Earliest ever Aurora city council campaign finance reports reveal growing war chests

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AURORA | Despite new and earlier city council campaign finance filing deadlines, several candidates are reporting sizable funds, though not nearly as large as mayoral candidates.

After a change to campaign finance reporting rules earlier this summer, candidates for Aurora City Council are reporting their first fundraising numbers three months before Election Day, the earliest they’ve ever had to. 

Those reports were due to the Aurora City Clerk’s office Wednesday. The race for mayor has already broken a city record for most money raised. Former Congressman Mike Coffman raised more than $400,000.

In the Ward IV race, sitting councilman Charlie Richardson, also a former city attorney in Aurora, raised $18,480. His opponent Juan Marcano raised $14,249.62. More than $2,000 Marcano reported was from himself, according to the campaign finance report. 

Bob Roth, who currently represents Ward V, outraised his opponent Allison Coombs by about $17,000. Roth raised $24,590, while Coombs raised just over $8,000. 

In Ward VI, which covers the southeast region of the city, incumbent Councilwoman Francoise Bergan raised more than $40,000. Her opponent, Bryan Lindstrom, an Aurora teacher, raised more than $22,000. 

Five candidates are vying for two at-large seats that are up for re-election. Angela Lawson, who currently holds one of those seats, raised more than $4,000 on top of the $10,459 she had on hand. Councilman Johnny Watson, who was appointed to another at-large seat when Bob LeGare was appointed to be mayor, raised more than $26,000. 

Following Watson in fundraising numbers is Curtis Gardner, who raised more than $21,000. 

Thomas Mayes raised nearly $15,000. Leanne Wheeler raised more than $8,000. 

A campaign finance report for at-large candidate Martha Lugo, who previously ran for Ward III,  was not available from the city clerk as of this publishing. 

The fundraising  reports are the earliest mayoral and city council candidates have ever had to file. A new ordinance, passed by the city council in June, requires reports be filed at 90 days, 60 days, 30 days, 14 days and the Friday before election day. Another finance report would be required 30 days after the election.

The next reports are required to be submitted Sept. 6.