Bozeman City Hall

Bozeman City Hall is pictured on Thursday, August 12, 2021.

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The amount of money raised so far in the Bozeman city election varies by thousands of dollars between candidates.

While some people in the race have larger sums of money, like mayoral candidate Deputy Mayor Terry Cunningham, others have little or no money raised.

According to the most recent reports available, the mayoral candidate with the most money is Cunningham, who reported $22,333.64 as of Sept. 14.

The commission candidate with the most money is Commissioner Christopher Coburn, who reported $9,027.95 as of Aug. 14, the last report available online.

Any candidate who intends to spend more than $500 on the campaign is required to file finance reports with the state commissioner of political practices, which are made public.

Cunningham and Coburn both announced their campaigns much earlier than their opponents. Coburn announced his candidacy in February, while Cunningham announced his intention to run for mayor in April.

Cunningham said he has been “thrilled” with the level of support his campaign has received, and noted the pandemic has thrown a wrench in the typical campaign strategies.

“It’s certainly impacted my ability to connect individually with voters on front porches, which is one of the reasons I thought it was important to raise funds for different types of communication,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham’s donors include other elected officials, like commissioners Jennifer Madgic and I-Ho Pomeroy, who both donated $50 to his campaign, and Mayor Cyndy Andrus, who donated $180.

Coburn said he knew from the start that the campaign he wanted to run would cost money.

“I always knew from the start that that’s the kind of campaign I was going to run for city commission, so I just started pretty early on raising money and connecting with people,” he said.

Coburn is running for one of two open four-year seats, along with Commissioner I-Ho Pomeroy and Emily Talago. Pomeroy reported having more than $2,000 as of Sept. 14, according to the most recent report available.

Talago reported on her registration form she would spend under $500.

Madgic, Joseph Morrison and Evan Rainey are running for the open commission seat, which is for the remaining two years left on a seat left open by former Commissioner Michael Wallner’s resignation in March.

Coburn was appointed to fill Wallner’s seat in April.

Madgic’s most recent report indicated her campaign had just over $700 as of Aug. 14.

Morrison’s campaign reported in August it had under $200, while Rainey’s report from earlier this month indicated his campaign has no money raised.

The other two mayoral candidates, Brian LaMeres and Chris Brizzolara, are taking different approaches to Cunningham when it comes to campaign finance. LaMeres said he is self funding his campaign. His finance reports only show two expenditures through August, one for the filing fee and the other for costs for his campaign website.

Brizzolara, whose campaign filing indicated he would spend less than $500, said he doesn’t intend to do much in way of printing campaign posters or materials.

“Me personally, I don’t ever want to feel committed or married to any idea or cause especially because of financial interest, so I don’t take money from anyone,” Brizzolara said.

Candidates who said they would spend more than $500 during the campaign have to file finance reports through the election, which is on Nov. 2.

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Nora Shelly can be reached at nshelly@dailychronicle.com or 406-582-2607.

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