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Dabakis, Ibarra cut themselves some big checks ahead of the SLC mayoral primary

Posted at 9:07 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 23:40:30-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Ahead of next week’s primary election, the eight candidates for mayor filed their final campaign disclosures.

Jim Dabakis, a frontrunner in the polls, cut himself a $20,000 check. In an email to supporters asking for donations, he vowed to take no “dark money” and even vowed to push a campaign finance reform ordinance if he were elected.

“I pledge the first thing I will present to the City Council for their consideration will be a very serious campaign finance reform law,” he wrote. “I am dependent on YOU! I will not take hidden money, PAC’S, or special interests cash, but I do depend on YOU! Will you contribute?”

In July, Dabakis reported a whopping $152,317 in donations. But in August, he reported $41,925. Still, he had $171,036 left to spend, apparently anticipating he would make it through the primary.

David Ibarra cut himself an even bigger check — $25,000 — ahead of Salt Lake City’s August campaign disclosure deadline for a total of $43,407 in donations within the past month. One of the more notable donors was beer maker Anheusuer-Busch, who gave him $600. Earlier this year, he was the financial frontrunner in the race. But campaign expenditures showed Ibarra has spent a lot of money on billboards to get his name out there. His most recent campaign disclosure showed him with $22,439 in the coffers.

Luz Escamilla, a sitting state senator, reported $67,930 in campaign contributions within the past month. Big donors included Utah Jazz owner Gail Miller ($2,500); Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen ($2,500); Betty Iverson, the wife of Mayor Jackie Biskupski ($2,000); and Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton ($1,000).

“I am so thankful for all the supporters who have invested in my campaign and the future of our city. With our fundraising and our field campaign hitting our goals, I feel confident going into next week that we have the momentum to carry us through the primary,” Escamilla said in a statement Tuesday night.

Salt Lake City Councilwoman Erin Mendenhall reported $28,544 in campaign contributions for her mayoral campaign within the past month. She received a $2,000 donation from Republican Governor Gary Herbert’s Political Leadership Action Committee. She also received a $1,000 donation from Sen. Stevenson; and $1,000 from the Utah Building Construction Trades Council, a group that represents 16 labor unions in the state.

David Garbett reported $53,747 in donations for the August filing disclosure period. Some came from companies tied to his family. Stan Penfold reported $25,834 in contributions, spending about $10,000 on digital ads.

Rainer Huck cut himself another $5,000 check for his mayoral race — the only contribution to his campaign. He previously contributed $10,000 of his own money to the race (and spent some on mailers and a newspaper ad). In an eyebrow raising donation, Huck turned around and gave $500 as a contribution to an opponent in the race, Richard Goldberger.

Goldberger has raised $652 within the past month and spent some of it on cab fare, a haircut and some new clothes.