In fact, both hopefuls, locked in a tight four-way race for the GOP nomination in the contest, have drawn more money from supporters living outside the district than within its confines, according to a review of their Federal Election Commission finance reports. Moore has drawn particularly strong support from Salt Lake County, where he lives and which actually sits outside the 1st District. Witt, meantime, has drawn strongly from scattered locations around Utah outside the district as well as Colorado, where she used to live.
The other GOP contenders, Kerry Gibson and Bob Stevenson, have also drawn donations from outside the district. But in contrast to Moore and Witt, they have drawn more relative support from donors inside the 1st District, which covers northern Davis County and all of Weber, Box Elder, Cache, Rich, Morgan, Summit, Duchesne, Daggett and Uintah counties.
To be sure, nearly half of the funding among the four GOP contenders collectively comes from their own pockets. Voting in the GOP primary culminates next Tuesday, with the winner moving on to the Nov. 3 general election to face the winner of the Democratic primary, between Darren Parry and Jamie Cheek.
Funds from individual donors, though, are also a very significant source of money in the GOP campaign, and here’s a rundown of itemized individual contributions each of the four received through June 10:
Moore: Moore, a management consultant in Salt Lake City, received $192,800 in itemized individual contributions, $174,700 of that from 85 donors outside the 1st District, or 90.6% of the sum. Another $18,100, 9.4%, came from 12 donors inside the district. Of the money from outside the district, $125,050 of the total came from 59 donors in Salt Lake County. Apart from that, Moore loaned his campaign $158,983.
Witt: Witt, mayor of Kaysville, received $140,457.59 in itemized individual contributions, $100,420 of that from 91 donors outside the 1st District, or 71.5% of the total. Another, $40,037.59, or 28.5%, came from 33 donors in the district. Of the money from outside the district, $61,700 came from donors elsewhere in Utah, most notably Salt Lake County, and $29,070 came from Colorado donors. Witt had loaned her campaign $75,000.
Gibson: Gibson, a former Weber County commissioner, received $115,700 in itemized individual donations, $55,250 of that from 32 donors outside the 1st district, or 47.8% of the total, according to figures downloaded from the FEC website. Another $60,450, or 52.2%, came from 61 donors inside the district. He had loaned himself $51,184 as of June 10.
Stevenson: Stevenson, a Davis County commissioner, received $88,250 in itemized individual donations, $23,100 of that from nine donors outside the 1st District, or 26.2% of the total. Another $65,150, or 73.8%, came from 30 donors inside the district. He had loaned himself $262,017.
Stevenson has criticized Moore’s residency in Salt Lake City, outside the 1st District, on various occasions in the race, and his campaign did so again in reacting to news of the origin of the individual contributions.
“First, Bob is very grateful to his friends and neighbors in the 1st District who have made the vast majority of contributions to his campaign,” Dave Hansen, Stevenson’s campaign manager, said in an email. “Second, Republican voters of the 1st District should be shocked and concerned that the one candidate who doesn’t even live in the district, but lives in Salt Lake City, has received the overwhelming majority of his contributions from his Salt Lake City neighbors.”
Moore, who grew up in Ogden, inside the district, alluded to the efforts some of his donors have had in building Utah. Though he now lives outside the 1st District, he still has a strong connection to the district, he has said, and would move back if elected to the U.S. House.
“I’m beyond proud to have individuals that built our economy — people like Alan and Jeanne Hall and the Eccles Family — support my campaign!” Moore said in an email. “My donors have a long record of building jobs throughout the 1st District and our state. These are some of the most generous people I know.”
He went on, rebuffing any suggestion that interests outside the district would skew his focus. “As the only candidate in this race that has never run for office, I am not beholden to anyone. As a member of Congress, I will only represent the constituents of Northern and Northeastern Utah,” Moore said.
Gibson put the focus on what he said was his grassroots efforts and his commitment to the 1st District.
“Our campaign is built on grassroots efforts of our friends, family and dedicated supporters throughout the first district. Our contributions reflect that voters in the 1st District trust my proven conservative record and want to see this in Congress,” he said in a statement. “I’ve pledged to uphold and fight for our Utah values and will not be beholden to outside special interests. Instead, my decisions will be made on principle and what is best for constituents in the 1st District.”
Witt cited the number of donors she received, more than the other candidates.
"We're humbled to have the support from more donors than anyone else in the race and for the broad support our movement to reopen America and restore constitutional rights has from across the district and state," Witt said in a statement
U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop now holds the 1st District seat, but he’s not seeking reelection to the post.