Election 2021: Newcomers, challengers get most money as Littleton council races near finish line

At-large and mayoral race see largest donations

Robert Tann
rtann@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 11/1/21

In the Littleton City Council election that ends Tuesday, it's first-time political candidates, as well as candidates who are challenging incumbents, who have largely raised the bulk of the money.

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Election 2021: Newcomers, challengers get most money as Littleton council races near finish line

At-large and mayoral race see largest donations

Posted

In the Littleton City Council election that ends Tuesday, it's first-time political candidates, as well as candidates who are challenging incumbents, who have largely raised the bulk of the money that has poured into the race, according to candidates’ third round of campaign finance filings. 

Candidates had between Oct. 8 and Oct. 21 to report their finances for their campaigns in the 2021 election, which ends at 7 p.m. Tuesday. (Click here for our voter guide if you haven't cast your ballot yet.)

The at-large council race, which is between two candidates who have never before run for office, has seen the most money in donations of any contested council seat, with conservative think tank fixture and Regis instructor Krista Kafer raising $2,620 in the third period while her her opponent, therapist and social worker Gretchen Rydin, raised $920.

Cumulatively, Kafer, a Denver Post columnist, has raised $19,517.70 and Rydin has raised $16,814.49. 

Of the money raised in the mayoral race between incumbent councilmember Carol Fey, former at-large council member Kyle Schlachter and former pastor Jon Buck, the vast majority has gone to Schlachter. Schlachter reported raising $2,660 in the third reporting period while Buck raised $749 and Fey raised $500.

Schlacter’s fundraising across all three periods totals $19,350, dwarfing the totals of Fey at $2,774 and Buck at $2,014. 

In the race for northwest Littleton's District 1 seat, incumbent councilmember Patrick Driscoll is being outraised by challenger Candice Ferguson, who previously ran for a seat in the Colorado House of Representatives. Ferguson reported raising $3,330 this period while Driscoll reported raising no money.

Ferguson’s overall fundraising totals $5,788 while Driscoll’s totals $3,560.

And in the race for southeast Littleton's District 3, Stephen Barr, a nonprofit leader and political newcomer, raised $1,200 in the third period with a total of $9,809 in fundraising across all three periods. His opponent, longtime Littleton resident and council watchdog Paul Bingham, is running a self-funded campaign and has reported no contributions during any reporting period. 

Candidates continue to see donations from political action committees and high-profile community members. 

Schlachter received a donation from the South Metro Denver Realtors Association PAC as well as a donation from Pat Dunhay, co-president of the Littleton Business Chamber. 

The realtors association also donated to Barr’s campaign. 

Ferguson received a donation from Joan Anderssen, an instructor at Arapahoe Community College who is running for a seat on the Littleton Public Schools Board of Education. She also received a donation from Arapahoe County Commissioner Carrie Lee Warren-Gully. 

Kafer received donations from two PACs, the Apartment Association of Metro Denver Political Committee and the Realtor Candidate PAC. She also received a donation from Kal Murib, co-president of the Littleton Business Chamber, as well as Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman and an Aurora police officer, Austin Benjamin.

Until the third campaign finance report, Kafer had been the only candidate reporting a majority of donations from outside Littleton. But her opponent, Rydin, reported a slight majority of her donations as being from non-Littleton residents. 

In the most recent report, just three of Kafer’s 13 donors lived in Littleton while five of Rydin’s 11 donors lived in Littleton. 

The complete filings for all candidate finances can be viewed on the City of Littleton's website. You can view our reporting of the first round of finance reports here and on the second round here.

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