Walker running pricey campaign

Council candidate puts up $8,000

KINGMAN - Keith Walker has won the City Council race - for most money raised and spent, that is. The campaign finance statements for March show Walker has blown away the rest of the pack; he raised and spent more than his three opponents and Councilwoman-elect Robin Gordon combined.

As the sole donor to his campaign, Walker has put $8,000 of his own cash on the line, with $5,000 of that total added in the last month. According to the latest finance reports, which tally donations, expenditures and cash on hand, Walker had spent $6,466.71 - the bulk of it in the past reporting period.

Walker's spending strategy differs significantly from those of other candidates. Despite such a large campaign fund, Walker has spent comparatively little of it on signs, unlike former mayoral candidate Bill Nugent or current Council candidate Craig Schritter, whose signs constituted the vast majority of their expenses.

Walker also has put no money whatsoever into newspaper advertising, a favored medium of Gordon's, Mayor-elect John Salem and candidate Carole Young.

Instead, Walker spent more than $1,400 on a disk containing the names and addresses of all the registered voters within city limits, then used that information to send out $2,700 worth of campaign postcards urging those citizens to get out and vote in the primary.

"I was actually hoping by doing that we'd get a better turnout voting, even if it wasn't for me," Walker said. "And I was pretty disappointed."

Only a quarter of Kingman's registered voters cast ballots in the March 11 primary. Nevertheless, Walker placed a respectable second behind Carole Young, though he spent more than 50 times what she did. Young's campaign finances have been an exercise in minimalism, with only $327.49 raised and only $127.49 spent - on newspaper ads and signs. But it will all be money well spent if Walker can manage to win a seat in the May 20 election.

If he loses, however, he will replace Nugent as the candidate to spend the most on a losing campaign, surpassing the developer's $4,870.20 distant second-place finish against Salem.

Gordon and Salem have far outpaced the competition for individual donations. Most of the candidates have only a handful of donors - if any - outside of themselves. Gordon, however, tops the list with 31 contributors totaling $1,925. Salem had 20 donors totaling $5,951. The next closest total was Allen Mossberg's with five, totaling $645.

Two former Council candidates who lost in the March 11 primary, Ron Bahre and Harley Pettit, were exempt from having to report their finances, as they did not expect to spend more than $500 on their campaigns.