That is how much money has already been inserted into local races for the 2014 election.
Utah law requires campaigns to disclose all donations and expenditures seven days prior to their party’s respective conventions. With most races confined to a single county, and with the majority of conventions taking place this weekend, the public is getting a look at the candidates’ books.
Unsurprisingly, the races that have received the most attention from donors are intraparty challenges, with multiple members of the same party vying for the same county and state delegates and their votes. These are often the most bitter races, with dirty laundry being aired that party officials usually would have preferred stay quiet—or, for those with a more cynical outlook, these are the most exciting contests.
The race in House District 57 is a three-way horse race for Republicans in the district encompassing Pleasant Grove. The only recently elected Representative Brian Greene is seeing a strong challenge from former Representative Holly Richardson. A third candidate, John Stevens, has also been in the mix in the dark-red district. Among the three candidates, over $25,000 has been contributed, with the vast majority, nearly $15,000 in contributions, going towards Richardson.
Similarly, the race in Senate District 4 race has been a heated one for Democrats. After Senator Pat Jones (Democrat – Salt Lake City) announced she would not be seeking reelection, former State Senator Ross Romero and former Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jani Iwamoto, announced they would be seeking the Democratic nomination. Collectively, the two have raised nearly $60,000 with Romero slightly in the lead with $31,100 to Iwamoto’s $27,300.
Generally speaking, incumbents tend to flex their fundraising muscles early, carrying over previous year’s campaign donations into this year’s race. Senators Karen Mayne (Democrat – West Valley) and Gene Davis (Democrat – Salt Lake City) and Representative Jim Dunnigan (Republican – Taylorsville) are starting with more than $80,000 in their war chests from the prior year’s campaigns. Senate President Wayne Niederhauser (Republican – Sandy) and Senator Stewart Adams (Republican – Layton) have roughly $50,000 from prior campaigns, while 16 other lawmakers were in the $20,000 to $45,000 range for carry-over contributions. 20 more lawmakers transferred between $10,000 and $20,000 in funds from prior campaigns.
A few candidates have been busy working the phones, however. Representative Greg Hughes (Republican – Draper), has raked in over $30,500 in donations since January. Former President of Weber State University, Ann Milner—a Republican running to replace outgoing State Senator Stewart Reid (Republican – Ogden)—has brought in over $47,000.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, reported the largest single donation, receiving a single check for $100,000 from the Republican Attorney Generals Association.