Jeffco school board candidates backed by union continue to raise more than opponents

Two candidates running for open seats on the Jefferson County school board continued to outpace their opponents last month in fundraising thanks in large part to a small donor committee linked to the county’s teachers union.

Amanda Stevens and Ali Lasell — part of the five-member “Clean Slate” running to reset the contentious school board — in October raised $23,679 and $25,681, respectively, new records filed Friday with the secretary of state show.

Each candidate received $15,000 from the Jefferson County Education Association small donor committee and $3,000 from the Public Education Committee, a small donor group backed by the Colorado Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union.

Meanwhile, their opponents Tori Merritts and Kim Johnson raised much smaller amounts during the same time period. Merritts raised $2,050 and Johnson raised $1,609, reports show.

The new reports — which cover Oct. 9 through Oct. 25 — provide little new information about the murky state of play in Jefferson County, which is enveloped in a hotly contested school board recall for three school board members.

Data Center | Track donations this election to all candidates including the most recent filings here.The race for the two open seats coupled with the recall has generated national headlines and plenty of money, much of which can’t be traced because of limited disclosure required by law.

What the candidate’s new reports do highlight is how each campaign is attempting to reach voters.

Lasell and Stevens continued to spend tens of thousands of dollars on mailing campaign literature. Both used Mad Dog Mail, a Democratic advertising firm based in Florida.

By contrast, Johnson and Merritts spent thousands on digital advertising with Google, Facebook and local digital advertising companies.

Since the beginning of their respective campaigns:

  • Johnson has raised $12,249 and spent $10,827
  • Lasell has raised $71,835 and spent $68,540
  • Merritts has raised $6,785 and spent $6,610
  • Stevens has raised $60,249 and $56,305

The final campaign finance deadline for the candidates is Dec. 3.