Marian Orr, Amy Surdam

A new article from the Wyoming Tribune Eagle (below) shows that I have nearly twice the amount of donors as my opponent.

The first statement here is from my Facebook page and then the article from today’s WTE follows.

“As we move down the homestretch, our campaign is picking up momentum. While going door-to-door yesterday, one couple told me I had their vote because their impression was my campaign was really “for the people.”

They’re right. I built my campaign the same way I built my small business — by listening. That’s why I’m down at the Diamond Horseshoe every morning from 7am – 9am — to listen. No appointment necessary: just show up.

That’s why I’ve launched an unprecedented door-to-door campaign. I start Door-to-Door-with-Orr shortly after I leave the Diamond Horseshoe and go until sunset. And I do it without a team. People deserve to speak to the candidates — not surrogates.

The article in this morning’s newspaper further illustrates my for-the-people-campaign.

Gratefully, my campaign received nearly twice the amount of individual donations as my opponent.

We see it here on Facebook too. Again gratefully, my campaign page has more than twice the amount of followers than my opponent’s page.

As I say on my TV commercials, I listened to you during the campaign and I’ll listen to you as mayor.

We’ve got five days to go, folks. I appreciate the support. You picked the right horse.

**Note: In the article my opponent stated that she didn’t solicit donations during the general election. She has since corrected that statement and has acknowledged that wasn’t accurate. Kudos to her for correcting that misstatement.**”

Wyoming Tribune Eagle, November 3, 2016

CHEYENNE – New campaign fundraising statements show both Cheyenne mayoral candidates Marian Orr and Amy Surdam have been raising thousands in their effort to get their names out to voters.

But, as the election enters its final stretch, Orr appears to have a slight advantage in overall funds raised.

Orr has topped all local candidates in her fundraising efforts, according to her statement, which covers contributions made from Aug. 17 to Nov. 1. Orr raised $11,490 total, including $10,290 in individual donations from 53 people or couples, plus another $1,200 in anonymous donations.

Orr said the bulk of those contributions were made during a Sept. 20 campaign meet-and-greet event.

“What it’s told me is I have a really large groundswell of support,” Orr said Wednesday. “I’m extremely humbled by some of our longtime, very well-respected members of the community. And it wasn’t so much the dollar amount as the fact that they felt the need to contribute and support my campaign.”

The donations follow a primary campaign that Orr said was essentially self-funded, but also lean and targeted in its spending strategies. The general election has been a different story, however, and Orr said she appreciates the support she’s been receiving from so many individual donors.

“I believe they see my campaign as being focused on taking care of infrastructure and my philosophy that we need to put Cheyenne businesses, Cheyenne contractors and subcontractors to work,” Orr said.

Meanwhile, Surdam has raised $9,721.67 in the general election campaign, including $7,750 in individual contributions from 29 people and couples. She has also received $500 from the Wyoming Realtors political action committee, $50 in anonymous donations and a $68 in-kind contribution of postage stamps.

Finally, Surdam has spent $1,353.67 of her own money on the general election campaign, which is substantially less than she spent in the primary – but there are still a few days left to go.

“I anticipate I’ll have contributed $10,000 to $11,000 when all is said and done,” Surdam said Wednesday. “I think I’m able to make contributions on my own, but I felt both avenues were important to show I am investing in my campaign and that I also have the support of others.”

Surdam noted that all of her individual campaign contributions came unsolicited, and she too feels they show the passion some voters have for her campaign, which has placed more of an emphasis on quality-of-life projects, in addition to meeting infrastructure needs.

“I really appreciate all of the support I’ve received, both financially and emotionally throughout the entire campaign,” Surdam said. “My supporters have been incredibly generous, faithful and encouraging, and I can never thank them enough.”

City Council races

Outside of the mayoral race, the next biggest fundraising haul is in the Ward 1 City Council race, where challengers Pete Laybourn and D. Reed Eckhardt have both put substantial sums of their own money into the race.

Laybourn’s fundraising statement shows $10,317 raised altogether, though $9,200 of that is from the candidate himself. Another $915 came in from eight individual donors, with $202 in un-itemized donations coming from a “chili birthday dinner,” according to Laybourn’s paperwork.

A former City Council member, Laybourn said he still recalls the sting from 2008, when he lost his bid for re-election, due in part to what he called “a malicious witch hunt.” He said he hasn’t enjoyed sitting on the sidelines over the past eight years, adding that his own substantial campaign investments are an indication of his investment in Cheyenne’s future direction.

“Public service is very, very important to me, and I’m very optimistic about what Cheyenne can be. I want to be a part of it, and I want to help,” Laybourn said. “Spending that much money shows just how seriously I take it and how important it is to me.”

Eckhardt has also heavily financed his own campaign, contributing $2,557.21 to his general election fund. Another $1,110 came from 10 individual donors, with $300 in in-kind donations for web services for a grand total of $3,967.21.

“It is surprising how much it costs to run a race,” Eckhardt said. “I’d never realized how much it was going to cost to build name recognition in the primary and then go on to the general.”

He added that, as the former executive editor of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, he already did enjoy some name recognition, but he’s also felt it’s been important to spend funds on getting his message out.

“You’ve got to keep your name in front of the voters, but you’ve also got to state your positions,” he said. “At some point, we’ve tried to pivot toward issues, and I think at this point it does come down to ideas.”

Only two other City Council candidates turned in fundraising forms with notable contributions. Ward 2 incumbent Dicky Shanor took in $2,355, including $1,000 of his own money. Ward 3 challenger Rich McVeigh brought in $137.76, including $117.76 of his own money.

The only other candidate to file his paperwork on time, Ward 3 incumbent Mike Luna, reported no fundraising. The remaining seven City Council candidates – including incumbents Annette Williams, Jeff White and Bryan Cook – failed to meet the 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline to file their fundraising statements with the Laramie County Clerk’s Office.

If they do not get their fundraising reports in within 30 days of the deadline, Wyoming statutes say the candidates could be subject to civil penalties, including fines of up to $1,000.

“They’re required to file those after each election, whether you collect money or don’t,” said county elections manager Debbie Valdez-Ortiz.