Cedar City’s municipal candidates filed their last campaign finance reports before the Nov. 2 election date and included multiple candidates putting thousands of dollars of their own money into the election, including one candidate that spent over $150,000.
Between the two elections, the mayoral race was the most expensive even with fewer candidates. In total there was $236,659.39 raised and $182,242.34 spent between the two candidates, incumbent Mayor Maile Wilson Edwards and challenger Garth Green, a local businessman who self-funded about 99% of his campaign.
This is the first time the finances for the mayoral race have been disclosed since the candidates didn’t have to compete in an August primary like the city council candidates did.
Meanwhile, in the city council election, the four candidates raised just under $40,000 and spent around $35,700. The biggest donor in the city council race by far was Green, the challenger in the mayoral race, who gave a total of $22,000 to Derek Morton and Ron Riddle. They each got $11,000 from the GW Green family limited partnership.
The full campaign finance reports can be found by clicking on this link.
Ballots for the Cedar City election were delayed in being sent out but the post-mark deadline for mail ballots is still Nov. 1. There are also expanded voting options due to the delay, including early voting on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Cedar City Council Chambers (10 N Main St, Cedar City) and the Iron County Courthouse (68 South 100 East, Parowan).
Residents can also drop ballots off at dropbox locations throughout Iron County until 8 p.m. on election day.
Dropbox Locations for Iron County
- Cedar City Office – 10 N Main St, Cedar City.
- Parowan City Office – 35 E 100 N, Parowan.
- County Clerk’s Office – 68 S 100 E, Parowan.
- Enoch City Offices – 900 East Midvalley Road, Enoch.
- Paragonah Town Hall, 44 N 100 E, Paragonah.
- Kanarraville Town Hall, 40 S Main, Kanarraville
- Brian Head Town Hall – 56 North Highway 143, Brian Head
- Dixie Power Office – 71 East Highway 56, Beryl
Total contributions: $130,575.93
Total expenses: $130,575.93
Ending balance: $0
Green is running to unseat the two-term incumbent Wilson Edwards for the mayoral position. The former plumbing supply CEO ran the most expensive campaign out of any candidate in the Cedar City elections by spending $130,575.93, with the bill for this campaign footed primarily by one donor, the GW Green family limited partnership, which is managed by Green and his wife Wendy.
The Green family donated $129,813.25 to Green’s campaign, which represents 99.4% of all funds used by Green. When asked why he spent six figures to be the mayor of a city with just over 35,000 people and a weak mayoral position with no voting power, Green told The Spectrum that he is “investing” in Cedar City with his time, money and experience.
“I am self-funded because I don’t want to feel obligated to anyone or any group or any business. I want to only be committed to the people of Cedar,” Green wrote in an email to The Spectrum.
Outside of his own contribution, the largest donation Green got was $95. In total, six people donated to Green’s campaign.
The biggest expense for Green was political consulting fees which he paid around $24,500 to David Kyle Political Marketing. But this wasn’t the only expense that cost over $20,000, Green also spent just over $20,600 on direct mail postcards from Salt Lake Printing and Mail.
Advertising was a big expense for Green who bought ads in printed publications, on the internet and on the radio. He spent $14,000 on ads in Southwest Publishing, a company that produces several magazines including Iron County Today. Green also bought ads on the internet by spending just over $6,500 on Facebook and Google ads. Radio ads were the least expensive for Green who bought just over $5,000 worth of ads from Cherry Creek Media.
The campaign signs, hats and shirts budget for Green was $12,100 and the graphic design budget for him was just over $6,700 which he spent on Robert Ennis.
Green wasn’t afraid to spend thousands of dollars on items other candidates didn’t buy like festivals and water bottles. The water bottle budget was over $7,600 which included just under $600 for campaign signs for the water bottles. The Freedom Festival, which is an event thrown by Green on the anniversary of 9/11, cost him just over $14,500.
Maile Wilson Edwards
Total contributions: $106,083.46
Total expenses: $51,666.41
Ending balance: $34,580
Wilson Edwards didn’t let Green be the only candidate to have over $100,000 to spend during the mayoral election. She raised just over $106,000 but spent far less than Green with only using just over $51,600.
Although Wilson Edwards used $19,020 of her own cash to start her campaign fund most of the money was from a mix of individuals and companies, with businesses providing the lion’s share of the funds. One contribution from a company almost covered all her expenses since Utah Iron LLC gave Wilson Edwards $50,000.
Utah Iron LLC has a simplistic website that says the company mines iron ore from the Comstock Mountain Lion Pit. The registered business agent for this LLC is Cyndi Gilbert, according to the Utah Division of Corporations (UDC). Gilbert serves as the corporate counsel for Utah Iron LLC, according to her board member profile page on St. George Regional Hospital’s website.
Other significant donations from companies include $4,000 from Doubletap Ammunition and $2,000 from Utah State Home Builders Association. And several company in-kind contributions — a contribution that covers a service rather than a monetary donation — included a $7,500 contribution from Got Safe Printing, just over $7,000 from Superior Real Estate, around $2,200 from LSR Investments and $1,750 from Integrity Matters LLC.
Wilson Edwards also received just under $2,000 worth of contributions from Ben Batty, the president of the Utah Home Builders Association and $1,000 from Evan Vickers, a Utah state senator that represents parts of Iron, Beaver and Washington county. Although, Vickers donated $500 from his campaign fund and $500 with his wife Christine.
The biggest expense for Wilson Edwards was $14,000 in services provided by PSW Research. Her campaign also spent $7,500 on services from Real Strategies, a consulting firm in Denver that provides solutions to clients’ “political, technology and marketing challenges,” according to its website.
Like her opponent, Wilson Edwards bought a lot of ads from Southwest Publishing, about $4,500 worth of advertisements. Her campaign also spent over $2,300 on services from Cherry Creek Media.
ImagePro was another service used by both candidates, Wilson Edwards spent more than $5,700 on services from ImagePro. Another big expense was mailing campaign items with just over $6,700 spent on mail services from Direct Mail System and the United States Postal Service.
City council candidates
R. Scott Phillips
Balance from primary report: $2,216.33
Total contributions: $7,952.17
Total Expenses: $7,952.17
Ending balance: $0
Phillips is the only incumbent city council member in the election and although he raised the most cash in the primary, he ranked third among the candidates in spending cash in the most recent campaign finance reports. But he got the most individual donations out of all the candidates.
The biggest contribution Phillips got was from himself which was just over $1,400, with his next biggest contribution being $1,000 from Bob and Shirley Kramer. The rest of the cash contributions came from individuals and ranged from $50 to $500.
The biggest expense for Phillips was radio advertisements from Cherry Creek Media, which cost him $2,400. He also purchased $1,460 worth of ads from Iron County Today.
Other big expenses for Phillips included spending just over $1,000 on campaign signs from Cross and Oberlie, around $920 for his campaign website and roughly $540 for campaign cards and door hangers from ImagePro.
Balance from primary report: $0
Total contributions: $15,023.59
Total expenses: $15,023.59
Ending balance: $0
Morton raised the most cash of any city council candidate and his campaign finances are much more stable since the August primary. In the primary he needed to pay $7,300 out of his own pocket to cover expenses. But his recent report shows he raised and spent a lot more cash for the upcoming November election than the August primary.
The biggest donor by far for Morton was the GW Green family partnership which gave him $11,000 in total. Morton’s next biggest donor was himself. He gave just $2,700 to his own campaign. Another $1,000 was donated to Morton by the Iron County Board of Realtors.
Only $150 of Morton’s cash came from individuals contributing their own money.
The biggest expense for Morton was roughly $6,200 for services from Creative Stream, a marketing agency in Provo, Utah.
Morton spent a fair amount on advertising; he spent $1,500 on Google ads and $1,900 on advertisements in Southwest Publishing.
Balance from primary report: $0
Total contributions: $4,768.62
Total Expenses: $4,768.62
Ending balance: $0
Wilkey largely self-funded his primary campaign by spending $3,436.34 of his own cash, a trend which has continued since August since he spent another $3,168.62 on his campaign, the most recent finance report shows.
The biggest contribution Wilkey received outside of himself was $1,000 from the Iron County Board of Realtors. The rest of the cash was received through six individual contributions.
Wilkey’s biggest expense was the Pumpkin Festival, where he spent just under $1,000 on festival-related costs including groceries and reserving a spot at the festival.
Other big expenses for Wilkey include $700 on radio ads from Cherry Creek Media, $650 on a campaign video from Adam Ferraro, around $660 on campaign signs from printsonthecheap.com and $620 on campaign flyers from Polarity Design.
Balance from primary report: $1,134.50
Total contributions: $12,000
Total expenses: $7,951.91
Ending balance: $4,098.09
Riddle raised the second most amount of cash of the city council candidates, even though he only had two donors: $11,000 from the GW Green family limited partnership and $1,000 Fine Line Cabinets. Riddle is the owner of Fine Line Cabinets.
The biggest expense for Riddle was roughly $6,000 on political consulting from David Kyle Political Marketing. Other expenses include $600 in groceries from Lins and Smiths.
For advertising, Riddle spent $772 on ads from Cherry Creek Media and $475 to Iron County today.
Sean Hemmersmeier covers local government, growth and development in Southwestern Utah. Follow on twitter @seanhemmers34. Our work depends on subscribers so if you want more coverage on these issues you can subscribe here: http://www.thespectrum.com/subscribe.