Original URL: http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E53%257E1551892,00.html

5 Colorado families atop political donor list
Denver Post
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 history.

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.