It's only September and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson already has raised more money for his re-election bid than he raised during his entire mayoral run four years ago.
Two months before the Nov. 4 general election, Anderson's contributions total $472,000.
That's about $75,000 more than he raised in 1999. Back then, Anderson promised to live by the city's voluntary campaign-finance reform laws, which call for candidates to spend only $375,000 per campaign. He pledged to live by the limit — but spent $387,000 while raising $396,000.
This time around, Anderson has a stated goal of $700,000 and is well on his way, raising more than 67 percent of that figure to date.
As he passed the $375,000 mark in this campaign, Anderson said he didn't feel any nostalgia for the campaign reform rule.
"I think I was a bit naive last time because I committed to that law when none of the other viable candidates agreed," Anderson said.
This election, mayoral challenger Molonai Hola has pledged to live by the voluntary $375,000 limit. However, Anderson and Frank Pignanelli have said they won't.
Anderson's total is more than double that of Pignanelli, who has raised $220,000. Hola has raised $74,000.
Anderson also has spent more than his challengers — $297,000.
By comparison, Pignanelli has spent $133,000 and has $87,000 left. Hola has spent $58,000 and has about $16,000 in his campaign fund.
Hola maintains he can win through a grass-roots effort of knocking on doors and making phone calls despite being outraised by $400,000.
"This race is not about money, it's about how you get your message out," Hola said. "We have enough (money) to win."
Pignanelli agreed that he could beat Anderson despite the mayor's war chest. Pignanelli noted that, although Anderson has spent nearly $300,000, he only has 40 percent of the vote, according to recent polls.
"He's in trouble," Pignanelli said. "An incumbent with 100 percent name recognition shouldn't have to spend all this money to win."
Anderson's list of contributors includes some big names: $7,500 from billionaire Jim Sorenson and $5,000 from the wife of billionaire investor Earl Holding. Former Salt Lake Organizing Committee board member James Swartz gave $5,000, and Main Street property owner Eugene Horbach gave $7,500.
Horbach's business, Seattle-based E&H Properties, also gave $7,500 to Anderson's coffers. Campaign finance laws prohibit donations of more than $7,500. However, an individual, his or her spouse and his or her business interests can each donate the maximum.
The McCarthey family, which formerly owned the Salt Lake Tribune, gave a $17,350 in-kind contribution of catering and rental of the McCarthey's McCune Mansion for a fund-raiser. The donations were split among the McCarthey family members.
Unity Utah, a gay and lesbian political action committee, gave Anderson $5,000, Salt Lake City firefighters gave $500, and the Utah Democratic Progressive Caucus gave $500. Donald Dunn, new chairman of the Utah Democratic Party, gave $90.
Pignanelli received $2,000 from the Utah Cable Television Association, $5,000 from Bonneville Inc. and $5,000 from Jerry Oldroyd.
As for Hola, new University of Utah football coach Urban Meyer gave $100, former Rep. Jim Hansen (through the Jim Hansen Committee) gave $1,000, and gubernatorial candidate Fred Lampropoulous gave $5,000.