In one of the top-watched state senate races in Colorado, Republican incumbent Ed Jones reports having $23,245 on hand – nearly half as much as challenger John Morse reported in the bank in the last cycle.
But Jones, a conservative African American running in one of the most ethnically and economically diverse districts encompassing central, western and southern Colorado Springs, may be at least a fraction closer to catching up to Morse’s reported $41,571 on hand.
Last night, Friday Oct. 6, Colorado Senator Wayne Allard was listed as the premier host at a fundraiser to benefit Jones’, at the upscale Colorado Springs home of millionaire developer, former gubernatorial candidate and school voucher activist Steve Schuck and his wife Joyce. It is not immediately clear how much money was raised at the event, but several other well-heeled sponsors were also listed on the invitation, including Bill and Kathy Hybl (of the El Pomar Foundation), Gary and Jane Loo (who made a fortune from the sale of Current, Inc.) and Bill and Marcie Miller (Bill is chairman of the Colorado Club for Growth).
But while Jones may have shown up at the Schuck’s spread last night, plenty of other folks have been wondering where the state senator, running for a second tern in office, has been during the campaign. Throughout the election cycle, Jones has skipped candidates’ forums and has ducked debates – even one hosted by his brother-in-law, District 11 school board member Willie Breazell.
One constituent weighed in with frustration in a letter to the editor in the Oct. 7 Colorado Springs Gazette:
Jones a no-show at candidate forum
As a resident of state Senate District 11, I was looking forward to the candidate forum which was sponsored by the African American Latino Alliance on Aug. 17 at the Penrose Library in Colorado Springs.
This was an opportunity to hear a debate on issues of great importance to residents of this state. How will our state government allocate scarce resources for education, use of water, maintaining our infrastructure?
What could have been an opportunity for citizens to hear the differing viewpoints of our current legislators and aspiring candidates for state office was rejected by Ed Jones, who chose not to come. At the forum, Willie Breazell, Jones’ brother-inlaw and the co-founder of the alliance, announced Jones would not be appearing at the event. No explanation was given. Where was Ed Jones?
Jones purports to represent District 11; I have to ask where Jones is when it comes to the tough issues that face our state, such as protecting and preserving our water sources, funding for public education, and the rising number of uninsured people in our state. I don’t know because Jones has not participated in any public debate during this campaign season.
Several reasons why Jones may be laying low – except from his wealthy supporters – come to mind: Since elected to the senate four years ago, Jones, has, among other proposals, sponsored unsuccessful legislation to ban affirmative action, voted against establishing a commission for health care reform and opposed purchase pools for prescription drugs. As noted in an Aug. 23 Colorado Confidential report, Jones even voted against a bill that would have set up a system to notify parents when their children’s immunizations come due. He has consistently pushed Schuck’s pet issue, school vouchers, which Colorado voters have in the recent past twice rejected.
In late August, Jones’ campaign manager, Sarah Jack, predicted that Jones’ September filings would reflect a much higher amount – as much as $28,000, she said. In August, Jones reported $3,200 cash on hand.
However, between Aug. 31 and Sept. 27, Jones raised a total of $13,200.