Election 2018EnergyHot SheetThe Front Range

A gusher of bucks flows into Erie races from pro-oil and gas group

Author: Mark Harden - April 2, 2018 - Updated: April 2, 2018

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oil and gas pipelinesA residential neighborhood is pictured several hundred yards beyond an oil and gas well located in Weld County near Erie. (Photo by Andy Colwell/Colorado Politics)

Vital for Colorado, a statewide business coalition friendly to oil and gas interests, is backing various “pro business” candidates in the town of Erie to the tune of a combined $55,000.

The Boulder Daily Camera reports that the group over the last few days has been spending to support mayoral candidate Dan Woog and trustee candidates Barry Luginbill, MacKenzie Ferrie and Liz Locricchio in Erie, which straddles Boulder and Weld counties north of Denver.

All are running in Tuesday’s municipal election.

Says the Camera:

“The funds are not direct contributions, but rather used for services such as digital advertising, mailers and robocalls to residents in support of the candidates, according to records obtained through a public information request.”

Compare that to the combined total of $16,152 the four candidates had received in direct campaign contributions from all sources by March 12.

The candidates denied any involvement or coordination with Vital for Colorado. In fact, Woog went on Facebook to encourage voters to “ignore any outside influences that may try to interfere with campaigns.”

Last year, Vital for Colorado and an energy industry group spent even more lavishly in nearby Broomfield in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat Question 301, a local ballot measure to beef up oil and gas regulation.

The Denver Business Journal reported then that the No on 301 campaign received at least $100,000 from Vital for Colorado, and in-kind services totaling nearly $140,000 from the Colorado Petroleum Council.

Several Front Range communities have wrestled with how to respond to the advance of oil and gas operations toward home and businesses.

Mark Harden

Mark Harden

Mark Harden is managing editor of Colorado Politics. He previously was news director at the Denver Business Journal; city editor, online news editor, state editor, national editor and popular music critic at The Denver Post; and an editor and reporter at newspapers in the Seattle area and San Francisco.