Developers and their attorneys, firefighters and politicians are among those financially backing campaigns for nine candidates running for four seats in Gilbert’s Town Council race.
Some candidates have even made loans as high as $12,000 to themselves in their bids for the council in the March 13 election.
Residents also have been bombarded with competing mailers as candidates spent more than $21,000 combined on fliers, mailers and postage, to convince voters they’re the best choice.
Incumbents Dave Crozier, Les Presmyk and Steve Urie are running against the group of Dwayne Farnsworth, Bill Norton and Jared Taylor, as well as former councilwoman Linda Abbott, Arts Advisory Board chairwoman Elizabeth Cress-Sweet and Honeywell engineer Neal Young.
Abbott raised $5,756 and spent $5,083; Cress-Sweet raised $12,150 and spent $1,203; Farnsworth raised $7,340 and spent $6,606; Norton raised $13,215 and spent $7,811; Presmyk raised $13,645 and spent $6,117; Taylor raised $13,535 and spent $7,206; Urie raised $11,798 and spent it all.
Crozier’s paperwork had not been filed by Friday afternoon. Young is running his campaign at less than $500, so he doesn’t have to file paperwork.
Some highlights in the campaign finance reports filed by Thursday’s deadline include:
• The Home Builders Association of Central Arizona donated $1,890 to each of the campaigns of Norton and Taylor, which caused discussion during a recent Town Council debate. The association has opposed the council’s decision to charge developers of new homes for town projects benefiting the whole community, including the cost of two new pools planned in south Gilbert.
• Cress-Sweet has loaned herself $12,000 for her campaign, Taylor loaned his campaign $5,000, Norton loaned his campaign $6,500, and Farnsworth’s $6,600 personal loan is the bulk of his campaign funding.
• Maricopa County Treasurer David Schweikert donated $100 to Norton’s campaign. Sean Noble, chief of staff for the U.S. House of Representatives, donated about $50 each to the campaigns of Norton and Taylor.
• The United Emergency Medical Professionals of Arizona donated $370 to Abbott’s campaign. Various firefighters and their unions donated to Abbott, Presmyk and Urie’s campaigns.