Monday, July 25, 2022

Challengers Have Raised and Spent Far More Than The Incumbents

David v Goliath
It is truly a “David v. Goliath” scenario when it comes to fundraising and spending in this August’s Oro Valley Mayor and Town Council Election. 

Candidates, including a PAC supporting challengers Sharp, Erceg, Hurt and Rodman have raised cash donations of $221,114, and spent $144,622 as of June 30. They have raised far more cash and spent far more cash than incumbents Winfield, Barrett, Joney-Ivey and Nicolson, on both counts.

The gap is huge.  The challengers and a supporting PAC, Keep Oro Valley Strong (KOVS), have received 89% of all cash donations and expended 75% of all spending to date.

Sharp, Erceg, Hurt and Rodman garnered developer and real estate community financial support

The sources of cash donations from the developer and real estate community mirror the 2018 election financial support provided to then Mayor Hiremath and his council’s reelection campaign. 

The challengers (Sharp, Erceg, Hurt, and Rodman) received donations from these same sources. For example, individuals affiliated with HSL Properties, a major contributor to the 2018 Hiremath team, have contributed $53,000 in total to the challenger’s campaigns. That’s 31% of the funds they have raised. $12,000 of that was donated to Danny Sharp’s campaign. 

The challengers have also received financial support from the real estate community. The Realtor’s of Southern Arizona PAC contributed $17,000 to the campaigns. The Southern Arizona Homebuilders Association PAC contributed $750 to Erceg’s campaign. 

As a result, the four challengers have received significant financial support primarily from individuals living outside Oro Valley. 57% of their funding has come from those who do not live in the town. 

Winfield, Barrett, Jones-Ivey and Nicolson fundraising pattern has a “home grown” Oro Valley, no special interest,  “skin-in-the-game” flavor

The fundraising efforts of the current council member candidates are starkly different from those of the challenges. They have focussed on raising money from Oro Valley residents and not taking money from PACS. The result is that they have raised far less money. Cash contributions to date are $26,687. 89% of these are from Oro Valley residents. 

The incumbent candidates have also put “skin-in-the-game,” loaning their campaigns $12,710. Challengers Hurt and Erceg have also loaned their campaigns $11,310. They also received in-kind donations of $17,000 in total for development of their web sites.
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Note: The source of the data in this article is the second quarter Campaign Finance Reports of the candidates and KOVS.