Editor’s note: It appears that every gubernatorial campaign has handled the transition from individual campaigns to a consolidated campaign a little differently. This means there’s multiple reports in the system and getting an accurate picture is tricky. We’ve compiled these numbers after spending an afternoon digging through the numbers, checking press releases and talking with campaigns. If you spot an error, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunleavy reported $278,190.40 of campaign contributions during the latest fundraising period covering Aug. 12 through Oct. 5, prompting the campaign to tout its power of “individual donations.”
What that claim doesn’t mention is that figure is bolstered with $131,500 in contributions by the Alaska Republican Party to Dunleavy and his running mate Kevin Meyer (who raised $28,565 during the reporting period). Alaska campaign finance law allows political parties to contribute up to $100,000 to candidates for governor and lieutenant governor.
Begich also benefited from this, counting among his contributions $42,985 from the Alaska Democratic Party during the reporting period. He also received $25,000 prior to the recent reporting period.
Arguably, the party money still comes from individual contributions, but at a limit of $5,000 per individual per year instead of the $500 limit to candidates.
Still, money is money.
The Begich and Debra Call campaign reported total contributions of $177,293.73 during the reporting period, while Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott raised $159,376.24 during the period.
Walker still holds the overall fundraising total for the campaign with nearly $1 million raised between him and Mallott. The Republican ticket comes in next with about $735,000 raised and the Democratic ticket tops out at about $580,000.
Dunleavy holds the advantage when it comes to cash on-hand for the final sprint to the race with $167,000 on hand. Walker is in next with $154,000. Begich has about $101,000.
Independent expenditure groups are also spending big in this race, and it’s not much of a surprise that this spending has also largely favored Dunleavy.
The Republican Governors Association has poured more than $2.7 million into its proxy group Families for Alaska’s Future during the reporting period, which even bests the amount of money poured into the campaign against the salmon habitat initiative during the reporting period (Stand for Alaska – Vote No on One reported $2.6 million for a running total of $11.5 million).
Dunleavy for Alaska, a group that’s been funded in large part by Dunleavy’s wealthy brother Fancis Dunleavy and is responsible for all those snazzy signs, only saw $15,000 of contributions during the reporting period and is sitting around $930,000.
Walker got his own help from an independent expenditure group in the form of Unite Alaska for Walker-Mallott, which brought nearly $1 million into the race. Perhaps surprisingly because it was formed by Unite America, a national group backing independents, most of the money comes from within Alaska. Its big-ticket contributions include $125,000 from Alaska attorney Robin Brena, $200,000 from the Laborers’ Local 341-backed Working Families of Alaska, $100,000 from the IBEW and $200,000 from the Maryland-based United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Pipe Fitting Industry.
Begich has independent expenditure group Begich for Alaska in his corner, which has raised about $71,000. Its biggest contribution comes in the form of $50,000 from Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii.