Who’s funding Mike Johnston’s campaign?

Contributions to campaign*: $1.5 million

Balance minus expenses: $732,000

Contributions to independent expenditure committee** supporting the candidate: $245,861 – Frontier Fairness. Top donors were Eric and Sara Resnick, each of whom donated $50,000 for a total of $100,000.  Eric Resnick is CEO of KSL Capital, which has ownership stake in multiple ski resorts. Eric Resnick also sits on the Vail Mountain School Board of Trustees with Sally Johnston, Michael Johnston’s mother.

Frontier Fairness was raising money through much of last year. Between July 1 and Sept. 30, the committee raised $300,000.  The only two donors were LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, who donated $250,000, and James Kelley, who donated $50,000.

Between April 1 and June 30, the committee raised $20,000.  Gary Community Investments’ Rob Gary and Chris Watney were the only two donors, and each gave the committee $10,000.

General donor profile

Total raised from large contributors ($1,000 to the maximum allowable $1,150)$878,762 for Johnston’s campaign from 767  donors, including the J.J. Abrams, and the Bradleys of Atlantic Media. These contributions make up 57.8 percent of his overall contributions.

Total raised from out-of-state contributors: $953,387, making up 63 percent of Johnston’s overall campaign contributions.

Top sectors associated with donors:

General business: $394,855 raised, which equals 26 percent of Johnston’s overall donations, and about 710 people donated

Attorney/Legal: $145,893.65 (9.5 percent), and almost 300 people donated

Teacher/Education: $139,893 (9.2 percent), and about 3,000 people donated

Financial/Investment:$121,597 (8 percent), and about 170 people donated

Companies with greatest number of donors and/or donations: 

Biggest contributing groups by employer and dollar amount:

Teach for America, $8,370 from 18 donors

Harvard University, $8,425 from 13 donors

The Emerson Collective, $3,950 from four donors

The law firm of Davis Graham and Stubbs LLP, $3,800 from five donors

Biggest contributing groups by employer and dollar amount:Biggest contributors by employer and number of donations:

  • Teach for America, 18 donors giving $8,630
  • Harvard University, 13 donors giving $8,425
  • Denver Public Schools, 13 donors giving $3,730
 *Data compiled by Shannon Mullane from Jan. 16, 2018 campaign disclosure statements, which cover the last quarter of 2017 and are the most recent candidate filings with the Colorado Secretary of State. The next filing deadline is May 7. 
**Independent expenditure committees can accept unlimited contributions, but how such committees spend that money cannot be controlled or coordinated by the candidate.

The research on the donations to the major candidates for governor of Colorado from both parties was conducted by graduate students in the precision journalism class at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The instructor is Burt Hubbard, former database reporter for the Rocky Mountain News, Denver Post and Rocky Mountain PBS. The students providing the research are: Giselle Cesin, Amanda Clark, Crystal Eilerman, Joseph Getty, Anne Henning, Rey-Lynn Little, Shannon Mullane, Heather Sackett and Jentry Womack.

Photo courtesy of the Johnston campaign

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