Kevin Foley, top vote getter in Vail Town Council race, spent $3.25 on his campaign
Incumbents Kim Langmaid, Jen Mason also spent modestly and were re-elected
- $3.25: Vail Town Council candidate Kevin Foley’s reported spending in the 2019 campaign.
- $5,181: Candidate Brian Stockmar’s reported spending in the 2019 campaign.
- $6,800: Spending by Vail’s Citizens for Responsible Government.
- $20 million: Spending in the 2018 U.S. Senate race in Colorado.
- The full reports for Vail Town Council election spending can be found on the town’s website.
VAIL — Kevin Foley has a simple strategy for seeking local elective office: If people know you, then you don’t have to spend any money.
For this year’s just-completed Vail Town Council election, Foley received the most votes — 760 — and spent all of $3.25. Foley spent more for a council run in 2015 — $3.86.
That spending went toward poster board for Foley’s one and only campaign sign. That sign, with Foley attached to it, could often be found at the town’s roundabouts while he was out campaigning.
Kim Langmaid earned the second-most votes Nov. 5 — 729 — and also kept her spending modest. While Langmaid spent about $538 on newspaper advertising this year, her most recent campaign finance report filed with the town indicates that she neither raised nor spent any money between Oct. 16 and Oct. 31.
Jen Mason also didn’t receive or spend any money during the second half of October.
Brian Stockmar is the sole newcomer to the council this year and spent more than $5,000 of his own money on his campaign. Most of that spending went toward newspaper advertising.
The most spending in this year’s council race was an independent group, Citizens for Responsible Government. That group supported the four eventual winners this year, all of whom opposed Booth Heights, the proposed workforce housing development in East Vail.
That group raised and spent roughly $6,800, most of it on newspaper advertising.
Jonathan Staufer is the registered representative for Citizens for Responsible Government. He said he believes the four candidates who won — especially Foley — would have won with or without that group’s support.
But, Staufer said, his group’s efforts and a donor list that includes 24 individuals and couples — helped express some strong opinions.
“There was a clear mandate for change,” Staufer said, adding that many people in town are “sick of closed-door sessions and backdoor deals.”
Foley said he’s grateful if the people on the donor list voted for him, but said he believes there’s more to running for local office.
“Your friends and neighbors should know you before you put your name on the ballot,” Foley said.
That recognition in the community is why he spends virtually nothing running for office.
“I had a few people comment that I didn’t have yard signs,” Foley said.
But, he added, a lot of yard signs end up just being litter, and he doesn’t want to do that.
Foley recalled that he bought bumper stickers and buttons one year — he’s run for council several times, and was once elected to a seat on the Vail Recreation District board of directors — but he gave out very few of them.
“I don’t like to take money,” Foley said of his virtually no-budget campaigns. “Once you get above the municipal level, money is what’s ruining politics.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at email@example.com and 970-748-2930.
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