Looking at the 2013 mayoral race in the City of Holladay, there is a clear winner with donations: Robert M. Dahle.
Dahle, as of August, raised a total of $29,700 for his campaign and spent $22,458. His opponent, D. Blaine Anderson, raised $16,715 for his campaign and spent $14,185 during the same time period, considerably less than Dahle.
With $12,900 more in total donations than Anderson, Dahle is using every dime to his advantage. Dahle spent over $22,000 in an attempt to get his name in front of voters and get his platform heard through advertising, sign printings, and mailing ads. Overall, Dahle spent $5,000 more in getting his name and platform before the public than the total amount of donations Anderson raised for his entire campaign.
Dahle’s money is talking, but are voters listening? Based on the primary election, they’re not, as Anderson won with 1,212 votes to Dahle’s 1,110.
In a primary race such as the one in Holladay, the top two victors are placed on the November ballot.
But if money talks, why didn’t Dahle win the primary election? A closer look at both candidates’ financial statements is telling.
Although Dahle received almost double the money in contributions, he received only 16 total donations compared to Anderson’s 35. If we account for donations given by family, Dahle’s numbers are further reduced to 10 donations, while Anderson is only reduced by one donor to 34. In looking at the dollar amounts, of Dahle’s $29,700 raised, 92% was donated by family, while Anderson had only 9% of donations contributed by family.
With this understanding, we can see the uphill battle Dahle is faced with going forward, as Anderson is funding his campaign through community donations/support while Dahle is staying closer to home, primarily funding his campaign though family contributions – and with Anderson’s community support, he’s pulling in more voters than Dahle, as his primary election win indicates, while collecting and spending far less money.
The lack of votes based on money spent should be a concern for Dahle’s campaign and the glaring question that remains leading up to November is: will Dahle and his team be able to spend enough money to win community support and get the votes needed to surpass Anderson, or is Anderson’s community support too great? To get that answer, the public will have to wait for Election Day to see how far Dahle’s (and his family’s) money affected the election.
The City of Holladay’s elections will take place on November 5. The last day to register to vote by mail has come and gone, however people can still register online until October 21st by visiting secure.utah.gov/voterreg.