Financial disclosure reports due Monday show Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has raised about $150,000 for his election campaign this year, with a significant portion coming from companies in the energy industry.
Herbert became Utah's 17th governor earlier this month when Jon Huntsman resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China. Herbert had been serving as Huntsman's lieutenant governor and will face a special election in 2010 to fill out the remainder of Huntsman's term.
Herbert has $142,000 in cash on hand, according to his disclosure report. About $30,000 of that will be spent to cover expenses from his inauguration ceremony, said his spokeswoman, Angie Welling.
So far, no Republican challengers have come forward to challenge Herbert for the GOP's nomination. Herbert is widely seen as more conservative than Huntsman, who was the most popular governor in the state's history.
Since taking office, Herbert has changed the direction of the executive office by saying that he isn't sold on the idea that humans contribute to global warming. Huntsman was a vocal advocate of the need to reduce energy consumption to reduce the effects of global warming and has said the issue will be one of his top priorities while in China.
Herbert says he is organizing a conference for later this year that will be the first "legitimate" debate about whether humans have any role in global warming.
Herbert's stance on the issue is likely to win him support among conservative delegates, but it's unclear what the impact of that stance will be if he wins the party's nomination next May.
No Democrats have filed or announced their intentions to run for governor, although popular Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon has created a political action committee to raise money. An e-mail to Corroon on Monday asking if the PAC would be used to run for governor was not immediately returned. His report shows he has raised $37,800 and has about $21,000 on hand.
So far though, it appears energy and mining companies are receptive to Herbert's positions. Among Herbert's contributors are Pennsylvania-based Consol Energy Inc. at $15,000, Denver-based Bill Barrett Corp. at $10,000 and the Fort Worth, Texas-based XTO Energy Inc., with $5,000.
Herbert also received smaller contributions from Denver-based Berry Petroleum Co., the Denver-based Independent Petroleum Association and Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corp.
Utah places no limits on how much money individuals or corporations can donate.
Herbert's largest contributor is Orem-based Clyde Cos. Inc., which gave $30,000. His second largest contributor is the Utah Association of Realtors, with $25,000.
Herbert had previously served as president of the Utah Association of Realtors.
By using a political action committee instead of a personal campaign account, Herbert is able to delay how quickly campaign contributions are disclosed. Political candidates are required to report within 30 days whom they received contributions from and the amount.
The next deadline for PACs isn't until January. That report is the only one they must file before the state convention and the June primary.
Welling said Herbert isn't using a PAC to avoid disclosure. He said it's a goal to post campaign contributions on Herbert's campaign Web site, but it's unclear when that might occur.