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Contributions to Prescott Council candidates top $50,000 to date

Greg Mengarelli, Billie Orr, Cathey Rusing, Jim Lamerson, and Steve Sischka

Greg Mengarelli, Billie Orr, Cathey Rusing, Jim Lamerson, and Steve Sischka

Editor’s Note: This story has been corrected to accurately reflect the timing of the money raised by the Save the Dells organization. See related story.

Leading up to the Sept. 27 primary, the five candidates seeking office on the Prescott Council have raised more than $50,000.

Campaign finance reports filed with the Prescott City Clerk’s office show that the four council candidates and one mayoral candidate had raised a total of $56,702 by the end of the most recent reporting period.

Another campaign-finance report is still to come before the end of the voting period. The August pre-election finance report is due to the city by Aug. 19 – just over a week before the primary ballots are due on Aug. 27.

(According to the City of Prescott’s Candidate Information Pamphlet, the contribution limit from an individual to a local candidate is $6,450. There is no limit for individual contributions to political action committees).


Accounting for more than half of the candidate total contributions is incumbent Councilwoman and Mayor Pro Tem Billie Orr, who had raised $32,067 by the end of June.

Other candidates’ receipts included: incumbent Councilman Steve Sischka, $13,773; challenger Cathey Rusing, $7,944; incumbent Councilman Jim Lamerson, $2,126; and incumbent Mayor Greg Mengarelli, $792.

The candidates listed dozens of individual contributions and expenditures. Major contributions ($500 or more) and expenditures include:

• Billie Orr – Orr’s first- and second-quarter reports included about 120 individual contributions, ranging from $25 to $3,000.

Major contributions included: $3,000 from Prescott retiree Jim Lee; $2,000 from Prescott retiree Linda Lee; $2,500 from Sun State Homes, Tempe, builder Jim Chamberlain; $2,500 from Prescott physician Hojat Askari; $1,500 from the Prescott Firefighters PAC; $1,000 from Prescott contractor Jim Thomas; $1,000 from Prescott retiree Perry Massie; $1,000 from Phoenix physician Ali Askari; $1,000 from Prescott investor Bradley Christensen;

$500 from Prescott CEO Justin Scott; $500 from Prescott retiree Pamela Jones; $500 from Dewey retiree Nancy Fain; $500 from Prescott contractor Mike Fann; and $500 from Prescott rancher Ron James.

Orr’s major expenditures included: $6,025 to Helken & Horn Advertising Agency for graphic design, magnets, pins, design and signs; $4,383 to PV Broadcasting for radio ads; $3,409 to KYCA radio for advertising; $3,123 to Great Circle Media for radio ads; and $2,015 to the Hassayampa Inn for a fundraiser.

• Steve Sischka – Sischka’s first- and second-quarter reports included about 40 contributions of $100 to $2,500.

Major contributions included: $2,500 from Tempe land developer Jim Chamberbain; $1,000 from Prescott physician Hojat Askari; $1,000 from Prescott self-employed residence developer Jim Neal Lee; $1,000 from Prescott resident (occupation unknown) Oakes Ames;

$500 from Prescott retiree Ben Andre; $500 from Prescott contractor Michael Fann; $500 from James Deep Well Ranch manager Ronald James; $500 from Paulden Gun Sight Range business owner Sonja Mills; and $500 from Prescott retiree Oren Thompson.

Sischka’s major expenditures included: $2,341 to David Brechwald for a Cap. Canyon Club/catering event; and $3,637 to EMI for signs and magnetic buttons.

• Cathey Rusing – Rusing’s first- and second-quarter campaign finance reports included about 30 contributions of between $25 and $3,000.

Major contributions: $3,004 from Prescott retiree Tom Rusing; $1,000 from Prescott retiree Richard Ach; $668 in in-kind contribution from Prescott retiree Rod Moyer; $500 from Prescott retiree Rosemary Rusing; $500 from Prescott insurance brokers Scott and Peggy Kerns.

Rusing’s major expenditures: $2,225 to Drew Tracy, LLC for web maintenance; and $400 to C&J Outdoor Inc., for installation of billboard wrap.

• Jim Lamerson – Lamerson’s first- and second-quarter finance reports listed six contributions. None exceeded $500, and he listed no major expenditures.

• Greg Mengarelli – Mengarelli, who is running unopposed for mayor, listed no contributions other than a $500 loan to himself, and two contributions to his own campaign of $120 and $140.


Along with the candidates’ finance reports on the City of Prescott’s website is a report filed by the “Save the Dells” organization.

Save the Dells Treasurer Rod Moyer clarified that fundraising began well before the start of the City of Prescott primary campaign, and that the money has been spent for a variety of uses aimed at “doing what’s best for the Dells,” and not specifically on the city election.

Cumulatively since January 2018, Save the Dells has raised a total of $135,880.

Major contributions (of $500 or more) included: $22,750 from Prescott business owner Ty Fitzmorris; $3,250 from Prescott retiree Laurie Back; $1,100 from Prescott retiree Shawn Cardinal; $1,090 from Mingus Springs Camp & Outdoor owner Henry Dahlberg; $1,000 from Prescott retiree Nancy Lambert; $1,000 from Prescott homemaker Joan Dukes; $1,000 from Prescott resident (unidentified occupation) Isabel Arnone;

$600 from Prescott retiree Bob Powell; $600 from Prescott retiree Janet Anderson; $600 from Prescott retirees Don and AJ Silseth; $600 from Prescott ResCare Homecare management Eileen Gnabasik; $560 from Prescott retiree Henry R. Moyer III; $550 from Prescott retiree Sheri Kreuz; $540 from Prescott retiree Dale Maas; $520 from Prescott retiree Patrick Grady; $500 from Las Vegas business owner John Ritter; $500 from Prescott retiree Stuart Horn; $500 from Oracle Corporation Project Manager Robert Rogers; $500 from Prescott cosmologist Matt Francis; $500 from Prescott retiree Janet Childress; and $500 from Prescott retiree Beverlee Brown.

Cumulatively since January 2018, Save the Dells expenditures totaled $97,241 for a variety of expenses such as hats, yard signs, printing of maps and “myth busters”, printable labels, billboard rental, website maintenance, printing of Arizona Eco plans, and shirts.

Ballots for the Aug. 27 mail-in primary were mailed to registered Prescott voters on July 31, and are due back by 7 p.m. Aug. 27.

Follow Cindy Barks on Twitter @Cindy_Barks. Reach her at 928-445-3333, ext. 2034, or

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