Golden developer Tim Walsh, who poured over $1 million into his failed race for a state senate seat in Jefferson County last year, is investing in politics again, albeit on a smaller scale.
He spent just over $18,000 in support of the slate of conservative Jeffco School Board candidates. After donating $1,000 directly to candidate Tom Wicke, Walsh gave $17,175 to Better JeffCo Schools, an independent expenditure committee supporting Wicke and Amara Lynne Hildebrand.
The check represents the entirety of the committee’s budget (except for $50 from its registered agent Marge Klein), and it arrived the same day the group spent the same amount on a mailer in support of Hildebrand and Wicke.
Yesterday the group reported another mailer expenditure of over $17,000. No corresponding contribution report has yet to appear in the state’s campaign finance database, but there’s often a lag with spending in the final days of an election.
In addition to self-funding his own campaign, Walsh made headlines for supporting the work of election-denying conspiracist filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza. Via his family foundation, Walsh gave a $100,000 donation to Prager U, a religious-right media nonprofit which took in $56 million in grants in 2021. D’Souza credited Walsh’s donation’s for “making possible” the short historical video series on the founding fathers he produced for Prager U. Conservative Jewish pundit Dennis Prager founded Prager U, which describes itself as “fighting for freedom, truth, and Judeo-Christian values with mind-changing content for people of every age.”
Wicke and Hildebrand are both endorsed by the Jefferson County Republican Party and SmartChoice Colorado (a project of the state GOP run by Darcy Schoening, who previously led the El Paso County Chapter of the anti-LGBT religious right extremist group Moms for Liberty), as well as the far-right Colorado Conservative Patriot Alliance.
Wicke is running for District 3 against engineer Michelle Applegate, who is endorsed by the teacher’s union. In District 4, Hildebrand faces two opponents: former social studies teacher Erin Kenworthy who now works as an educator for a Unitarian Universalist church in Denver and also has the union endorsement, along with Joel Newton, an education advocate who’s worked on behalf of low-income students.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Prager as Christian, rather than Jewish.