5 Colorado families atop political donor list
August 05, 2003
By Susan Greene, Denver Post Staff Writer
Five Colorado families made the nation's list of top individual political
contributors during the 2002 election cycle.
According to data released by the Federal Election Commission, Fort Collins
businesswoman and heiress Pat Stryker ranked 34th nationwide for the $675,000
she gave - all to Democratic candidates.
Stryker, the granddaughter of Homer Stryker, founder of Michigan
medical-equipment company Stryker Corp., made headlines last year when she gave
$3 million to English Plus, the group that successfully fought the ballot
measure that would have abolished bilingual education. The gift was believed to
be the largest contribution from an individual to an issue campaign in Colorado
EchoStar Communications chairman Charlie Ergen and his wife Cantey ranked 59th
among the nation's top individual donors. The Littleton couple gave $417,000 in
the last election cycle - half to Democrats and half to Republicans.
Next among big Colorado donors came Merle Chambers, a Littleton philanthropist
and former CEO of an oil and gas company, and her husband, Hugh Grant, curator
of Denver's Vance Kirkland Museum. The couple ranked 81st nationwide by giving
$347,800 to Democratic candidates.
Denver developer Larry Mizel ranked 91st nationally, giving $331,747 to
Republicans. Mizel is president and chief executive of MDC Holdings, parent
company of homebuilder Richmond American Homes.
At No. 96 came J.D. Edwards founder and former chief executive Ed McVaney and
his wife Carole, who gave $308,500 to Republicans.