Commish candidates raise $80K |

Commish candidates raise $80K

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado The race for two county commissioner seats is on, and the four candidates have already raised over $80,000 for their campaigns.Democrat and incumbent commissioner Peter Runyon, who is running against Republican Dick Gustafson, has raised the most money so far. Runyon has received about $23,600 from 59 contributors, who include two prominent Republicans Avon Mayor Ron Wolfe and Gypsum Town Councilman Tom Edwards. Fundraising has been going very well for me, Runyon said. Ive gotten a lot of spontaneous contributions, large and small, and I appreciate the support from the community. They understand that this is an election about the future.Republican Debbie Buckley is a close second, raising more than $22,550 from 75 contributors. Her supporters include Eagle Mayor Ed Woodland, state House of Representatives candidate Muhammad Ali Hasan, Hasans mother Seeme Hasan, and Councilman Edwards.Her donations ranged from $25 to $2,000, and she had supporters from all across the county, she said.There was one guy in the Roaring Fork Valley who was unemployed, but he gave me a check for $35. He said, Its small, but I believe in what youre doing. I really appreciated that, Buckley said.Stavney, a Democrat who is running against Buckley for term-limited Arn Menconis seat, has raised almost $22,000 from 57 contributors. His supporters include Woodland and Avon Town Councilwoman Kristy Ferraro.He said hes concentrated his fundraising effortson larger donations, but is spending the rest of his time talking to residents.Stavney, a project manager for Beck Building, said he especially appreciated some of the support from former clients.Its encouraging that these people, after I spend thousands, sometimes millions of dollars of their money and work with them for months or years, are still enthusiastic when I get on the phone and ask them for support, he said.Gustafson, a former county commissioner, has raised almost $12,200 from 28 contributors. His supporters include Debbie Buckleys husband, Peter Buckley, and former commissioner Don Welch.Gustafson has funded a good portion nearly $4,000 of his own campaign.That was seed money to get started early on, he said.Gustafson said the races have changed considerably since he ran in the 1980s and early 1990s.Before, I ran door-to-door campaign with a couple of newspaper and radio ads, and I went to debates, he said. Its a lot more sophisticated now, with mailers, yard signs and hand outs. And its a hell of a lot more expensive about 10 times more. And residents can see where some of that $80,000 is going yard signs are ubiquitous throughout the county, notably along Interstate 70 and at the main Edwards intersection, and campaign ads can be seen in the newspaper and on the local radio stations.In addition to the flyers, buttons, signs and ad spots, candidates said they have been attending parades, public events and knocking on doors all around the county.Buckley has taken a mass door-knocking approach, visiting homes from Vail to the Roaring Fork Valley. Im approaching 9,000 (homes visited). The goal is 10,000, she said. Its going great. Stavney said he plans to focus on talking to residents for the rest of his campaign.From here, its really about voter contact, knocking on doors and shaking hands and talking to people, he said.Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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