Republican Doug Sposito has triggered a flow of campaign funding in Legislative District 30, where four Republicans are competing for two House seats in the Sept. 2 primary.
Sposito, who is one of four Republicans running for the two House seat in Legislative District 30 that are being vacated by Reps. Marian McClure and Jonathan Paton, filed a “trigger” report last week revealing that he had spent more than $25,500 on his campaign.
Sposito is raising funds from private contributors; under the Clean Elections rules, that means his publicly funded GOP opponents, Sharon Collins and David Gowan, have also received roughly $4,500 in matching funds on top of the $19,382 that they got initially received from Clean Elections.
Left out in the big cash giveaway is the fourth Republican in the race, Frank Antenori, who decided to raise money from private contributors rather than use public funds.
Antenori, a former Green Beret who made his debut on Southern Arizona’s political stage two years ago in the five-way GOP primary to replace retiring congressman Jim Kolbe, is mad as hell about Sposito’s sudden spending spree. He complains that his GOP opponent has sold out after holding a fundraiser in Phoenix.
“He’s obviously sold out to special interests groups, most of which are from Phoenix,” says Antenori. “And the most disappointing thing is that I had thought that Mr. Sposito had principles and it’s obvious now that he doesn’t. He sold those principles to the highest bidder.”
Sposito, who had raised $6,064 as of May 31, says most of his newfound dollars came right from his own checkbook. The Sonoita-area homebuilder has lent his campaign $12,000.
“I haven’t sold my soul to anybody,” says Sposito, who lost a bid for the Legislative District 30 seat in 2004. “It’s unfortunate if Frank has decided to go negative in this campaign. It had been a good, honest run for office for all of us.”
Sposito adds that the Phoenix fundraiser only netted him somewhere around $2,500.
“Phoenix was a pretty dry well,” says Sposito, who adds that fundraising in general “has been going well” and he’s “confident that individual contributions will come in” so he’ll be able to repay the money he has loaned his campaign.
Antenori, who says he’s raised about $15K for the campaign, stood by his comments after hearing that Sposito had lent his campaign the money.
“Now he’s on the defensive, which tells me he has something to hide,” says Antenori, who adds that he’s raised almost of all his money in Southern Arizona. “At least the people giving me money can vote for me.”
But Antenori concedes that Randy Graf, the Republican lawmaker who represented District 30 for one term between 2002 and 2004, wrote a letter to Maricopa lobbyists asking for contributions to the Antenori campaign—a pitch that pretty much went nowhere.
“The people who called me back, I told them where I stood on the issues and they decided not to give me money,” he says.
Antenori suggests some Republican businessmen are backing Sposito because Continue reading
Filed under: Legislative Races | Tagged: Campaign Finance, David Gowan, Doug Sposito, Frank Antenori, Legislative District 30, Sharon Collins | 3 Comments »