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Becker has full war chest, little competition for re-election

Published: Saturday, Aug. 6 2011 10:21 p.m. MDT

Ralph Becker

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Mayor Ralph Becker continues to rake in funds for his re-election campaign despite the lack of a serious challenger.

Becker has amassed more than $400,000 in his bid for a second term, according to campaign finance disclosures filed this week. The Democratic mayor had spent about $165,000 of that as of Monday.

J. Kimball Allen, a 79-year-old Avenues resident and Republican precinct chairman, has contributed $1,000 of his own money in his campaign against Becker. Allen lists no other contributions in his financial report.

Becker has received large donations from developers Dell Loy Hansen ($7,500), The Boyer Co. ($5,000) and Cowboy Properties ($5,000), as well as $7,500 from Gold Cross Ambulance.

The situation is much different from Becker's campaign four years ago, when he squared off against a crowded field of high-profile, big-spending candidates to replace Rocky Anderson, who opted not to seek a third term.

Becker raised nearly $700,000 in that campaign, eclipsing the nearly $500,000 raised and spent by Dave Buhler. Becker collected nearly 64 percent of the vote to defeat Buhler for the office in November 2007.

Keith Christensen raised and spent roughly $640,000 in that same race but failed to advance past the primary election. Jenny Wilson, who finished third in the primary behind Becker and Buhler, raised and spent about $550,000 on her campaign.

The tightest Salt Lake City Council race in terms of fundraising is in District 6, where Charlie Luke has raised more than $15,000 in his bid to unseat incumbent Councilman JT Martin.

Martin has raised $11,000 in his re-election campaign, including $3,000 of his own money. Tracey Harty has raised nearly $9,000 in her District 6 campaign.

In District 2, Kyle LaMalfa leads in fundraising with nearly $9,000, followed by Michael Clara with $2,300. Incumbent Councilman Van Turner has not raised any money in his bid for a fourth term.

In District 4, Luke Garrott has raised roughly $4,500 in his re-election campaign. Challenger Jack Gray has raised less than $200.

E-mail: jpage@desnews.com

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