Spokane voters gained two more choices for mayor on Wednesday, and one of them already tops the list for fundraising.
David Condon, former district director for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and former debt collector Robert Kroboth filed to run in the Aug. 16 primary for mayor. They join incumbent Mary Verner; Mike Noder, who co-owns a local demolition business; and perennial political candidate Barbara Lampert.
This week Condon disclosed that he raised $74,630 in May, the first month of his campaign.
Verner has raised $45,407, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission.
Condon has said he plans to raise more than $400,000, which would easily top all candidates who have run to be Spokane’s strong mayor. Verner has said she plans to raise closer to $250,000.
Condon called himself “hugely humbled” by his early support.
“The reality is I also need to make sure that I can get my message out,” Condon said in a news conference just before entering the Spokane County Elections Office to file candidate paperwork. “Television costs money and mail costs money. Town halls costs money. All of that costs money. That’s why I came up with that projection to be realistic of how that happens.”
After filing for office on Monday, Verner told reporters that campaign spending is “out of control.”
“I don’t necessarily want to follow in the footsteps of my opponents, because that’s too much money in a local election in the middle of a recession,” Verner said. “But I will raise and spend whatever is necessary, because I want to serve this community for another four years.”
Condon and Verner say their focus is on job creation.
“I think we’ve kind of planed out and I want to run a campaign that makes us proud of Spokane and drives us forward for Spokane,” Condon said Wednesday.
Kroboth, 77, also ran for mayor in 2000 and 2007 but didn’t attract much support. He came in fourth in the four-way mayoral primary in 2000. He was fifth in the five-way primary in 2007, taking 1.4 percent of the vote.
In a brief call Wednesday afternoon, Kroboth indicated that his policy of not talking to the media hasn’t changed.
“I don’t want to talk to you,” he said, before hanging up.
On his website, Kroboth says if elected he would eliminate the city’s Waste-to-Energy Plant and landfill garbage. He also stresses his opposition to fluoridating the water and calls the Spokane Police Department a “NaziFascist police force.”
“I will not appear at any debates, because they are simply not debates, but ignorant questions from ignorant people, most of whom are the stooges of candidates,” Kroboth’s website says. “If we had a League of Men Voters, they would call us ‘male chauvinist pigs.’ ”
Only one candidate on Wednesday joined any of the three races for Spokane City Council. Mike Fagan, co-director of Voters Want More Choices, which promotes statewide initiatives that limit tax collections, joined the race to represent Northeast Spokane. Fagan also ran in 2009.