Morton, Cameron draw primary cash
Five Town Council candidates fail to file reports by the deadline.
By Kevin Huelsmann and Benjamin Graham, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
August 15, 2012
Challengers vying for several elected offices in state, county and town governments raked in more money than incumbents.
In the race for Jackson Town Council, Phil Cameron and Hailey Morton pulled in more donations than longtime councilor Mark Obringer.
Morton raised $5,542 between May 25 and Aug. 9, including roughly $1,500 from personal contributions and donations from family members. She received donations from former county Commissioner Jim Darwiche, St. John’s Medical Center Trustee Joe Albright, state Rep. Keith Gingery and county Democratic Party Chairman Tom Frisbie.
Cameron raised just under $4,000. He had a wide variety of donors including council member and Board of County Commissioners candidate Melissa Turley, who contributed $40.
Obringer raised $2,255 over the last several months, including a $300 contribution from Mayor Mark Barron.
Those three were the only council candidates to turn in finance reports to the Teton County clerk’s office by the 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline. Challengers Jim Genzer, Kelly Egan, Emy diGrappa, Jim Stanford and Steve Harrington did not turn in reports of their preprimary receipts.
In the race for two spots on the county commission, Turley has amassed the biggest war chest. The sitting town councilor raised $7,005 between June 25 and Aug. 13 — $7,170 when one factors in in-kind contributions and personal donations.
Her donor list reads like a who’s who of state and county Democratic politics.
Joe Albright and Marcia Kunstel, Democratic state Central Committeewoman, each donated $750 to Turley’s campaign. Hank Phibbs and Leslie Petersen donated $150. Both are active in county and state Democratic politics. Petersen is the former chairwoman of the state party and ran for governor in 2010.
Turley got $100 from Becky and Tom Frisbie and a $250 contribution from former Democratic state Rep. Pete Jorgensen and his wife, Jean. Barbara and Chuck Herz, chairman of the state Democratic party, also donated $50.
Board of County Commissioners candidate Barbara Allen, a Republican, raked in $6,000, which included $2,000 from her own pocket.
Her biggest donors — each gave $1,000 — were attorney David DeFazio and Houston residents John and Barbara Nau.
Democratic challenger Claire Fuller brought in $700.
Incumbent Commissioner Paul Perry did not file his finance report by the Tuesday deadline.
Finance reports for state elections are filed with the secretary of state.
In the race for House District 16, newcomer Bob Biolchini pulled in $15,660 during the first few months of his campaign. The largest chunk of money came from his father, Bob Biolchini Sr. He donated $10,000 to the campaign earlier this month. Four other family members donated a total of $2,800 to the campaign.
Justin Adams, co-founder of Save Historic Jackson Hole, also gave $250 to help support Biolchini. Jim Genzer, a candidate for Town Council and plaintiff in a lawsuit against the town, contributed $100.
Incumbent candidate Ruth Ann Petroff raised $6,855, according to a campaign finance report filed online. However, Petroff said she has raised another $6,000 within the last several weeks that didn’t show up on the report.
Petroff received $2,450 in contributions from political action committees that represent the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, Lawyers Active in Wyoming, the Wyoming Education Association, Farmers Employee Agents and the Wyoming Mining Association.
Her husband, Jackson Mayor Barron, donated $2,000 to her campaign.