Significant Figures: Key takeaways from the latest round of legislative campaign fundraising reports

Monday marked the deadline for campaigns to report their fundraising totals to the Alaska Public Offices Commission in the form of 30-day reports that cover a period from Aug. 12 (a week prior to the primaries) to Oct. 5.

There’s a ton of information from the reports to delve through (and a bit of untangling to do) and we’ll have a bigger, nerdy breakdown of the numbers out shortly, but for now here are some of the significant figures from this round of reporting.

$242.34

That’s the difference in fundraising totals in this year’s most-consequential legislative race between Republican Senate President Pete Kelly and Democratic Rep. Scott Kawasaki.

After returning to elected office in 2012 (while out of the country) and cruising to re-election for a second term in 2014 against a political newcomer, Kelly is up against his toughest challenge in Kawasaki, well-known for being a hardworking and scrappy campaigner.

Kelly had a marginally better fundraising period with $42,902 collected from Aug. 12 to Oct. 5 to Kawasaki’s $38,767. What’s bizarre, though, is that the two candidates are in a virtual tie in overall fundraising dollars.

The total campaign income for Kawasaki tops out at an impressive $167,319.28 to Kelly’s $167,076.94.

Kawasaki holds a roughly $20,000 advantage over Kelly when it comes to closing cash on hand for the final sprint of the election. Kelly has $82,643.02 to Kawasaki’s $101,976.21.

$18,839.92

That’s the total contributions reported by Jake Sloan, the Republican Party’s chosen one to run a write-in campaign against Republican Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux over in the controversy-riddled House District 15 race.

It’s a hefty sum for a write-in campaign and goes to show just how serious the Republican Party is about party loyalty (and, you know, capitalizing on all the voter fraud allegations). The party gave him $3,000, the Alaska Realtors Association PAC gave $1,000, the ConocoPhillips employee PAC gave $1,000 and the Insurance and Financial Advisors PAC gave him $500. The rest is individual contributions.

LeDoux still holds an enormous advantage over the field with $25,077.00 raised since the primary election. Her total income sits at a Senate-like $131,475.40 with $102,720.11 in campaign expenses. She has $33,180.34 closing cash on hand.

Democratic candidate Lyn Franks reported $7,504.39 in income during that same time period, putting her total campaign income at $11,765.11.

$6,243.88

Grier Hopkins, the Democratic candidate for Fairbanks’ House District 4, now holds a $6,243.88 lead in overall fundraising over Republican opponent Jim Sackett. Hopkins, a popular Democrat and nephew of the retiring Rep. David Guttenberg, had trailed Sackett through most previous reports thanks in large part to Anchorage enthusiasm about a potential pickup in the lefty district.

Hopkins brought in more than double Sackett’s fundraising since the primary, taking in $24,297.32 (bolstered in part by his own Anchorage fundraiser) while Sackett’s fundraising lost some steam with just $11,122.85 reported during that period.

Hopkins heads into the final stretch with $29,756.83 in on-hand cash. Sackett has $20,456.39 on hand.

Accused carpetbagger Tim Lamkin, an independent candidate Guttenberg accused of being a “pretty naive,” raised $1,250 during the reporting period with $1,000 of that coming out of his own pocket.

$350

That’s how much Juneau Democratic candidate Andi Story collected from non-Alaska contributors after her name appeared in President Barack Obama’s second round of midterm endorsements (along with Rep. John Lincoln). We count three contributions of $50, $50 and $250 that don’t list Alaska as their home turf after the endorsement was released.

Story raised $10,325.00 from all addresses after the endorsement, but that’s likely more attributable to a strong fundraising period since the primary with a total haul of $38,767.89. That puts her at a cumulative total of $73,696.15 to Republican Jerry Nankervis’ total campaign income of $89,571.32. Nankervis raised $18,722.56 since the primary.

Like with the race between Kelly and Kawasaki, Story and Nankervis are oddly neck-and-neck when it comes to closing cash on hand for the final stretch. Nankervis reported $43,860.33 to Story’s $42,530.56. That’s a lead of $1,329.77 in Nankervis’ favor, which shrinks to a $346.03 advantage for Story if you factor in the Nankervis campaign’s $1,675.80 in debt.

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