Aspen locals have reached deep into their pockets this election year to donate big money toward federal races.
Residents who live in the 81611 zip code have donated 24 times as much as the average zip code and are ranked fourth in the state for overall political campaign donations, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
So far in this year’s election cycle, Aspen zip code donors have given more than $1.3 million to congressional campaigns, the presidential race and political action committees, surpassing the amount the region raised in the 2008 election by about $5,000, according to Federal Election Commission data recorded on Oct. 1. This summer, Joe Luter, former CEO of the world’s largest hog producer and pork processor Smithfield Foods Inc., made the biggest individual contribution in the area of $100,000 to the conservative super PAC American Crossroads.
Meanwhile, individuals with an 81611 zip code have donated more money to the campaigns competing for the 3rd Congressional District seat than any other zip code in the state.
There are 81 local donors who have given $1,000 or less to Democratic candidate Sal Pace’s campaign, raising a total of $34,653 for the state legislator, while 64 locals have given between $500 and $2,500 to Republican incumbent Scott Tipton, who’s garnered $48,700 from Aspen.
Overall, Tipton is leading Pace in funds raised by about $500,000 and he currently leads in the polls with 42 percent support from likely voters, while Pace follows close behind with 39 percent, according to a poll released last week by a Democratic firm Grove Insight.
Pace’s camp considers the numbers a good sign, making the race what the campaign calls a “dead heat.”
As for the Presidential race, the Republicans have the lead in funds raised with locals donating $230,500 to Mitt Romney and $239,150 to the Republican National Committee. President Barack Obama has brought in $75,143 and the Democratic National Committee has garnered $133,411 from local addresses. Romney’s local fundraising lead was likely helped by a string of conservative fundraising events that took place in the valley over the summer where Romney and other Republican Party big-wigs made appearances.
Meanwhile, campaign finance reports for Pitkin County Commissioner candidates John B. Young and Steve Child have not been updated since July. A new report is due Oct. 16.