An addendum here to the routine campaign finance article I put together yesterday on Bozeman’s pending city commission election (published last night online and in print today):

Since the state campaign financial filings include address data for each donor, I figured I’d take a shot at mapping them to get a sense for where in town the respective supporters of mayoral candidates Cyndy Andrus and Brett Potter tend to live.

Bozeman 2015 mayoral campaign still
Reported addresses of donors to the campaigns of 2015 mayoral candidates Cyndy Andrus (orange) and Brett Potter (blue).
By Eric Dietrich Chronicle Staff Writer
I was a bit surprised, actually, at how striking the resulting pattern is:

To generalize a bit, it looks like Andrus’ supporters are concentrated heavily in Bozeman’s older neighborhoods, especially the historic neighborhoods between downtown and MSU’s campus. Potter’s donors, in contrast, look like they’re far more spread out, tending to live in newer subdivisions around the city’s edges. (I find it particularly striking, too, that Andrus apparently has no donors who live in recently built neighborhoods west of 19th and north of Huffine — where the city has grown most in the five years she’s spent on the commission.)

For context, Andrus’ campaign filings indicate she lives at 3247 Gardenbrook Lane, in south Bozeman on a block just north of Sacajawea Middle School. Potter lives at 312 Accola Drive, in a neighborhood east of South Willson and north of Kagy.

Some caveats — this dataset isn’t entirely comprehensive since the geocoding process I used (non-geek speak: translating addresses to latitude/longitude coordinates you can plot on a map) choked on maybe 5 percent of the listings I fed into it. Similarly, it’s likely that there are a few inaccurately located points for the same reason (I caught and corrected a few, but I suspect there are more I’ve missed).

Regardless, there’s a clear trend here, which has got me thinking. As I wrote in today’s article, much of Potter’s support comes from building industry professionals whose livelihoods revolve around construction in Bozeman’s newer neighborhoods — where it looks like quite a few of them live.

Andrus, in comparison, has the general backing of what it’s probably fair to call Bozeman’s left-leaning establishment, based on the names she counts among her donors. It looks like that includes many folks who are either well-heeled or have been around long enough that they bought into the city back when homes in our increasingly pricy core were comparatively affordable. (A quick search on real estate website Zillow today, for example, shows essentially nothing listed for sale in those southside neighborhoods for less than half a million dollars.)

I’m sure there are other conclusions to draw from this, too — anyone else have thoughts?

Also, the above map in interactive form (you can click/tap individual dots to pull up info on particular donations):

Eric Dietrich can be reached at 406-582-2628 or He is on Twitter at @eidietrich.