The dollars and sense (get it?) of some key legislative races across the state

Here are the most recent fundraising numbers from state House and Senate races that I’ve been keeping an eye on. (Some, I’ll admit, a closer eye than others.) They include the mandatory 7 day reports (due seven days before the election) and daily reports thereon out until Election Day. It’s important to note that these numbers don’t include the hundreds of thousands of dollars that are being spent by Independent Expenditure groups on both sides.

Anchorage House District 15

  • Democratic challenger Laurie Hummel: $103,596
  • Republican Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux: $147,743

This one is going to be close, and is getting nasty. Hummel has characterized the National Guard scandal as partly the fault of LeDoux, who sat on the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, which is totally unfair. In fact, it’s so unfair that it might warrant a response, considering that Hummel’s husband, Chad Parker, is a colonel in the National Guard, and as such, might have had some knowledge of the issues himself, which he seems to have kept to himself.

Anchorage House District 21

  • Republican candidate Anand Dubey: $39,614
  • Democratic candidate Matt Claman: $109,670

The lopsidedness of the money in this race doesn’t mean as much as you might think. First, Dubey is a hard worker and is used to being outspent, as was the case with the challenger in the primary race.  Secondly, he has a very committed following of Tea Party activists, and a few lefties, who seem to like the novelty of supporting Dubey, and who have huge antipathy towards Claman. Part of this is because as mayor, he stood up to the unions. More recently, he declined to get all involved in the “repeal 21” effort, which turned into a Democratic litmus test. What does he get for being a Democrat who at least gives a nod to business now and then? He gets business interests coming at him! The Accountability Project, which should be renamed, “Fund Any Republican Project,” is helping Dubey by sending mailers out about how Claman accepted stimulus money when he was mayor, as opposed to all those mayors across the state who turned it down. BTW: The State Chamber of Commerce is helping to fund this effort against Claman. The lesson: If you’re a mayor who negotiated hard with unions and happened to accept free federal money to help small businesses in your community, beware of the supposed small-business boosting Chamber.

Ketchikan House District 36

  • Republican Chere Klein:  $43,875
  • Independent Don Ortiz:  $48,367

This seems like a really interesting race, if nothing else because Ortiz is an Independent who’s doing well and said to be being helped, at least in concept, by the Unity Ticket. However, all I know about this race is this, from Alaska Panhandle News, which everyone should follow:

Fairbanks House District 5

  • Democratic challenger Adam Wool: $41,329
  • Republican Rep. Pete Higgins: $41,352

This one is obviously close. Remember, Wool didn’t enter the race until after the primary. From there, it was off to the races. He’s working hard, and Higgins is said to be in trouble.

Anchorage House District 27

  • Democratic challenger Matt Moore: $62,827
  • Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt: $71,347

Although the money they raised is about equal, House Majority Leader Lance Pruitt is getting hit hard here by seemingly every Independent Expenditure group out there. Too, Moore is airing military-esque radio ads. However, all the talk about service and honor probably won’t do much to boost his chances. This is a Republican district and Pruitt has good name recognition.

Anchorage House District 22

  • Democratic candidate Marty McGee:  $72,792
  • Republican candidate Liz Vazquez:  $26,262

Given how Republican-leaning this district is, this is Vazquez’s to lose. However, one of her problems, even when she ran in 2012, was that she had a hard time raising money. Her opponent, McGee is working hard. The question: Is McGee is using his money efficiently? A Democratic voter in the district reports that she hasn’t really heard from him, and has only receive one piece of mail from his campaign.

Anchorage Senate District K

  • Democrat Clare Ross:  $136,262
  • Republican Rep. Mia Costello:  $154,529

This one is a nail-biter, for sure. Ross has turned out to be a surprisingly good candidate: hard working, earnest, and knows how to raise funds. Costello, though, recently picked up the ball and is running with it. And because she’s a former state representative and was born and raised in the district, she has the name recognition.

Anchorage Senate District N

  • Democratic challenger Harry Crawford:  $127,790
  • Republican Sen. Cathy Giessel:  $164,433

A total of $292,223 has been raised by the candidates so far, making it the most expensive Senate race this cycle. Crawford, and his relaxed, Southern style is in direct opposition to Giessel’s stridency. However, that stridency does very well for her on T.V. and radio, where she looks lovely and always sounds like she knows exactly what’s going on. And, too, she’s a walking machine. Crawford, however, has the unions behind him and they’re said to be working hard for him.

As I said, I haven’t kept track of all the races. Feel free to look up the reports yourself at APOC here, and get back to me if you find something interesting.

Contact Amanda Coyne at


16 thoughts on “The dollars and sense (get it?) of some key legislative races across the state

  1. Zoe

    Although she usually leans right, Amanda has shown sound analysis in her characterization of Matt Claman and his willingness to work hard for bipartisan solutions. Matt’s opponent will tell one thing to half his district and something else to the other. He claims to be “a champion for women’s rights” but responded in four public questionnaires that he would outlaw abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. On the minimum wage, he tells some voters he will vote to raise it, but in his Conservative Patriots Questionnaire responded to the same question: “No. I am 100% against wage controls of any kind. The government needs to get out of the artificial”( Dubey also doesn’t believe in funding public schools because “If somebody wants a good education, they are going to get it whether or not we pour money into the institution.” (paraphrased from AARP debate). Matt would never lie to his voters and, whether or not you agree with him, is clear where he stands. I think Matt Claman beautifully reflects the values of his district and has shown himself capable of making tough choices and putting Alaska first. He would make a great representative for District 21.

  2. Sarah

    I am voting for Dubey since he has not sent me a single negative mailer. As a progressive I use my brain. Amanda obviously does not want to mention all the dirty tricks being played on Dubey. I like reading your blog Amanda but you are totally missing the ball on the Dubey race.

    I hope people don’t fall for all the BS that Claman is spreading. Next time you see Claman, ask him for his plan for Alaska. Go Dubey!

  3. John

    Amanda I wonder why you are always putting Dubey down. Some of the stuff you have reported about his race is simply not true. There has not been a single tea party volunteer in his campaign. I know because i have seen his campaign up close. Many Democrats including myself support him since we have seen his work ethic and skill set. Claman simply assumed my vote, Dubey earned it. Dubey inspires people by walking the talk. I know you like to print gossip but for once try to help out someone who wants to truly work for all of us.

  4. Amanda Post author

    Any legislator, Democrat or Republican, on any committee, can call for a hearing at any time. By yours and by Hummel’s logic then, all but (or two?) have “refused” to hold hearings. The situation is bad enough without the demagoguery.

  5. JBER

    The good news is Hummel is a loser. She is not a good person. She is mean-spirited. She is pompous. She may well be educated, but remains a poor decision maker. The real issue with Hummel is she’s probably trying to hide something. I don’t know what, but that’s her style. Does anyone know what role her husband had in the ANG scandal. He is an officer in the chain of command. What did he know and when? Did he share any of this with Hummel? Does Hummel have something she wants to say at the hearing? If she was sincere in wanting hearings, why didn’t she ask her state senator? It boils down to Hummel playing politics. She is a bad person not worthy of public office.

  6. Pi Mom

    So, let’s assume that LeDoux had her head buried in the sand until April and didn’t know a thing about the scandal. The Guard story has been front and center for months now. What do we hear from her? Crickets. Not a single comment. Sen .Lesil McGuire said she plans to hold hearings and hire a special prosecutor. Why didn’t LeDoux propose that since she is Co Chair of the M&VA Committee? McGuire’s intentions were met with resistance from Senate President Charlie Huggins. Of course, you remember Charlie Huggins? He’s the guy plastered on one of LeDoux’s latest mailers endorsing her.

  7. Amanda Post author

    A Hummel mailer said that “politicians turned a blind eye” to rape. And it specifically said that LeDoux refused to investigate the Guard and to hold hearings. The scandal didn’t begin to really unfold until April, after the Legislature adjoined for the session. Can you point to one person last winter who called then for LeDoux’s committee to hold hearings?

  8. Pi Mom

    Oscar, you are correct that it is NOT an accurate portrayal of what Hummel said. Hummel wrote an ADN Commentary piece and put forth a 6 point plan to deal with the Guard issue. In her plan, she mentions that there is no evidence that LeDoux (Co Chair of the Military and Veterans Committe) has done or said anything relative to the Guard issue, even in the many months since the issue has been front page news. Not even a peep from her, whereas Lesil McGuire has proposed hearings.

    On LeDoux’s website, she says:

    “Over the last two years I was honored to have served as a co-chair of the House Military & Veterans Affairs Special Committee. I worked hard to ensure that our military servicemen and women have all the support they deserve. As your representative in the State House I have been an effective and forward thinking advocate for our military and veterans.”

    Yet in the biggest and most horrific issue facing some of her constituents / military members, she did nothing. Absolutely nothing. That Ms. Coyne finds Hummel’s comment “unfair” is absurd, ridiculous and shows either a complete lack of knowledge of the facts OR a very biased viewpoint. Elected officials are judged on their actions, as well as their inactions. You can bet that if Hummel gets elected, she will see to it that steps are taken to be sure this never happens again.

    You can read her Commentary here:​

  9. Oscar

    CPG49 — Where and what exactly did Laurie Hummel say about LeDoux and the National Guard? I con’t think that is an accurate portrayal of Laurie Hummel.

  10. Pi Mom

    Your comment that Hummel blamed LeDoux for the National Guard scandal is absolutely false. What Hummel said was that LeDoux as CoChair of the Military and Veteran Affairs Committee was in a position to do something – hold hearings, issue subpoenas, order an invesigatation – and she did NOTHING. In fact, in all the months that the scandal has been in the headlines, LeDoux has not issued a single comment. Indeed, she spent more time lambasting Brad Keithley than even acknowledging that sexual assaults have occured within the Guard. Representing Elmendorf and being Co Chair of the MVA Committee means more than attending the Air Force Ball and waving the flag. One would expect some leadership in times of blatant misconduct. If LeDoux is unwilling or unable to provide that leadership, Hummel will.

  11. Anonymous

    Claman tough on labor! Hahaha. Got concessions that were all given back in later years for no real gain. Stimulus money borrowed from China? Hahaha. Nice try to prop up Claman.

  12. CPG49

    These ridiculous charges like Laurie Hummel’s suggestion that LeDoux somehow is responsible for the National Guard problems is a stretch of horrendous proportion.
    I am so tired of these types of false claims that seem to be the playbook of Democratic campaigns. Mark Begich has been criticized, by several credible national publications, for stretching the truth and for outright lies this year.
    I understand why Claman is a target of the Chamber. He has a history of being one to avaoid difficult issues. Regarding SB 21, Claman at best took a duck on the issue. We have enough of these types in Juneau.

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