Editor's Note: Denver7 360 stories explore multiple sides of the topics that matter most to Coloradans, bringing in different perspectives so you can make up your own mind about the issues. To comment on this or other 360 stories, email us at 360@TheDenverChannel.com. See more 360 stories here.
ERIE, Colo. — Outside interest groups are spending big money on the town of Erie's upcoming election. The town’s mayor and three Erie Board of Trustee seats are all up for grabs.
Tuesday’s outcome could decide the future of oil and gas development in Erie — a booming small town that's found itself on the front lines of the fracking debate.
Signs line the streets in Old Town Erie. It’s a sign of what's at stake and the big money being spent to win over voter's this election.
The Boulder Daily Camera found a group with ties to the oil and gas industry, Vital for Colorado, has spent upwards of $55,000 on the election in support of four pro-business candidates: Mayoral candidate Dan Woog, and trustee candidates Barry Luginbill, Mackenzie Ferrie and Liz Locricchio.
The money from Vital for Colorado is not a direct contribution to each candidates’ campaign. It pays for services like digital advertising, mailers, or robocalls in support of their chosen candidate.
Under current election laws, candidates don't have to sign off on how political non-profits, like Vital for Colorado, spend money.
All of Erie's candidates tied to this money have denied involvement.
Woog wrote on Facebook: "I have no knowledge of Vital Colorado." He goes on to say, "I ask that you ignore any outside influences that may try to interfere with campaigns."
Trustee candidate Liz Locricchio went so far as to post directly on Vital for Colorado's website, asking them to "cease and desist any and all actions that involve the use of my name or reference to me personally."
Woog, Luginbill, Ferrie, and Locricchio are just four of several Erie candidates running in the crowded field.
Some of the other campaigns were connected with lower-dollar contributions, and there is one candidate who hasn't received any outside money. Click here to learn more about the candidates.