This is an archived article that was published on in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In recent weeks, Ogden's eight mayoral candidates have engaged in spirited debates, cozy cottage meetings, assorted meet-and-greets and good old-fashioned door-knocking.

On Sept. 13, voters will narrow the field to the top two contenders. Mayor Matthew Godfrey, elected in 1999, is not seeking a fourth term.

If the first round of campaign finance disclosures — due Tuesday — are any indication, Weber County public information officer Mike Caldwell appears to have a clear edge, with City Council members Brandon Stephenson and Susie Van Hooser on his heels.

Caldwell reported donations of $45,418 and expenditures of $25,211. Cash began to flow to his campaign coffers in early June, and by mid-July large donors were climbing onboard. So far, none of his reported cash comes from his own pocket.

Stephenson, nearing the end of this second term on Ogden's council, came in a distant second with $19,450 in contributions — $8,205 of that were loans he made to himself — and $16,659 in expenditures.

Van Hooser, a retired school teacher who narrowly lost to Mayor Matthew Godfrey in 2007, reported $10,035 in contributions, of which $120 was carried over from previous campaigns. Van Hooser has spent $6,213 so far.

In mid-August, the Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors contributed $5,000 to Caldwell, $5,000 to Stephenson and $1,000 to Van Hooser.

So far Caldwell, 40, has run on a platform of proven leadership, pointing to his service in several capacities with Weber County.

Caldwell founded the Ogden GOAL Foundation, has served as chief executive officer of the Ogden/Weber Convention and Visitors Bureau and chairs the board that oversees the distribution of the county's Recreation, Arts, Museum and Parks funding.

Stephenson, 42, touts his in-depth knowledge of the city's workings gleaned from two council terms, his business acumen and a personal strength in collaboration and consensus-building.

Van Hooser, 68, advocates open government and passionately supports a streetcar system that would connect downtown Ogden to Weber State University via a route along 25th Street and Harrison Boulevard.

Rails in the ground — similar to the Portland, Ore., transit network — would serve as an engine to rejuvenate the city's east-central neighborhoods, Van Hooser believes.

Business owner Jason Goddard reported $13,400 in donations, of which $5,000 came from J. Kelly Goddard and $5,000 from Kathy Goddard. To date, he has spent $9,376.

In his first run for elected office, Ogden Community Development Manager Jonny Ballard took in $7,866. of which $3,427 were loans from himself. Ballard spent $8,472.

Former state lawmaker Neil Hansen brought in $6,395 — of which $4,220 were loans to himself. So far, he spent $6,221.

twitter: @catmck —

How the dollars stack up in Ogden's mayoral race

Jonny Ballard • Received $7,866, spent $8,472.

Mike Caldwell • Received $45,414, spent $20,302, cash on-hand $25,211

Jason Goddard • Received $13,400, spent $9,376, cash on-hand $4,074

Neil Hansen • Received $6,395, spent $6,221, cash on-hand $174.30

Brandon Stephenson • Received $19,450, spent $16,659, cash on-hand $2,791

John H. Thompson • Received $0, spent $2,333

Susie Van Hooser • Received $10,035, spent $6,213, cash on-hand $3,941

Steven Van Wagoner • Received $2,702, spent $1,614, cash on-hand $1,088

To view the reports, go to —

Mayoral debate

P The eight contenders for Ogden mayor face off Wednesday in a 6:30 p.m. debate at the Weber County Library, 2464 Jefferson Ave.

That event is sponsored by a grassroots group called "Ogdenites in Search of Information" that describes its members as the disadvantaged, uneducated and powerless.