OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Mayor Matthew Godfrey says fighting opposition to his controversial initiatives in Ogden cost him a bundle in the mayor's race.
"There is an old saying in politics that, 'Your friends come and go, but your enemies accumulate,"' Godfrey said. "I have eight years of enemies who haven't liked any of a number of my projects. I had to spend a lot more money to get my message out."
Godfrey said he spent a record $181,948 to win a third term on Nov. 6. He defeated Susan Van Hooser, a member of the City Council, by 449 votes in the general election. She spent $69,945 during her campaign
Godfrey said the projects that have drawn the most criticism include: The Junction, an entertainment and retail development at the former Ogden City Mall site, and the Ogden River Project that calls for the construction of commercial and residential units on 60 acres near downtown.
California businessman Gadi Lesham and R&O Construction, who are both are involved in those developments, each donated $10,000 to his campaign.
Godfrey received $228,350 in campaign donations, which is more than three times the $64,182 raised by Van Hooser, according to campaign contribution and expenditure reports filed with the city.
Godfrey said the amounts raised and spent by his campaign are the most ever by a local candidate.
But those totals pale compared with the recent Salt Lake City mayor's race between Ralph Becker and Dave Buhler. Outgoing Mayor Rocky Anderson chose not to pursue a third term.
Becker raised $683,201 in campaign contributions and spent $668,580; Buhler raised $489,952 and spent $485,682. Becker won.
Godfrey said his campaign contributions and expenditures have increased dramatically since he first ran for mayor in 1999. He said an incumbent typically has to spend more than a political newcomer because of baggage that comes with years of service.
Van Hooser received several sizable contributions, including $5,000 from Staker Parson Inc. She also loaned herself about $5,700 to cover the shortfall between campaign contributions and expenses. Van Hooser said she was satisfied with her campaign contributions, which she described as "coming from the people."
Information from: Standard-Examiner
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)