.

Vallario reported having spent $11,652 to date on his campaign to retain the sheriff’s seat, while Winters spent $2,389, which is more than he actually took in contributions.

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Winters explained the discrepancy Monday during an interview on radio station KMTS that Vallario also attended.

“I am funding a lot of this campaign myself,” he said when questioned by Vallario about the $1,255 difference. “So, I don’t see it as a deficit; I’m just using my own money and not a lot of campaign contributions.”

While Vallario included on his report the amount he self-funded his own campaign, more than $4,000, Winters did not include the money he personally put into his campaign.

Vallario has also benefited from several large donors of $500 or more, while Winters’ largest single campaign donation has been $200.

Among Vallario’s largest donors were Mark Gould of Glenwood Springs and Dick Stephenson and Jim Calaway of Carbondale, each contributing $1,000.

Several $500 donors to the Vallario campaign included Mike Fattor, Joshua Goodsell, Kent Jolley and Paul Nelson of Glenwood Springs; Rick Broadhurst, Thomas Lloyd and William Roberts of Carbondale; Richard Dunston of Redmond, Wa.; and Tanny McGinnis, a sheriff’s office employee who resides in Gypsum.

During the Monday radio interview, Winters questioned Vallario for the latter’s “100/100” campaign, which seeks $100 from 100 sheriff’s office employees who support his re-election bid. The solicitation was only made of employees who had inquired about how they could help, and was done via personal e-mail, Vallario said.

A total of eight donors to Vallario’s campaign listed the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office as their employer.

Winters’ top donors to date have been Ken Wilson of Eagle, who gave $200, and Daniel McCarty, who gave $150. Several $100 donors have included Ross Talbott, owner of Apple Tree Park in New Castle and a conservative newspaper columnist for the Post Independent; Daniel Loya of Rifle, Clem Hughes of Carbondale, Frederick Hiort, Jr. of Rifle, Larry Gerbaz of Carbondale, and Dave Force of Glenwood Springs.

Other local political candidates, while not facing a primary election, were still required to file a finance report.

Democratic Garfield County Commissioner Tresi Houpt, who will face Republican Tom Jankovsky in her re-election bid this fall, reported campaign contributions so far of $22,948 and $9,542 in expenditures. Jankovsky reported $16,720 in contributions and $13,318 in spending to date.

In the contested race for Garfield County assessor, incumbent Democrat John Gorman reported $775 in contributions and $498 in expenditures. His Republican opponent, Jim Yellico, reported $500 in contributions and $487 so far in spending.

jstroud@postindependent.com