Thornton Mayor Jan Kulmann received nearly $117,000 in campaign donations in her bid for another term as Thornton’s mayor — just less than three times that of her opponent.

Current Thornton City Councilor Julia Marvin, who is running against Kulmann, got about $42,000 in donations, according to the city documentation.

The first round of reports for the 2023 municipal elections were due Oct. 17.

Jan Kulmann

Kulmann’s donations come from manufacturers, oil and gas political action committees, developers, Thornton firefighters, principals in a public affairs group that has worked extensively with oil and gas companies, a local brewery owner and herself, among many others.

Kulmann, first elected to the council in 2013 and elected mayor in 2019, did not return requests for comment about her report.

Marvin’s largest donation came from herself at $4,500. Other large donors include Adams County Democrats, software engineering company co-founder Dean Leffingwell, and a former oil and gas lawyer turned Democratic political supporter Merle Chambers. Each donated $2,000.

Julia Marvin

“I’m really proud of how many donations we’ve gotten — over 280 already,” said Marvin, elected to the council in 2019. “Over 30 percent of those donations came from people within Thornton, and over 84 percent are people that live in Colorado.

“I appreciate all the small-dollar donors who have taken the time to invest their hard-earned money into the future of Thornton. Our elections shouldn’t be bought by outside special interests.”

Marvin also recorded a $127 donation from Thornton resident Eliza Namazi, wife of Dariush Namazi. Namazi is a political antagonist of Kulmann, whom he accuses of disguising her far-right Republican beliefs.

Kulmann’s biggest donation also comes from herself. She contributed $32,500 to her campaign.

Her second biggest donation of $7,500 came from Sacho, a manufacturer of caulks and sealants that recently opened a large complex in Thornton. The city council approved a tax incentive for Sascho in 2021.

She received $5,000 from Case Farms, which shares the same address as Thornton developer Carlson Associates. Kulmann also received several large contributions from members of the Carlson family.

Among her many additional donors are:

  • The Realtor Candidate Political Action Committee (formerly known as the Colorado Association of Realtors PAC), $3,000
  • The Occidental Petroleum PAC, $2,500
  • Urban Solution Group CEO Heidi Gill whose company does sound walls and mitigation for oil and gas activity, $2,500
  • Thornton Professional Firefighters Local 2376 at $2,450. The city negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the union in 2021.
  • Thornton Satire Brewing Company owner Todd Waufle, $2,000
  • Rocky Mountain Mechanical Contractors Association, $1,500
  • 76 Group Principals Josh Penry ($1,000) and Jake Zambrano ($400). The 76 group is a Denver-based public affairs firm.
  • PDC Energy PAC, $1,000
  • Lobbyist Marcus Pachner, $1,000

Kulmann also received small donations from fellow Thornton City Councilors Jessica Sandgren, Tony Unrein and Adam Matkowsky, as well as $50 from Westminster Mayor Nancy McNally.


Click here to go to the Adams / Weld elections page

Click here to go to the Elections 2023 Home Page

Other Thornton City Council candidates raised lesser amounts than the two mayoral candidates, ranging from a low of $4,200 for Mark Gormley to $28,000 for David Acunto.

See Thornton’s candidate manager page for full details on each candidate’s first report. Click “View” next to each candidate’s name, then the first report under “candidate attachments.”

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1 Comment

  1. So to my understanding if you vote for the current mayor you are voting for gas and oil to run the City of Thornton. She’s not working for the citizens.

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