Candidates push for votes in final days
October 31, 2013
In the final days before the the election of Havre’s mayor and Ward 4 councilperson, the candidates are wrapping up their campaigns by keeping up with voters and urging people who have not voted already to do so.
Voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to get their ballots into the clerk and recorder’s office at the Hill County Courthouse.
Those who did not receive their mail-in ballots or have lost theirs can go to the clerk and recorder’s office to receive a replacement ballot.
Former mayor Bob Rice said that he will be on the streets in the final push before the ballots are no longer accepted.
“I’m still going door to door, I’ve got radio ads and ads in the paper,” Rice said Wednesday. “We’ve got a banner on 5th Avenue today and tomorrow. We’ll be right up there until the end.”
Mayor Tim Solomon he is still visiting with people.
“A lot of people are in, but a lot of people haven’t voted yet,” Solomon said.
Rice said the way he usually gets contributions to fund his campaign is simply by people calling him and sending gifts in unasked.
“I’m very pleased with everyone who has helped me,” Rice said.
Solomon’s technique of pursuing funds is similar to Rice’s, which is one of passivity.
“I haven’t really pushed hard,” Solomon said. “I’ve been more just receiving what’s been given to me.”
Solomon said the majority of the contributions he receives go to advertising, and Rice said he did not know the specifics of where his funds were spent, but his treasurer would. According to public documents, he spends most of his money on newspaper and radio advertisements, signs and T-shirts.
Solomon said he would like to remind voters “to get out and vote on the 5th if they haven’t already, or return their ballots that might still be laying around.”
Ward 4 race
New kid on the block Republican Matthew Boucher said that he is continuing to make sure his signs go up and “making sure people know who to be voting for” by talking to people in the section of Havre he said he hopes to represent.
His opponent, Dem-ocrat Karen Datko, also said she was continuing to “knock on more doors and get the late people out.”
They’re running out of time to get their ballots in,” Datko said.
Boucher said the way he acquired donations for his campaign is by basically letting people know he was running and accepting donations.
Some contributions came from people Boucher knew, whom he would run into at gatherings.
Boucher said he did not really have to ask people for donations; he just said he was accepting them and those interested in funding his campaign contributed.
“I think campaigns should be frugal,” Datko said. “I donated $500 from my own money to the campaign. I didn’t really solicit money.”
Boucher said he spends the majority of his contributions on radio ads and signage and Datko said the donations she has received go to newspaper ads.
“If anyone hasn’t got their ballot out there, I encourage them to vote,” Boucher said.
“I think it’s really important for all the people who actually support me to get their ballots in,” Datko said. “If I win, we can all work together to make our community better, especially on the east end of town.”
Solomon’s top contributor was state Sen. Greg Jergeson, D-Havre, the manager of Grande Villa Apartments, who gave a $100 gift to Solomon’s campaign, and his wife, Barbara Jergeson, donated $50. The Hill County Democratic Central Committee donated $800 to his campaign.
Rice’s top contributors include, but are not limited to: Steve Koski, an insurance agent, Bill Dritshulas, the owner of the Duck Inn, JudiDritshulas and Mrs. David Abbott, who all donated $160. Andrew Brekke, current Ward 4 councilperson, gave Rice’s campaign a total of $160 in gifts over $35.
Those who gave gifts under $35 are not named in candidate campaign finance reports, a public document. Neither mayoral candidate received many gifts that were under $35.
The Hill County Republican Central Committee donated $800 to Rice’s campaign.
Boucher also received $800 from the HCRCC. His next largest gifts were two $100 donations from Barbara Brekke and Hill County Republican Chair Andrew Brekke.
Datko received $160 from Karen Sloan and $100 from Antoinette “Toni” Hagener. Sloan and Hagener are longtime Democratic activists. Datko also received $150 from Natalie Brown, a U.S. Department of State diplomat and $160 from Stacy Johnson, Datko’s supervisor in Fort Lauderdale for the website moneytalksnews.com. Datko said she believes raising funds should come from personal connections.