© 2024 KVNF Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Political non-profit backs Montrose school board candidates with campaign support

A political non-profit with a history of backing conservative school board candidates throughout the state has provided campaign support to four Montrose school board candidates.

According to TRACER, the state’s campaign finance disclosure website, Ready Colorado spent over $12,200 toward campaign mailers supporting Neisha Balleck, Charlane Oswald, Dawn Shieldt and Ted Valerio.

KVNF has confirmed this information through TRACER and a copy of the delivered mailers, which identifies Ready Colorado and registered agent Jon Anderson as funders. The mailers went out in two batches: on October 16 and October 20.

Chalkbeat Colorado has previously reported on Ready Colorado, noting that because of the group’s federal nonprofit status, it’s not required to disclose its donors — and doesn’t. In 2021, the Colorado Sun noted that Ready Colorado funded almost every major Republican political group and effort in Colorado in 2020.

The mailers feature the four Montrose candidates, along with their names and photos, front and back. There are seven candidates running in Montrose (Erik Westesen, Tom West and Jody Hovde make up the remaining candidates).

On one side, the four are described as quote “parents who will always put students and teachers first,” and ask that voters “vote…to expand education.” On the flipside, the mailer lists reasons why mail recipients should vote for Balleck, Oswald, Shieldt and Valerio.

It is not yet known if the candidates were aware of Ready Colorado’s support at the time the mailers were posted…or why the nonprofit chose to support Montrose County School District candidates.

Ready Colorado has a history of supporting candidates who stand in favor of school choice in terms of funding.

Cassie moved to Montrose from Texas in April 2020, right before COVID changed the landscape of the world as we knew it. She brought her love of people and a degree in broadcast journalism to the Western Slope, where she built a strong foundation in local print news. She’s excited to join the KVNF family and grow as a reporter. For Cassie, her job as a journalist is to empower the community through knowledge and information. When she’s not researching and reporting, Cassie loves to spend time with her cat, Jasper, and paint something new.