A week before the primary election, APOC filings shed light on state campaign finances

State candidates filed seven-day reports to APOC Tuesday—seven days before the primary election—documenting how much they have raised in the last 20 days, from July 19 to August 9. From now until the primary, candidates will have to report contributions within 24 hours of receiving them.

Remember, primaries can be won more through grassroots support and with name recognition than in funds. But a glimpse of the reports does give you a window in the strengths of a campaign. Below are some of the more interesting filings, starting with the big race.

Governor – As most know, Gov. Sean Parnell doesn’t have a serious primary challenger. Tea party candidate Russ Millette had an interesting platform initially about giving each citizen a chunk of the Permanent Fund in anticipation of a raid. But he and his message have since faded and he has only raised a little more than $9,000 total. In the general, Parnell will face independent Bill Walker, and Democrat Byron Mallott. Parnell and Mallott have run relatively even in  the last few fundraising periods, though Parnell has been much more frugal.

  • For this fundraising period, Parnell raised $35,214, and has $302,000 cash on hand. He spent $179,000, which is a lot of money for him. However, about $150,000 of that is on media, most of which has not yet been played.
  • Mallott raised $23,410. He spent $42,068—as he has in the past, much of that was on staff. He has about $42,000 cash on hand.
  • Walker raised $18,651. He spent $35,196 and has about $98,960 cash on hand.

Lieutenant Governor—The contested race here is on the Democratic side, where relatively unknown Wasilla math teacher Bob Williams is running against state Sen. Hollis French for his party’s nomination. French is much more well-known and is an incredibly good campaigner. Williams, though has given it all he has, traveling all across the state and working social media hard. If he loses, expect to hear more from him n the future.

  • French raised $17,265 this period and has $66,504 cash on hand.
  • Williams raised $1,834 and has $2,685 cash on hand.

House District 3 – Redistricting has thrown incumbent Republican Reps. Doug Isaacson and Tammie Wilson into the same district. The two candidates are very different from one another, and those differences in this North Pole-based district are likely to be the deciding factors. Isaacson, for the most part, seems to generally believe that his role as a government official is to make lives better. Wilson, on the other hand, seems more interested in protecting people from the government by keeping it out of people’s lives. Until now, Isaacson was winning the money game until this reporting period.

  • Wilson raised $6,575 and has $3,893 cash on hand.
  • Isaacson raised $3,688 and have $644 on hand.

House District 21 – This Turnagain House district seat in Anchorage is currently held by Rep. Lindsey Holmes who has announced that she will not be seeking re-election. The Republicans running are Anand Dubay and Matt Fagnani. Dubay ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2012. His background is in information technology and engineering. He is a conservative and has grassroots, tea party support. This is Matt Fagnani’s first bid for elected office. He was recruited to run by the Republican Party establishment, and has been a much better fundraiser than Dubey.

  • Fagnani raised $6,740 and has $12,873 left to spend.
  • Dubey raised $3,145 and after debts, has $3,786 left to spend.

House District 32 –Three Kodiak Republicans will square off in the primary: Carol Austerman, daughter of Rep. Austerman; Louise Stutes; and Rich Walker. The race is said to be between Austerman and Stutes. Worth noting: Stutes has raised almost twice as much as Austerman overall.

  • Austerman recently raised the ire of Republicans by posting a picture welcoming U.S. Sen. Mark Begich to Kodiak. She raised $5,103 and has $1,749 cash on hand.
  • Louise Stutes raised $1,100 and has $5,389 cash on hand.
  • Walker raised $350 and has $198 cash on hand.

House District 12 –This is the House seat that is being vacated because of Bill Stoltze’s bid for the Senate. Two Republicans have filed: Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Ron Arvin and Cathy Tilton, a former legislative aide to Rep. Neuman. Both candidates have their strengths and supporters.

  • Tilton reported $9,550, this period, $5,000 of which was her own money. She has $14,520 cash on hand.
  • Arvin raised $4,675 and has $6,898 cash on hand. However, after the report was filed, he gave his campaign $5,000.

House District 36 – This Ketchikan House seat is open due to Rep. Peggy Wilson’s announced retirement. Three Republicans have filed for the seat: Chere Klein, Patti Mackey and Agnes Moran. From what I hear, it’s been an oddly contentious race without clear ideological battle lines.

  • This period, Klein raised $3,696 and has $521 cash on hand. However, it should be noted that she has outraised her opponents by about 25 percent overall.
  • Mackey raised $3,507 and has $1,037 on hand.
  • Moran raised $1,875 and has $3,260 on hand.

House District 6 9 —  Rep. Eric Feige has two Republican primary opponents: George Rauscher and Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Jim Colver. Word is that Colver is all over the place, with the help of the unions, who have given him at least $12,000 in the race so far. As far as I can tell, they’re investing more in Colver than in any other candidate in Alaska. On Tuesday, Rauscher received the endorsement of the Alaska Family Council. The aggregate fundraising numbers in the race are: Colver $61,611, Feige $27,773 and Rauscher $15,718. 

  • In this period Feige has raised $3,418 and has $9,247 cash on hand.
  • Colver has raised $5,382 and has $12,920 cash on hand.
  • Rauscher raised $1,110 and has $491 cash on hand.

All told, Rauscher has raised $8,000, Fiege $11,285 and Colver a whopping $37,437.

House District 40 – North Slope Rep. Ben Nageak will face Kotzebue’s Dean Westlake in the August 19th primary, which is one of two the only legislative contested primary among the Democrats. (The other Democratic legislative contested primary pits Larry Murakami against Uriah R. Nalikak in North Pole.) The only thing for certain is that District 40′s representative will be a Democrat.

  • Nageak raised $2,202 this period and has $6,642 on hand. He’s raised about twice as much as Westlake.
  • Westlake raised $6,185 this period and has $1,700 left to spend.

Senate District F —This is a new Senate seat created by redistricting that spans from Chugiak to Palmer, and is the only Senate seat with a contested primary. DeLena Johnson is the mayor of Palmer. She was an early entrant to the race and in some ways a protégé of Rep. Bill Stoltze, who has also filed for the seat. Things have gotten pretty nasty, with Johnson accusing Stoltze of unethical behavior. She made such accusations on the Dan Fagan/Glen Biegel show. She didn’t have a shred of proof, however, and Stoltze went on the show the next day and unequivocally denied the charges. In any case, Stoltze is the odds on favorite here. He’s got the support of the majority of the Valley delegation, has many endorsements, including most recently the Alaska Family Council and the NRA, and has historically drawn big support in the Chugiak side of the district. He has raised much more money than Johnson.

    • This period, Stoltze raised $7,773, and has $21,022 cash on hand.
    • Johnson reported $7,950, however $5,250 was money she gave to her campaign. She has $2,382 cash on hand.

Click here for other campaign disclosures and aggregate fundraising numbers.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com

Correction I: Initially I wrote that Parnell didn’t have a primary challenger. Russ Millette is running against him. 

Correction II: Initially I wrote that the only Democratic contested primary race was in District 40. In North Pole District 2, Larry Murakami will face Uriah R. Nalikak



5 thoughts on “A week before the primary election, APOC filings shed light on state campaign finances

  1. Arctic Urbanophile

    Actually Parnell has three “challengers;” Brad Snowden, Russ Millette, and Gerald L. “Tap” Heikes.

  2. sethinfbks

    amanda, there’s the democratic primary in house district 2 you forgot about. the republicans didn’t forget about us, they even started by gerrymandering us 1st, 2nd, 3rd…..

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