Hartke, Orlando campaigns pile up cash - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Hartke, Orlando campaigns pile up cash

April 25th, 2022 SanTan Sun News
Hartke, Orlando campaigns pile up cash

By Ken Sain
Staff Writer

Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke did not face a challenger for his office four years ago. There is a challenger on the ballot in 2022, but the mayor enjoys a huge campaign finance advantage heading into the Aug. 2 primary.

All the candidates in Chandler’s election for mayor and city council had to report their finances through the first quarter by April 15. Hartke reported having more than $228,000 in campaign funds. His opponent, Ruth Jones, had about $111.

“I don’t think that money makes a campaign,” Jones said. “You have to be out talking to the people, that’s my priority. Being a new candidate, it’s been slow going so far, but there’s been an increase lately. I expect to see quite an improvement the next time we report.”

In the race for the three Council seats, incumbent Matt Orlando has a significant advantage. He has garnered more than $32,000 so far.

There are two open seats because incumbents Rene Lopez and Terry Roe are termed out.

Farhana Shifa leads the money race of the four remaining Council challenges, with more than $17,000 on hand. She’s a member of the city’s arts council and has run for state Legislature in the past.

Angel Encinas, who runs an immigration consulting and real estate business, is next with more than $8,000 in the bank. Jane Poston is next with more than $4,800 and Darla Gonzalez has about $2,500.

Poston runs her own video production company and Gonzalez runs a consulting company.

The mayor’s largest campaign donation last quarter came from someone living outside of Arizona. Jordan Schnitzer, of Portland, Ore., donated the maximum allowed $6,550 to Hartke’s campaign.

Hartke said he’s never met Schnitzer, the CEO of Harsch Investment Properties.

That company owns Queen Creek Commerce Center, a 556,000-squar- foot complex with two buildings near the Chandler Municipal Airport. Harsch said in a news release it owns 109 acres of land at three separate Chandler locations.

Hartke said the Queen Creek Commerce Center fits in with the city’s General Plan and Airpark Development Plan.

The mayor also received donations of $1,500 from developer Luke Still of Lake Havasu, and eight others who contributed $1,000 each. Three of those listed Sonoran Roots as their place of work. That’s a cannabis company.

The other five are either developers or lawyers for Withy Morris, a local law firm that has represented developers before the city’s Planning and Zoning Board and at council meetings.

Jones list only one donor who contributed more than $50. Joanna Coles donated about $240. Jones entered the quarter with $142 raised, and added about $2170 more. However, she spend $2,200 last quarter.

Orlando only had one contribution bigger than $500, and that came from Patsy and Marlene Orlando for $1,000.

Shifa received two donations of $1,000, both from real estate brokers. The rest of her donations were $500 or less.

Most of the donations to the Encinas campaign are under $500. The largest donation came from Dulce Encinas at $760.

Poston has only one donation of $500, from Lori Collins.

Gonzalez had three donations for $1,000 each, from Deana J. Layton-Hatch, Carleen Brophy, and Michael Futrell.