Even candidates in low-profile races have to raise money, and those seeking State Board of Education and the University of Colorado Regents seats have been doing that all year – often $10 at a time.
The largest amount of money, relatively speaking, have been raised in the rematch between Democratic incumbent Stephen Ludwig and Republican Brian Davidson for an at-large seat on the Board of Regents. The two have raised a total of about $84,000 in monetary contributions.
Even though that race is the only statewide contest on ballots this year, that total is in the same neighborhood as what might be contributed in a fairly low-intensity legislative contest.
Davidson had raised $53,637 as of the Oct. 15 reporting deadline, while Ludwig’s total was $28,393. But Ludwig last spring also received non-monetary contributions of more than $14,000, most of it from the Colorado Democratic Party for use of computerized voter files. In 2006, Ludwig narrowly defeated Davidson, who is a doctor at the CU medical center.
Total contributions in three other district races for the board run to less than $40,000 per race, and less than $20,000 has been raised in the one Democratic-Republican contest for a State Board of Education seat.
The pattern of donations in races for the two boards is noticeably different than that seen in higher-profile legislative contests, where contributions from small donor and political action committees play a bigger role. Corporations can’t contribute to candidates or candidate committees, although they can give to issue committees, such as those backing school district tax proposals this year.
The state education board races are more dominated by individual donors, many of whom gave as little as $10 or $25 and few of whom gave more than $400. Much of the giving is relationship-based and comes from relatives, friends, coworkers and political associates.
County political party committees and other party groups are common donors; legislators and members of Congress have given modest donations to fellow party members. In the CU regents’ races, there’s a pattern of current regents and candidates giving donations to each other.
Breaking down the contributions
Here are snapshots of fundraising in the CU regents’ and State Board of Education races, along with the names of some donors of note.
State Board of Education District 2
Ann Fattor (R) – $2,270 raised, $1,424 on hand as of Oct. 15. Donors include several local Republican groups, Jeffco school board member Laura Boggs and Colorado Association of School Boards lobbyist Jane Urschel. Fattor also reported about $3,000 of in-kind donations from herself.
Angelika Schroeder (D, incumbent) – $16,763 raised, $6,136 on hand. Donors include lots of individuals from Boulder, where she lives; several Democratic groups and former Congressman David Skaggs, current U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and Sen. Mark Udall. She also received money from fellow state board member Elaine Gantz Berman; from Greeley Superintendent Ranelle Lang, who’s married to education Commissioner Robert Hammond; from Urschel and from Jeffco board President Lesley Dahlkemper. Schroeder is one candidate who’s received relatively significant contributions from education interest groups, including Democrats for Education Reform ($400), Poudre Education Association ($1,000), American Federation of Teachers ($1,000) and the Public Education Committee, a Colorado Education Association group ($2,250).
State Board of Education District 4
Pamela Mazanec (R) – $2,046 raised, $180.96 on hand. Contributors include the Douglas County Republican Central Committee, GOP state Rep. Carole Murray of Castle Rock and Jeffco school board member Laura Boggs. Mazanec doesn’t have a Democratic opponent.
CU Regents at-large
Brian Davidson (R) – $55,637 raised, $11,936 on hand. Donors include a long list of Republican luminaries, such as House Speaker Frank McNulty, state Treasurer Walker Stapleton, Pete and Joe Coors, Bob Beauprez, current regent Kyle Hybl and former regent Norwood Robb. Other donors of note were billionaire Phil Anschutz, political power broker Norm Brownstein, developer Walt Koelbel, Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort and developer Jordan Perlmutter, uncle of Democratic Congressman Ed Perlmutter. Davidson also has spent more than $6,000 of his own money on the campaign.
Stephen Ludwig (D, incumbent) – $28,393 raised (plus a total of $14,714 in-kind), $6,258 on hand. Contributors include political operative Mike Dino, Colorado Commission on Higher Education member and Denver school board member Happy Haynes, former CU-Denver Chancellor Jerry Wartgow, lawyer Franklin Azar, fellow Democratic regent Joe Neguse, state board member Jane Goff, former Congressman David Skaggs, current U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and Sen. Mark Udall and several Democratic legislators. The CEA’s Public Education Committee gave Ludwig $1,000.
CU Regents District 3
Glenn Gallegos (R) – $15,009 raised, $1,358 on hand. He’s received donations of $1,000 or more each from several county GOP committees in the sprawling Western Slope district, plus contributions from fellow regents Kyle Hybl and Steve Bosley, from state board member Marcia Neal and from Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster.
Jessica Garrow (D) – $21,386 raised, $10,481 on hand. Garrow has a large number of individual donations, many from wealthy Pitkin County, plus contributions from the Blueflower Fund, a Colorado organization that supports Democratic women candidates, and from the national group Emily’s List. She’s also received money from former Congressman David Skaggs and Democratic regents Irene Griego and Michael Carrigan.
CU Regents District 5
Kyle Hybl (R, incumbent) – Although he doesn’t have a Democratic opponent, Hybl has raised a war chest of $10,836 (some of it left over from a previous campaign) and has $7,301 in the bank.
CU Regents District 7
Mary Dambman (R) – $10,969 raised, $6,487 on hand. In addition to donations from Republican groups, she has received contributions from former CU presidents Hank Brown and John Buechner, former U.S. Sen. Bill Armstrong, Pete and Joe Coors, Bob Beauprez, regent Steve Bosley and regent hopeful Brian Davidson, Jeffco board member Laura Boggs and former Denver board member Les Woodward.
Irene Griego (D, appointed incumbent) – $15,905 raised, $2,253 on hand. A former Jeffco schools administrator, Griego has received contributions from Superintendent Cindy Stevenson, Jeffco school board members Lesley Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman, former board members Hereford Percy and Dave Thomas and from several district teachers. She’s also received contributions from former Congressman David Skaggs, state board member Jane Goff, Lobato case lead lawyer Kathleen Gebhardt, fellow Democratic regent Joe Neguse and regent hopeful Jessica Garrow. The CEA’s Public Education Committee gave her $1,000.
The next finance reports for state board and CU regent candidates are due Oct. 29 and final reports must be filed by Dec. 6.