Many may say they like a candidate. But few put their money where their mouth is. And looking at which Utahns donate to what candidates may help others judge office seekers by the company they keep on this Super Tuesday.
Some candidates attract Utah business leaders. Some get gay activists. Some get LDS Church general authorities. Some get mostly regular, unknown people. And some get, well, virtually no monetary support from the state.
In that latter category, Republican Mike Huckabee attracted only seven donors in Utah two truck drivers, a real estate agent, a school manager, a salesman, a self-employed person and Dennis Ward, CEO of Stellar Design. Together they gave Huckabee just $2,901 (but disclosure forms list only those who give at least $200 or more).
On the other end of the spectrum, Mitt Romney attracted 4,185 major Utah donors and 1,035 of them gave the maximum-allowed donation of $2,300 each to his campaign. All those Utah donors combined gave Romney $5.2 million.
Romney is a favorite son in Utah as the former head of the 2002 Olympics and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Even some general authorities of that church donated to him. Disclosure forms show that Elder John Carmack of the Seventy gave him $500 and Elder Robert K. Dellenbach gave him $200. Rodney Brady, who oversees the business arms of the church, gave $2,300. Deseret Book president Sheri Dew gave $2,300.
Some other interesting Romney donors include: Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller, $2,300; gold medalist speedskater Derek Parra, $2,300; former Gov. Norm Bangerter, $500; author Richard Paul Evans, $2,300; and time management and communication guru Stephen Covey, $2,300.
Others include former Republican national chairman Richard Richards, $1,000; Nu Skin chairman Blake Roney, $2,300; EnergySolutions CEO Steve Creamer, $2,300; and Overstock.com chief Patrick Byrne, $2,300.
Receiving the next-most donors after Romney was Hillary Clinton. She had 299 donors who provided $350,925. Some included former Utah first lady Norma Matheson, $500; her son, former U.S. Attorney for Utah Scott M. Matheson Jr., $2,300; and Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson, $1,000.
In third place overall in Utah was Barack Obama. He had 246 donors who provided a total of $258,606. Some interesting donors include: WordPerfect co-founder and current gay activist Bruce Bastian, $2,300; former Utah Supreme Court Justice Michael Zimmerman, $1,000; and Salt Lake County Councilman Jim Bradley, $500.
GOP candidate John McCain had 112 donors from Utah that gave a total of $156,542. Some notable ones included: Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., $2,300 (although his father, industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr., gave Romney $2,300); Zions Bank president Scott Anderson, $1,000; and Simmons Media Group chief David Simmons, $2,300.
Ron Paul had 63 major Utah donors that gave him $138,793. None were well known, as he had a smattering of homemakers, retired people, engineers, managers, real estate agents and salesmen.
Some people apparently could not decide whom to support and donated to more than one candidate.
At least 12 Utahns donated to both Romney and McCain. Notable among them was home builder Clark Ivory ($1,000 to McCain and $2,100 to Romney); John Price, former U.S. ambassador to three African nations ($2,300 to both); and Khosrow Semnani, former chief of Envirocare (now EnergySolutions), who gave $2,300 to both.
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