Candidates for local office in Anchorage are off to a much slower fundraising start in 2017 compared to 2016.
By February 1 of last year, five candidates for either Anchorage Assembly or the Anchorage School Board had already raised at least $30,000. This year, however, only one candidate, Chris Constant, has broken that threshold.
Here are the top ten candidates in term of fundraising at this point last year:
|Dick (Richard) Traini||$17,590.00|
|Starr Marsett for School Board||$4,180.00|
|Kay E Schuster||$3,390.00|
And here are the top ten fundraisers so far this year:
|Mark Bruce Butler||$4,760.00|
These are the first fundraising numbers most campaigns have disclosed, and they can be important. While the direct impact of money in any individual race is largely overblown, how much campaigns are raising gives those of us gauging the viability of campaigns valuable insights into how organized, active, and supported by political power structures they are.
There are warning signs for both candidates on the left and those on the right.
For conservatives, they have to be concerned that of their entire slate of office hopefuls, the top fundraiser so far is South Anchorage Assembly candidate Albert Fogle. He raised only $11,475. At this point last year fellow conservative Adam Trombley had already raised $33,225, and it wasn’t enough. He finished a distant second to Eric Croft in the West Anchorage Assembly race.
On the left, only Constant is putting up numbers on par with last year’s offerings. Incumbent Tim Steele is running in the same West Anchorage district Eric Croft did last year, but has raised only 10 percent of the $66,473 Croft did. The story is the same on the east side, where last year Forrest Dunbar had $53,249 at this point, and this year incumbent Pete Petersen has raised less than half that number at $19,687.
Those problems on the left are likely more a function of a lack of fundraising efforts on the part of candidates than a lack of support among voters, but if Steele and Petersen keep running the lethargic campaigns their fundraising numbers are showing, they can be beat.