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Eagle County giving eagerly to Obama

Steve Lynn
Vail, CO Clorado
Chris Carlson/APDemocratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama speaks at a town hall-style meeting at Mapleton Expeditionary School for the Arts in Thornton, Colo., Wednesday.
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EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Just as Eagle Valley Democrats chose Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton in votes earlier this year, they also more enthusiastically backed the Illinois senator with their dollars.

Obama has raised the most money in Eagle County ” a total of $119,338, more than any candidate, according to opensecrets.org. He has raised more than double former First Lady Sen. Hillary Clinton’s Eagle County contributions, $49,020.

The fundraising follows a statewide trend. With $2.7 million in contributions, Obama has raised the most in Colorado and about $1 million more than Clinton as she faces pressure to quit. Nationwide, Obama has raised about $265 million to Clinton’s about $215 million.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee, has raised $27,150 in Eagle County. He has raised more than $1.2 million in Colorado and about $96 million nationwide.

Residents decisively chose front-runner Obama as their pick for presidential nominee at the Colorado caucuses and Democratic County Assembly in February, and he’s leading Clinton in delegates and pledged superdelegates.

With more than $166,000 in contributions, Avon residents gave more than six times the U.S. average. Presidential candidates were required to file reports by May 20 for the month of April.

Many people have given small amounts to Obama, leading to big bucks for the candidate, said Edwards resident Debbie Marquez, a superdelegate who supports Obama.

“He’s promising something different,” Marquez said.

Nationwide, 30 percent of Clinton’s donors and 24 percent of McCain’s have given $200 or less, but 45 percent of Obama’s donors have given that amount, according to opensecrets.org.

“That’s unheard of in politics,” Marquez said. “We’ve never seen that happen before.”

Clinton and McCain also have a higher percentage of donors who gave $4,600.

More money may be coming, but local fundraisers for Obama won’t start until at least after June 3, when Democratic primaries wrap up in Montana and South Dakota.

Supporters won’t announce fundraisers until after then, Marquez said.

“We certainly are looking ahead to plan some,” she said.

Henri Stone, a Gypsum resident and a vice chair for the Colorado Federation of Republican Women, isn’t worried that McCain has raised fewer dollars in Eagle County this early in the campaign.

Area Republicans have not had any fundraisers yet, but they plan to start holding them in late June, she said. Supporters aspire to raise $100,000 from Vail to Aspen for McCain, she said.

“We’re going to have a great time promoting this candidate,” she said.

“I think Sen. McCain has a good chance of carrying our county because he’s such a forward-thinking Republican,” she added.

Vail residents have given Obama a total of $21,230, according opensecrets.org. In July of last year, Clinton was the top money-getter in Vail with about $4,000 more dollars in her campaign coffers. Now she’s in third place.

Harry Frampton and his wife, Susan Frampton, gave $4,600 apiece to Obama’s campaign. Kevin Hopkins, Howard Leavitt and Lester and Betsy Diane Hendrickson gave $2,300 each.

In Avon, Edwards, El Jebel and Eagle, Alison Knapp gave Obama $8,200, James Smith, Robin Hernreich and Mary Isom gave $4,600 and Branden Cohen, Jennifer Graham, Dudley Rood and Therese Landin gave $2,300.

Top contributors to Hillary Clinton in Avon and Vail include Prisca Boris, who gave $11,500 and Karen Loewenstern and Pat McConathy, who gave $2,300 each.

Top contributors to McCain in Gypsum, Edwards and El Jebel include Stone, who gave $1,000, and Frank Lynch, who gave $4,600 and Marc Holtzman, who gave $2,300.

Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 970-748-2931 or slynn@vaildaily.com.


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