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Dash For Cash

Democrat Betsy Bolding Leads The Fundraising Chase In The Mayor's Race.

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THROUGH THE FIRST two months of her campaign for mayor, former high- school journalism teacher Betsy Bolding has been fuzzy on a number of issues, ranging from construction of a new City Hall to Rio Nuevo development.

But that hasn't stalled her money machine, which is in high gear to win the Democratic nomination in a race that features challengers Molly McKasson, Janet Marcus and Pat Darcy vying in the September 7 primary.

Bolding, consumer affairs director for Tucson Electric Power, raced ahead in the first round of the mayoral fundraising game with $30,240 in contributions through May 31.

McKasson, who left the City Council in 1997 after two terms in central Ward 6, raised $22,689; Marcus, who's completing her third City Council term from northeast Ward 2, reported $11,183 in contributions; and latecomer Pat Darcy, a commercial real-estate broker and former major league pitcher, reported $1,921, with $1,900 coming in the form of a personal loan he made to his campaign.

Bob Walkup, the lone Republican candidate for mayor, reported $24,354 in contributions.

It is the matching funds where McKasson still has an edge. She was first to file for eligibility after out-racing her rivals to reach the minimum 300 contributions of at least $10 from city residents. McKasson filed that report nearly a month before Bolding.

An audit of McKasson's report is completed, and she was expected to have her first matching check by July 2, said Suzanne Mesich, deputy city clerk.

Participants in the city's campaign finance program agree to limit spending, this year at $150,170. Contribution and expediture statements are audited before matching funds are released.

Bolding's treasury reflects her campaign's ties to heavy hitters from both major parties. Former four-term Republican Mayor Lew Murphy gave Bolding $100. Jim Click, the car dealer and banker who is a major Republican Party donor, gave Bolding $320, the maximum allowed by state law. Click also gave Walkup $300. Warren Rustand, also a Tucson Country Club Republican, gave Bolding $50. She also collected $320 from her former boss, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt. (Bolding ran Babbitt's Tucson office when he served as governor.) Another former Democratic governor, Rose Mofford, gave Bolding $200.

Bolding also collected money from the Growth Lobby. Alan Lurie, the de facto spokesman for growth as the executive vice president of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association, and his wife gave minimum contributions. (Bolding once held a seat on the SAHBA Board of Directors.) Doug Kennedy, recalled from the City Council in 1976 long before he headed the failed efforts of the Perini Co.'s Sabino Springs development, and his wife each gave $320, while Kennedy's father-in-law, George Rosenberg, gave $50. Hotelier and real-estate investor Humberto Lopez gave Bolding $200. Longtime planners Dick Walbert and Carl Winters gave $50 and $100 respectively. Richard Shenkarow, formerly a co-worker of Darcy's at CB Richard Ellis who now heads his own commercial real- estate firm, gave $100, as did Brenna Lacey, an agent for the Volk Co. Realtor Roy Drachman gave $200.

Bolding also collected from a long line of failed candidates. They included Carol Zimmerman ($100), who lost in the 1997 Democratic primary to succeed McKasson in Ward 6; Terry Goddard ($100), the former Phoenix mayor who lost two bids for governor; Celestino Fernandez ($100), who ran close to last in a nine-person race for the TUSD Board last year; Richard Gonzales ($100), who lost in the Democratic primary for county attorney in 1996; Jean Wilkins ($25), a former city budget official and one-time City Council aide, who tried to win the Ward 4 seat of her former boss, Roger Sedlmayr, in 1997; and Demetri Downing ($10), a loser in the Ward 3 City Council race in 1997.

McKasson reported spending $8,180 through May 31. Bolding spent $9,120. Bolding paid her political consultant Jan Lesher $1,728. She also paid speech coach Jesse Greenberg $1,020.

Marcus, meanwhile, reported $7,360 in contributions and a $2,000 loan from herself and $2,574 in expenditures.

The Democratic combatants can spend $112,627 through the September 7 primary. Walkup has the luxury of a solo Republican run.

A former Hughes-Raytheon executive who now is in the software business, Walkup spent $15,206 through May 31, leaving him with $9,147. Among his contributions: $100 from former City Manager Joel Valdez, now a vice president at the UA; $50 from Republican Congressman Jim Kolbe; $100 from Robert Gugino, an attorney who represents El Con Mall where controversial traffic and redevelopment plans have been before the City Council; $120 from former Amphitheater School Board President Vicki Cox-Golder, a failed candidate for the Board of Supervisors in 1996; and $100 from the Firearms Action Committee of Tucson.

Walkup's expenditures included $2,618 for rent and other campaign expenses, including personnel, to his software company, Winning Pathways.

Shirley Scott, the Democrat who is seeking a second term in eastside Ward 4, led Council candidates in the money race with $16,220 in contributions and $2,429 in expenses.

Scott has had her husband Joe Scott and aide John Macko examine if they can rid her of a primary battle by challenging the nominating petitions of Debra L. Johnson, who had no finance activity to report through May 31.

Carol West, a former aide to Marcus in the Ward 2 office and now the Democratic candidate for that office, reported $6,916 in contributions, including a $1,000 loan, and $3,522 in expenses. Like McKasson, West's disclosure has been reviewed by the city's outside auditors, and she was expecting a matching funds check by July 2.

Rick Grinnell, the Republican who failed to oust Marcus in 1995 despite winning within the ward, reported $11,411 in contributions and $6,432 in expenses in his new race for Ward 2. His campaign repaid his loan of $100.

And in westside Ward 1, Councilman Jose Ibarra's got his campaign for a second term off with $11,657 in contributions and $1,962 in expenses.

Ibarra's Republican rival, Ramon "Ray" Castillo, a State Farm insurance agent who served one term on the council ending in 1973, reported $600 in contributions and $116 in expenses.

Council candidates are allowed to spend $75,085, with a $56,313 cap for spending through the primary. They are eligible for $37,542.64 in public funds.

This year, $280,000 has been set aside in the city budget for matching funds for candidates. Roughly $13,600 of that came from contributions citizens made through such methods as rounding off water bills.

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