Campaign expenditures

After the dust has settled on a Wyoming election, candidates are required to disclose how much they spent in their races.

Those reports, which were due Nov. 16, show how much cash candidates spent compared with how many votes they won.

The lodging tax race was particularly expensive. A political action committee in favor of the tax reported spending $124,412, while the PAC opposed to the tax spent $44,373.

That comes out to a whopping $17.94 per vote in favor of the tax compared with $9.42 per vote against the tax. However, those figures could be tweaked because the pro-lodging tax PAC reported it plans to submit an amendment to its filing.

In the competitive, crowded election for three seats on the Teton County Board of County Commissioners, incumbent and top vote-getter Mark Newcomb spent just under $2 for each of his 6,128 votes. Luther Propst, who claimed the second-most votes with 5,094, spent the most per vote at almost $12. Propst raised more than twice as much as any other candidate in the field of eight.

Former Jackson mayor Mark Barron, the third county commissioner-elect, spent $2.76 per vote, the third-lowest cost per vote in the race.

In the Jackson Town Council election, councilor-elect Jonathan Schechter raised the most funds and also spent the most per vote at about $13. The second councilor-elect, Arne Jorgensen, spent $7.81 per vote. They unseated incumbent Don Frank, who spent about $10.66 per vote.

The race for county sheriff was particularly expensive, with the successful sheriff-elect Matt Carr spending the least per vote at $5 compared with the two other candidates.

Candidates with leftover campaign funds, whether they won or lost, can use the unspent money however they wish, according to Teton County Clerk Sherry Daigle. They can return it to donors, donate it, pocket it or hold on to it for future campaigns, per Wyoming law. Federal rules differ and are more restrictive, prohibiting personal use of unspent campaign funds.

All campaign donations totaling $25 or more must be included in campaign finance reports. Contributions from individual donors can’t exceed $1,500 per election (for local, nonstatewide elections). PACs can only give $5,000 per election to a local candidate.

Contact Allie Gross at 732-7063, county@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGcounty.

Allie Gross covers Teton County government. Originally from the Chicago area, she joined the News&Guide in 2017 after studying politics and Spanish at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

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