FARMINGTON — A Farmington city councilor and another councilor's family contributed money to the city's two District 4 council candidates, Debra Mayeux and Nate Duckett, according to finance reports the candidates were to file by Monday.
Councilor Jason Sandel, a registered Democrat, donated $2,000 to Mayeux's campaign through Totah Rental & Equipment Co. and Double M Mud Co., according to Mayeux's report. Sandel partly owns both companies, he said. Sandel currently holds the District 4 seat, but is not running for reelection.
Councilor Gayla McCulloch, a registered Republican, is the sister of Greg Drake who donated $500 to Duckett's campaign through Drake Well Service, according to the candidate's report. Drake is the president and owner of the company. McCulloch's mother, JoAnn Drake, also contributed $250, according to the report.
Mayeux and Duckett are registered Republicans.
Farmington City Council elections are non-partisan, which means there are no primaries and party affiliations do not appear on the ballots.
Since the first campaign finance filings in mid-Janurary, Mayeux has raised $4,860 and Duckett has raised more than $9,100, according to the reports. So far Mayeux has spent almost $2,900 and Duckett has spent more than $5,734, according to the reports.
Mayor Tommy Roberts, who is running for reelection, hasn't raised any money, though he said he is reusing $2,000 worth of signs from his 2010 mayoral campaign. He said he doesn't intend to raise or spend any money.
Matt Dodson, the other mayoral candidate, has $1,000 from a loan he secured for his campaign, and he reused more than $1,685 in signs from his 2013 state senate campaign. Part of the $62.33 he has spent was on Duct Tape to cover up "for senate" on his signs, he said.
Municipal Judge Candidate Rena Scott has raised more than $1,700 and Bill Liese, her competitor, has raised $5,075, according to the reports. Scott has spent more than $1,600 and Liese has spent at least $2,854, according to the reports. Scott was in the process of filing an amended finance report because it was unclear in the current report whether she had raised $1,776.08 or $1,876.08.
Part-time municipal judge candidates Bill Standley, a former Farmington mayor, and James Rowland have raised $3,098.58 and $1,066.97, respectively, according to the reports. Standley spent more than $840 and Rowland spent almost $645, according to the reports.
McCulloch, who is running uncontested for the District 3 council seat, has nearly $1,037 in funds from the balance of her 2010 campaign, according to her report, and has not spent any of it.
Sandel said Mayeux asked for his support, his vote and a donation. And after meeting with her, he learned the candidate shares many of his concerns and has a "track record" of asking important questions and seeking their answers, he said.
"Is that an endorsement?" he said. "I don't necessarily think so."
Duckett never approached him for help as Mayeux had, Sandel said. He said he's supporting the candidate who asked him for help.
But Duckett said he spoke with Sandel about his campaign. And, when Sandel announced he wasn't running for reelection, Duckett said he phoned and Facebook messaged the councilor asking to speak with him about city issues.
"I'm not surprised that (Sandel) donated money to Debra Mayeux," Duckett said, adding that the two are long-time friends.
McCulloch said her brother and mother donated to Duckett without her prompting. "That's their doings," she said.
She said her brother and mother are long-time friends of Duckett's father-in-law. Duckett confirmed the relationships.
"That's what politics is about: You ask your friends and family first and then you go out and ask the public," McCulloch said.
Duckett has the most individual contributors to his campaign.
Twenty-four contributors were reported in his first finance report and 43, including the Drakes, donated in his second. He said many are business owners and active community members. Two men he has known since they served together on Farmington High School's student senate separately donated $1,000 and $1,200, according to the report. And state Sen. Steve Neville donated $200.
Eleven donated to Mayeux in her first report and six, including Sandel's two donations, contributed in her second. Sandel's two $1,000 checks were Mayeux's largest contribution, according to her report.
"Those are large donations," Roberts said of Duckett's and Mayeux's thousand-dollar contributions. "I think anytime you get them that large its interesting to see who's behind it."