Utah County city council and mayoral candidates are spending anywhere from hundreds of dollars to several thousands, trying to woo residents through dinners, signs, fliers or personal visits a little less than a week before Election Day.

Financial reports from Eagle Mountain's mayoral race between Richard Culbertson and Heather Jackson showed contribution and expenditure disparities.

Between July 19 and Oct. 25, Culbertson, who received a little over $4,000 in contributions, spent about $10,000 on his campaign, $7,000 of which was spent on campaign signs alone. Jackson, in contrast, received almost $16,000 and spent about $12,000, most of it on campaign signs ($4,000), advertising space ($1,500) and mail fliers ($1,700).

Unlike Culbertson, who received all of his contributions from individuals, the majority of Jackson's money came from developers and real estate groups, such as Build PAC Utah, the Utah County Association of Realtors and Dove Construction Inc.

Jackson said the money from developers shows she can work with the businesses in Eagle Mountain. She added that it worries her that so many candidates have overspent their money and are working from a deficit.

Culbertson received about $1,300 from Ken Hixson, who ran for the City Council in the primary.

Culbertson said he decided not to take money from companies, especially developers.

"The message (to Eagle Mountain residents) is hopefully the people see I'm their voice; they're the ones I want to listen to," he said.

Orem candidates pulled in amounts ranging from $3,700 to over $22,600. They shelled out anywhere from $4,000 to nearly $10,000.

Carl Hernandez leads the pack with coffers of $22,633.25, including a $1,000 donation from the Utah County Association of Realtors. However, nearly $10,700 of that comes from "in-kind" donations of time and services.

He credits the generosity of residents and their belief in his campaign.

"I believe it is an indication that I have broad-based support throughout the community," Hernandez said. "It's coming from people that I think agree with the platform we have in this campaign. They believe that we will make a difference on the Orem City Council."

Council candidate Brent Sumner leads the pack in cash spending at $9,802.

"When I first filed, I wanted to do certain things," Sumner said. "Then all of a sudden it kind of changed (because) a couple of candidates were spending a lot of money on signs."

Sumner said signs began popping up as soon as they could legally be posted before the primaries, and the number of signs in Orem is burgeoning.

In the Eagle Mountain City Council race, Nathan Ochsenhirt received the most contributions, about $6,500, and spent the most, about $7,600. Ochsenhirt said he believe the money he spent helped him promote a professional campaign.

The least-padded pockets belong to Donna Burnham, who only received about $1,600 in contributions and has spent about $1,300. Burnham said she doesn't feel bad about her coffers and hopes the election doesn't come down to how much she raised. Burnham limited her donations to $200 per person.

"I didn't want to give the impression to anyone that I was bought by any particular person," she said.

She added that she must be a better shopper than some of her opponents since she spent only a little over $200 for signs instead of $1,000. Burnham already had some signs from her previous candidacy two years ago, which also helped her save money.

The other City Council candidates' contributions are fairly close to each other with incumbent Linn Strouse raising $3,360, Ryan Ireland $3,303, Robert DeKorver Jr. $2,025 and Eric Cieslak $3,378. Only DeKorver and Strouse have outspent their contributions, DeKorver by $2,400 and Strouse by $1,100.

In Lindon, City Council members Jerald Hatch, Bruce Carpenter and Lindsey Bayless each spent less than $350 for their campaigns while competitors Ronald Hatfield and Robert Mount each spent in the thousands, $2,605 and $1,141 respectively, according to campaign financial reports.

Lindon Mayor Jim Dain, who in July replaced Jeff Acerson, who left for an LDS mission, spent just over $1,100 while his competitor, Ben Nolte, shelled out $2,211.


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