Update: Fixes some various bone-headed typos.
With less than a month until Fairbanks voters head to the polls in the fall local elections, progressive mayoral candidate Kathryn Dodge—who came within a vote of a House seat in 2018—has raised nearly twice what conservative incumbent Mayor Jim Matherly has raised.
According to the latest reports filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, Dodge has raised $32,388.37 from non-candidate contributions compared to the $17,279.91 raised by Matherly. Dodge also reports that she’s contributed an additional $5,291.48 in non-monetary contributions to her campaign while Matherly has contributed $420 in cash to his campaign.
Dodge, a Democrat, made headlines for finishing a vote short of tying Republican Bart LeBon for the downtown Fairbanks House seat in last year’s general election. She saw a wave of enthusiasm when she announced her plans to run for mayor, which has been reflected in a particularly strong showing in fundraising for the position.
Typically, Fairbanks mayoral races raise somewhere in the range of $15,000 to $25,000. Matherly’s 2019 fundraising figure is nearly identical to what he raised at this stage of the race in 2016 ($17,537.52). Former Mayor John Eberhart, who was embattled over lingering legal issues from his 2013 election, raised $15,224.16 in 2016.
Eberhart raised about $25,000 at this point in 2013 when he handily defeated Vivian Stiver, who had raised about $14,500.
In addition to her own enthusiasm, voters in the Fairbanks area will be motivated by what’s been a less-than-sterling term for Matherly.
Matherly made national headlines for his decision to veto an ordinance that extended LGBTQ protections to employment, housing and public accommodations that had passed the City Council 4-2 following months of debate and negotiations. The ordinance came after the community elected its first openly transgender woman, Councilwoman Kathryn Ottersten, in the 2018 elections.
Matherly suggested putting the ordinance up to a public vote, but it was never added.
He also made headlines for a Facebook post that mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford during the Kavanaugh hearings, which he later blamed on his girlfriend’s use of his account.
The election is Tuesday, Oct. 1.
Also in the race are Lakesha Jordan, who reported a total income of $1,877, and local perennial candidate Frank Turney, who filed an exemption from reporting because he doesn’t plan on raising or spending more than $5,000.
Rep. LeBon contributed $250 to Matherly’s campaign, according to the reports.