It was more expensive than any congressional race in New York. Or Texas. Or Illinois. Or Ohio. And all but one race in California.
In fact, the race between Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, and Republican Genevieve Atwood last year was the eighth most expensive House race anywhere in the country.It cost a total $1.53 million. Owens spent $1.06 million (the 14th highest of any individual candidate nationally), and Atwood spent $463,551, according to a study by the watchdog group Common Cause based on final reports by candidates to the Federal Election Commission.
It also happened to be the most expensive campaign in Utah history. Owens has since introduced legislation calling for voluntary limits on campaign spending and on contributions from special-interest political action committees, or PACs, in exchange for some public financing of races.
To raise the money for their race, Owens and Atwood would have had to raise nearly a combined $15,000 a week for two years.
But the Common Cause study said Owens had a lot of help from PACs and essentially became a PAC-man. He raised $542,233 from them - the eighth most of any House candidate nationally.
Atwood put $100,000 of her own money into her race, money she now figures won't be recouped.