Money pours into Happy Haynes campaign for Denver school board at-large seat

This story was updated with Michael Kiley’s finance report information.

The Denver school board at-large race, which pits an established Denver political figure against an upstart parent, appears from the latest campaign finance reports to be heating up.

In two weeks in October, board president Allegra “Happy” Haynes raised $70,865 in an effort to keep her at-large seat. That’s more than four times as much as she raised in the previous year.

Haynes’s last-minute flurry of donations includes sizable contributions, up to $5,000 each, from Denver establishment types and a network of local and national education reform backers.

Haynes’s opponent, Robert Speth, raised $19,546 in the same period. The majority of it — $15,000 — came from the Denver Classroom Teachers Association Fund, a small donor committee of the teachers union, that previously gave $25,000 to his campaign. Speth, who is critical of DPS’s reforms, was a late entrant to the race.

The latest reports, filed Friday, show that Haynes spent $46,485 on mail, $6,500 on Facebook ads, $3,095 on robocalls and $320 on print advertising with the Villager newspaper.

Robert Speth is running against Happy Haynes.

Speth also spent the majority of his money — $42,264 — on mail and literature. But he spent half as much as Haynes on robocalls — $1,539 — and just $700 on Facebook ads. Speth also spent $1,446 on print advertising with The Denver Post and $541 on Google ads, the reports show.

The latest campaign finance reports cover the period between Oct. 9 and Oct. 25. Although Haynes raised more than three and a half times as much as Speth during that time, their totals weren’t as far apart: Haynes had raised a total of $90,630 by Oct. 25, which included $2,800 left over from her 2011 campaign, whereas Speth’s total was $60,196.

In the competitive northwest Denver race, candidate Lisa Flores raised $30,580 between Oct. 9 and Oct. 25, bringing her fundraising total to $110,219. Flores, a former program officer with the Gates Family Foundation, is running against Michael Kiley for the open District 5 seat.

Notable donors to Flores’s campaign included: Kent Thiry, CEO of Denver-based DaVita Healthcare Partners ($5,000); Michelle Yee of San Francisco, whose husband co-founded LinkedIn ($4,000); Reid Hoffman of Silicon Valley venture capital firm Greylock Partners ($4,000); Colorado congressman Jared Polis ($2,000); and Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz ($2,000).

Flores claims more than 400 individual donors, more than any other DPS board candidate.

Haynes also received donations from Thiry ($5,000), Yee ($4,000), Hoffman ($4,000) and Polis ($1,000). Her other donors included: Samuel Gary, founder of Samuel Gary Jr. and Associates, a Denver-based oil and gas company ($5,000); Denver Center for the Performing Arts chairman and CEO Daniel Ritchie ($2,500); University of Denver law professor Susan Daggett, who is married to Colorado senator and former DPS superintendent Michael Bennet ($2,500); and Oakwood Homes chairman and CEO Pat Hamill ($2,500).

Kiley’s campaign missed the midnight Friday deadline for the latest required reporting period and is subject to a $50 fine. His report, filed Saturday afternoon, showed that most of his financial support is coming from the Denver teachers union’s small donor committee.

Between Oct. 9 and Oct. 25, Kiley reported bringing in $55,590 in contributions. The Denver Classroom Teachers Association Fund gave $46,000 in the latest reporting period. Another union-backed group, the Public Education Committee, contributed $6,500 to Kiley in that timeframe.

Overall, DCTA Fund donations account for more than 75 percent of the roughly $111,500 Kiley has brought in during the campaign.

Data Center | Track donations this election to all candidates including the most recent filings here.

The District 1 race for a seat to represent southeast Denver has not seen the same cash infusion as the two other races. Incumbent Anne Rowe raised $6,270 in the latest period, bringing her total to $41,064.

Challenger Kristi Butkovich raised $580. The majority — $500 — came from the teachers union small donor committee. That committee previously gave her $21,000. Butkovich had raised a total of $29,836 by Oct. 25. Part of that total included Butkovich loaning her campaign more than $6,000.

Editor’s note: Chalkbeat receives financial support from the Gates Family Foundation and the Anschutz Foundation.