Three Jefferson County school board incumbents spent more than $22,000 — more than six times as much as their two challengers — in the final days leading up to their easy victories.
Susan Harmon, Brad Rupert and Ron Mitchell each raised less than $1,000 in the last days before the election. But each spent more than $7,000 on consulting fees, Facebook ads, emails and cell phone payments to a few individuals.
The numbers are published in the last campaign finance reports filed to the state Thursday. The reports cover the financial contributions and expenditures that school board candidates logged from Oct. 30 through Dec. 2. Earlier reports showed a similar wide margin between money raised and spent by incumbents and opponents
Harmon and Rupert’s challengers, Erica Shields and Matt Van Gieson, reported several hundred dollars in contributions during the campaign’s last few days, including small contributions from the Jefferson County Republican Party. Shields also reported a $50 contribution from Ken Witt, a former school board member who was ousted in a 2015 recall election.
Shields spent about $2,000 in the last few days before the election including on Facebook ads and on phone calls. Gieson spent about $1,200 on Facebook ads and advertising in the Jeffco Observer.
School board incumbents also had strong support, including financially, from teachers unions.
On election night, incumbents Harmon and Rupert each beat their opponents by margins of about 20 percentage points. Incumbent board president Ron Mitchell had no opponent.