May 3, 2006 - If there's one thing the six candidates for Oro Valley town council don't agree on, it's how to run a campaign.

Between Feb. 23 and April 3, only candidates Don Cox and Al Kunisch received sizable increases in contributions, although they were already the two top fundraisers, the reports show. Cox and Kunisch finished third and fifth in the primary election, respectively.

Furthermore, Cox and Kunisch only saw major gains because both were given $1,890 by the political committee Realtors of Arizona just weeks before the primary, the reports show.

In the final election May 16, the candidates that finish in the top three will win a seat on the Oro Valley Town Council. Residents will be allowed to vote for three candidates at Oro Valley polling locations.

Kunisch raised $10,354 by the report due date of April 3, making him both the top fund raiser and top spender of campaign funds among the town council candidates.

Past reports have shown Kunisch has spent large amounts of his funds on advertisements, although most recently he has spent smaller amounts on brochures. By April 3, he had spent $5,952, and has $4,401 left.

Cox, the second highest fundraiser, was the candidate with the most money to spend as of April 3, with $4,507. The reports show Cox received most of his contributions from realtors, developers, and homebuilders. By April 3, Cox had raised $6,554 and had spent $2,047.

The first place finisher in the primary, councilwoman Paula Abbot, had by April 3 raised the least amount of money for her campaign out of all six candidates. Abbott has raised $1,938, most of which she lent to herself. She spent most of this on signs and flyers before the primary and had $421 left. Abbot did not raise any money between Feb. 23 and April 3.

Second place finisher, councilman KC Carter, raised the second least amount of money before April 3 with $2,030, mostly from individual contributors. He spent nearly half that amount on signs and flyers before the election, and had $1,087 left on April 3. Carter has raised $400 since Feb. 23 but has only spent $67.

Kathy Pastryk finished fourth in the primary and has raised the third highest amount of campaign funds, behind Kunisch and Cox. Pastryk raised $3,680 by April 3 and had spent $2,454, leaving her with $1,225. All of Pastryk's spending took place before the primary election since she did not spend any money between Feb. 23 and April 3, the reports showed. Most of Pastryk's campaign funds came from individual contributors.

Councilwoman Conny Culver, last place finisher in the primary, had the least amount of money left with $214. Between Feb. 23 and April 3, Culver raised $108 in individual contributions and spent $505, $465 of which was for an ad in the EXPLORER.

Mayor's race and OV Marketplace

In the March 14 mayor's race, challenger Nancy Young Wright outspent incumbent Paul Loomis by a wide margin. Loomis was re-elected.

Young Wright spent $15,811, nearly three times as much as Loomis' $5,646, the report showed. In the last three weeks of the campaign, Young Wright and Loomis spent $5,913 and $2,858 respectively.

Loomis spent $2,855 on newspapers ads in the last three weeks before the election, the report shows. Young Wright spent $2,656 on direct mail, $655 on a newspaper ad, and $534 on campaign-related postcards.

The battle over the Oro Valley Marketplace, by comparison, was a one-sided blitzkrieg of campaign spending.

The main opponent of the $23.2 million in sales tax incentives for Phoenix-based developer Vestar was local political committee Stop Oro Valley Outrageous Giveaways.

By Feb. 22, the two sides were funded roughly equally, with Vestar's political arm New Revenue, More Convenience claiming $164,000 to SOVOG's $163,432. However, by the April 3 reporting deadline, Vestar had increased its campaign funds to $289,000, the report showed. SOVOG did not raise any money between Feb. 23 and April 3.

Between Feb. 23 the end of March, Vestar, spent nearly $116,299, the report showed.

SOVOG, meanwhile, allocated the vast majority of its funds to pay legal fees incurred over two years to bring the incentive agreement to a voter referendum.

Oro Valley voters approved the incentive agreement, 58 percent to 42 percent.

Vestar spent $264,163 on its campaign via ads, direct mail, campaign consultants, flyers, signs, and receptions. This also includes $4,683 spent calling Oro Valley voters and $5,748 producing campaign DVD's for mass distribution.

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