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Winning DPS candidates outraised opponents by four to one

Update: This post has been updated to reflect the amended filing of DPS candidate Meg Schomp.

The slate of candidates who won their seats on the Denver Public Schools Board of Education in November’s election raised nearly four times the amount as their opponents, campaign finance reports filed Thursday with Secretary of State show.

Backed by a loose but well-oiled coalition of so-called education reform advocates, Barbara O’Brien, Landri Taylor, Mike Johnson and Rosemary Rodriguez raised a combined total of $645,439.

Their respective opponents — Michael Kiley, Roger Kilgore, Meg Schomp and Rosario C de Baca — raised $173,609.

The final campaign donation reports deadline was Thursday. As of publishing time, de Baca had yet to file her final ledger.

In general, donations slowed in the final period from Oct. 28 through the end of November.

Taylor, who was appointed to the board earlier this year and was running for his seat for the first time, took in the most during the period: $23,640. In great contrast, his opponent for the northeast district, Kilgore raised $1,280.

Overall, at-large candidate O’Brien garnered the largest war chest of $198,609.

Almost half of the donations raised by the winning slate, which generally supports the district’s trajectory, came from just a few dozen people. Of the $645,439 raised, $284,975, or 44 percent, was given by 53 people.

Among the last minute donors were former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, who gave $450, and political consultant Maria Garcia Berry, who gave $750. Colorado University President Bruce Benson donated an additional $1,000, while DaVita CEO Kent Thirty pitched in another $5,000.

The slate of reformers attracted money from beyond the Rocky Mountains. Reid Hoffman, venture capitalist and co-founder of LinkedIn, and his wife Michelle Yee gave a combined $14,000 in the last period.

The Denver Classroom Teachers Assocation donated the lion’s share to both Schomp’s and Kiley’s last fundraising effort. The teachers union gave a little more than $7,000 to each candidate.

While the campaigns were costly, they fell short of breaking records. Happy Haynes, elected in 2011, raised nearly $250,000 for her seat.


  • Barbara O’Brien (winner) – Raised $198,609. She has a remaining balance of about $1,500.
  • Michael Kiley – Raised $47,159. He has nearly $9,000 cash on hand.

District 4

  • Landri Taylor (winner) – Raised $133,491. He has $2,300 remaining.
  • Roger Kilgore — $46,559. He owes his campaign $240.

District 2

  • Rosemary Rodriguez (winner) – Raised $124,785. She has more than $9,000 left over.
  • Rosario C de Baca – Has not filed her final report.

District 3

  • Mike Johnson (winner) – Raised $188,554. He has $9,365 in his war chest.
  • Meg Schomp – Raised $53,939. She has a little more than $3,000 remaining. She raised $7,000 in the last period.

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