Martinez tops spending in Avon race |

Martinez tops spending in Avon race

Matt Zalaznick

With just a weekend left before the election, the committee formed to bankroll Martinez’s campaign has spent $4,077.24. That’s more than double the two next-biggest spenders. Planning and Zoning Commissioner Ron Wolfe’s campaign has cost him about $1,950, and Avon architect Tab Bonidy, who has put up by far the biggest campaign banner, has spent $1,900.

“Personally, I wasn’t going to spend that much because I don’t have it, but there have been a lot of people who have been willing to help me,” says Martinez, a maintenance worker for the town of Vail. “I thought it was going to be less expensive.”

All of Martinez’s money was donated by private citizens, one of whom lives as far away as Mission, Texas. He says he thought running for Town Council would only cost about $1,200.

“There are a lot of people who want to make a difference and want to make a change, so they’re helping me,” Martinez says. “I have a lot of friends.”

At the bottom of the list along with Bank is Vail Resorts property manager Ron Neville, who has spent just $20, and Vail Daily sales associate Robert Angel, whose signs have cost a total of $63.81.

“I don’t need to buy myself into office,” says Angel, a former business executive. “Right now the town is under budget constraints and I want to show I’m a budget-oriented person.

“If I put a few signs in strategic places,” he adds, “I’ll get my message out.”

Angel says he feels local newspapers have done a good covering the candidates and their platforms. He also says he doesn’t have to spend as much to get his message out because a candidate’s forum held earlier this month has been run repeatedly on local television.

The three incumbents running for re-election –Debbie Buckley, Mac McDevitt and Brian Sipes – are all laying out chunks of cash to keep their seats. Buckley has spent the most –a little less than $1,000 –but she says it’s less than the $1,200 getting elected cost her four years.

“I’ve really spent most of my energy walking around, knocking on doors,” she says. “That’s worth more money than I can spend on advertising.”

She’s spent all her own money because she doesn’t want contributors to think they’ve bought her support, Buckley says.

“I want to feel like nobody is influencing my vote,” says Buckley, the lone target of an attack ad in what has been a relatively clean campaign.

The Citizens for Honest Representation, led by former Avon Councilman Rick Cuny, has spent several hundreds dollars to defeat Buckley because her husband, Pete, is already on the council.

The group, which says it opposes a married couple serving together, has spent more than many of the candidates running in the actual race.

As for the other incumbents, Sipes says he’ll have laid out about $600 by Election Day; McDevitt has spent approximately $450.

Challengers Steve Miller, Mike McClinton and Albert “Chico” Thuon have all run low-budget campaigns, spending $260, $120 and approximately $200 respectively.

Three days before Election Day, Miller says he’d already spent all he’s going to spend.

“I waited until some of the other candidates went door to door and saved myself some money simply from the fact that a lot of doorsteps already had five or six fliers,” Miller says. “I only left them where people actually answered the door.”

One of the reasons not a lot of money has been invested in the campaign is it has been a lot less nasty than some of the other races going on around the county and the nation, Miller says.

“I think the Avon race has been a very clean race,” he says. “Everybody has been quite friendly and has focused on issues. We’ll see what happens on Tuesday.”

Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 606, or via e-mail at

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