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Fueling The Campaigns

Who’s Got What In District 8

Compiled by Cara DeGette

Editor, GPHN

Money doesn’t make the world go ‘round, but in political campaigns, cash does help to get the word out and build name recognition. Here’s a breakdown of who’s supporting whom in the District 8 race – and highlights of what the campaign money is being spent on. (Note: Amounts of contributions and expenditures are as of March 15. All information from the candidate filings with the Denver Clerk & Recorder’s office.)

Chris Herndon

• Total contributions this election cycle: $77,684

• Total amount spent this election cycle: $42,299

Notable Contributors: Herndon, the incumbent, has accepted about $20,000 from developers and contractors, mainly in $1,000 chunks. Contributions include $1,000 from Larry Mizel of M.D.C. Holdings, and $250 from Bruce O’Donnell, the developer of the controversial townhomes project at 34th and Albion. Other notable contributors include a total of $2,100 from several executives with CRL Associates, which frequently lobbies the city. Houston-based United Airlines gave $1,000, and former Denver First Lady Wilma Webb gave $500.  Stapleton-based Punch Bowl Social bar and restaurant donated $778 for Herndon’s campaign kickoff party on Feb. 6. 

Notable expenditures: Herndon pays his campaign manager Nick Land $3,000 a month. He has also purchased event food at Chick-Fil-A and campaign supplies at WalMart (Herndon was a store manager at a WalMart before running for city council). He has also spent money on professional photographers, a video featuring his young son, and has campaign swag, including T-Shirts and Chris Herndon chocolate-chip cookies.

Blair Taylor

• Total contributions this election cycle: $31,175

• Total amount spent this election cycle: $13,989

Notable Contributors: Taylor’s contributors are mainly comprised of individual donors, the majority of whom live in District 8. Many of her early individual contributions come from out of state. Denver developer Kyle Zeppelin has contributed $1,000, and former City Councilwoman Susan Barnes-Gelt gave $1,000. The current and past presidents of the Intergovernmental Neighborhood Cooperation consortium of Denver neighborhoods have both contributed to her campaign. Taylor has contributed $3,000 to her campaign, and another $2,000 via her graphic design business. She received a $216 in-kind contribution for food for a campaign event from Ester’s Pub on Oneida Street. The following individuals have contributed to both Taylor and LaMone Noles, who is running for the same office: Woody and Georgia Garnsey, Leslie Williams, Aaron Goldhamer and Harry Doby. 

Notable expenditures: Taylor’s lawn signs were made by a Denver company. She spends $750 a month for campaign management from Steele Strategies. She has hired Denver-based Progressive Promotions for campaign marketing.

Patrick Thibault

• Total contributions this election cycle: $17,165

• Total amount spent this election cycle: $13,513

Notable Contributors: Thibault has received $1,000 contributions from several unions, including the Denver Theatrical Stage Film and Exhibition Employees, Teamsters and Amalgamated Transit. He has also received several $500 to $1,000 contributions from Denver-based attorneys. Several legislators have contributed $25 to $50, including state Sen. Angela Williams, Rep. Jovan Melton and Rep. Emily Sirota. Only a few of his individual contributions have come from within the district.

Notable expenditures: Thibault has spent money for supplies at Safeway, King Soopers, the Dollar Tree and 7-11 for campaign supplies. Several District 8 candidates have been reimbursed for food-related expenses, but Thibault stands out in the sheer number of expenses, many of which are less than $10. He identifies these as canvass and campaign meetings, and include the following: Ranch House, Yu Hong Chinese, the Spot Bar and Grill, Phoenician Kebab, Dominoes Pizza, Pablo’s coffee, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Prodigy, Taco Bell, Good Times, The Irish Snug, Papa John’s, Cake Crumbs, Illegal Pete’s, Coffee at the Point, the Dirty Duck, Spinelli’s, Chick-Fil-A, Nugg’s Ice Cream, Pepper Asian Bistro, Burger King, iNK coffee, Denver Diner, Sam’s #3, Jack in the Box, Taco John’s, Metropolis Coffee, Lime, Lowry Tavern, India Express, Abbey Tavern, City o’ City, Skylark Lounge, Vesper Lounge, Denver Press Club, La Cueva, Boney’s, Terminal Bar, La Abeja and Racines.

Miguel Ceballos-Ruiz

• Total contributions this election cycle: $6,256

• Total amount spent this election cycle: $5,301

Notable Contributions: Ceballos-Ruiz has received many contributions in the $8 to $18 range from individual donors, including from activist Hashim Coats. He also received $400 from Candi CdeBaca, who is running for the city council this year in District 9, and $1,000 from Roderick Tafoya, the president of Mission Yogurt, Inc. 

Notable expenditures: Ceballos-Ruiz has spent a good deal of his campaign money on transportation-related expenses, including gasoline, car insurance, car repair and parking. Additional money was spent at on an LGBTQIA candidates’ training program in San Francisco, including multiple Lyft expenses while he was there. Other costs include office rent, meals, and campaign supplies from the Dollar Tree, WalMart and King Soopers.

Erik Penn

• Total contributions this election cycle: $5,330

• Total amount spent this election cycle: $3,933

Notable Contributors:Penn’s contributions have come mainly from individuals donating in relatively small amounts, including several from colleagues at Children’s Hospital, where Penn works. 

Notable expenditures: Penn has opted to shop at Target for his campaign supplies; expenses include multiple charges in the $5 range at Starbucks.

LaMone Noles

• Total contributions this election cycle: $4,986

• Total amount spent this election cycle: $360

Notable Contributors: Noles has received several individual contributions, including from Bridget Walsh, a fellow member of the CPFAN neighborhood organization, and Tom Korson, a longtime local political activist. She has received a contribution from Candi CdeBaca, who also contributed to Miguel Ceballos-Ruiz. The following individuals have contributed to both Noles and Blair Taylor, who is also running for the same office: Woody and Georgia Garnsey, Leslie Williams, Aaron Goldhamer and Harry Doby. Noles has loaned her campaign $1,000.

Notable expenditures: Noles has purchased her campaign supplies at Office Depot.


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