Aurora city council candidates continue collecting, spending cash as election nears

Russ Wagner was again near the front of the pack this reporting period. He raised $16,595. He had a $5,000 donation from the Metro Housing Coalition Political Committee. He spent $21,744. Most of that on consulting

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AURORA  | The latest Aurora City Council candidate campaign finance documents show a final push for fundraising, some noteworthy contributors and a considerable, but expected, amount of money from developers trickling into each of the four races.

Of the 20 candidates, not all reported contributions. In the at-large race, which has eight candidates, Abel Laeke didn’t submit campaign finance reports as of Oct. 24.

For this reporting period, Allison Hiltz raised $8,767, David Gruber raised $4,285 and Tom Tobiassen raised $4,342. Brian Arnold raised just under $5,000 and Reid Hettich raised $7,220.

In the last report, Tobiassen raised nearly $29,000, the most of council candidates during that reporting period.

Russ Wagner was again near the front of the pack this reporting period. He raised $16,595. He had a $5,000 donation from the Metro Housing Coalition Political Committee. He spent $21,744. Most of that on consulting.

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Tim Huffman was the fundraising runner-up with $14,271, but the biggest spender in the at-large race, with nearly $30,000 in expenditures. $23,000 of that was spent on a California-based political strategy company.

Huffman’s biggest contribution was $2,500 from M&M Auto Reconditioning Inc., an Aurora-based business on East Colfax Ave. He also had several $1,000 donations from developers and citizens.

In Ward I, incumbent Sally Mounier out-fundraised Crystal Murillo by nearly double. Mounier raised $12,425, while Murillo brought in $6,622.50.

Mounier received a $4,000 donation from Nebo Development and $2,500 from the Metro Housing Coalition Political Committee. The incumbent didn’t spend any money on consulting, but rather opted to put her contributions into direct mail campaigning.

Conservation Colorado Grassroots Action Fund contributed $1,000 to Murillo. Aurora Public School Board member Mary Lewis and State. Rep. Janet Buckner, who represents Aurora, and Boulder Congressman Jared Polis were also donors.

Murillo spent $7,859.

Mounier’s campaign previous finance paperwork disclosed that the candidate spent $2,300 on “opposition research” through a firm headed up by former Rocky Mountain News Reporter Jeff Kass.

In Ward II Nicole Johnston out-raised all of her opponents. She had $10,210 in contributions and spent $3,534. While a bulk of her contributions were made to campaign management,  $1,000 total, she also spent $500 on photography for mailings and digital media and more than $200 on food for different campaign events.

Bob Hagedorn raised just short of $10,000.

In Ward III, Marsha Berzins raised $17,645 and spent close to $35,000. Berzins also received $2,500 from the Metro Housing Coalition Political Committee. None of Berzins’ campaign contributions over $1,000 came from companies based or people living in Aurora.

Robert Hargrove raised $20 from himself. Martha Lugo raised just over $3,000, $500 coming from a Centennial-based group called “Hardcore Democrats.” She spent $1,257.

Debi Hunter Holen, a former council member hoping to return to office, raised $11,451 and spent $13,763. She received contributions from Lewis, Congressman Ed Perlmutter and David Aarestad, who is challenging Aurora Congressman Mike Coffman.

There was no finance report available for Naquetta Ricks.

Ballots were sent out in Arapahoe and Adams county last week. Ballots can be returned through the mail with .49 cent postage or a Forever Stamp. A list of drop-off locations for both counties can be found on at www.arapahoevotes.com and www.adams.com.

See all of the Aurora Sentinel comprehensive Aurora City Council election information here.