EDWARDS, Colorado " Democratic state House candidate Christine Scanlan blasted exorbitant campaign spending by her Republican opponent, Muhammad Ali Hasan, Thursday.
"I don't need to buy this race; I think it's insulting to think you can," Scanlan told a small group of Eagle County Democrats at a luncheon in an Edwards restaurant Thursday afternoon.
Scanlan's comments come as Hasan has reported $40,000 in contributions " all of which came from himself " between May 27 and Monday. He spent more than $56,000 during the same time.
Scanlan, an incumbent who lives in Dillon, is running against Hasan, of Beaver Creek, for House District 56, which includes Eagle, Lake and Summit counties.
Scanlan reported $6,375 in contributions during the same finance reporting period.
"I have no hope of outspending him," she said. "My intention is not to."
She called Hasan's campaign finances "shameful" and said that she didn't think that anyone should spend that much money on a race because it's not "healthy for our state," she said.
"I have 20 years in the nonprofit world," Scanlan said. "I don't frivolously spend money, I just don't " I can't do it. It goes against the core of my being."
Scanlan also railed against an ad that Hasan has run often in the Vail Daily promoting his ideas for a bullet train.
"I think most of our voters are smarter than to believe an ad that they see 85,000 times as being our only credible records to a candidate," she said.
Hasan said the majority of the money he has spent has gone to local businesses. He has bought gas and meals in the district and has paid some people to help him knock on doors of registered voters while campaigning. Others are volunteers, he said.
"The vast majority of that money is going to the local economy."
He also has had mailers and cards " which he hangs on people's doors if they're not home " printed in Gypsum. He points out that Scanlan has bought banners, ink, labels and other materials for her campaign from businesses on the Front Range and in Seattle.
"If you're going to spend money, at least spend it in the district," Hasan said.
Hasan said he refuses to run a negative campaign and that he doesn't talk about why "Christine Scanlan is bad and I'm better" when he goes door-to-door.
"We got better things to do with our time and that's knocking on doors," he said.
Scanlan was picked in December to serve as the Democratic state representative to replace Dan Gibbs. Gibbs was appointed in November to fill the seat of Colorado Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, who resigned to run for U.S. Congress.
Scanlan has continued her work at The Keystone Center and with the Summit County School Board and plans to knock on doors in Eagle County this weekend.
"We're going to win this race because we're going to do the right thing by talking to people and meeting the needs of voters," she said.
Jane Lowery, a second-homeowner who lives in Edwards, said she was impressed by Scanlan, who seems to have a great deal of knowledge on important issues in the district: education, Interstate 70 traffic and the pine-beetle.
"She seems very bright," Lowery said. "I'm definitely going to support her."
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 970-748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.