Liz Snyder leads pack of progressives outraising Republicans in key legislative races: State of the Race

Liz Snyder.

It’s been a busy week! But we’re back with another look at the fundraising reports from this year’s legislative races. For the overall breakdown on the numbers, check out this earlier post.

Much of the attention of the Aug. 18 primary election will center on a slate of high-stake Republican primaries, where “moderate” Republicans—and their progressive allies from the last two years—are hoping they can hold onto their seats against a wave of party-line Republicans. But there’s several races that have the potential to flip Republican seats into progressive–or at the very least relatively speaking progressive–hands in this year’s general election.

Today we’re examining the numbers behind those races. As always, money isn’t everything in Alaska politics but it is about as good of a barometer of competitiveness—or at the very least donors’ notions of competitiveness—as we’ll get before voters head to the polls.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for your by-mail absentee ballot. The GOP goofed up 22,000 absentee ballot applications so be sure your registration and application are right!

Liz Snyder – House District 27

Ah, House District 27. In 2018, Democrat Dr. Liz Snyder came within 200 votes of unseating Republican Rep. Lance Pruitt in a district that went for Alyse Galvin and Mark Begich. For whatever reason, Pruitt skipped over those results and ran right into Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s arms as a fervent ally and defender of the governor’s incredibly unpopular budget vetoes… but at least he got this picture for his efforts.

Anyways, while Pruitt apparently was going back and forth on whether he’d even be running for the seat (rumored to be making an exit from politics by running a destined-to-fail campaign against Senate President Cathy Giessel or for Anchorage mayor), Snyder was hard at work rallying support for a second try at the seat.

And, hoo-boy, the numbers are stunning.

Snyder racked up about $35,000 at a single fundraiser—when anti-Dunleavy and company fervor was at its highest—and has continued fundraising at a healthy clip to where she’s currently at top the entire field of legislative candidates with a whopping $117,667.93.

That’s competitive Senate race cash and she still has more than 100 days until the general election.

Asked about the figure, Snyder had this to say:

“We’re really proud of the work we’ve been put in for well over a year—since March 2019. You can see the impact of those efforts, and the broad support we’ve built in our fundraising,” she said. “We’ve got over 800 individual-level donations from almost 600 people. But we still have a lot of work to do to win this race and have set high goals for ourselves so we can unseat a 10-year incumbent. I am so humbled by the outpouring of support form my community.”

Name District Party Total Raised 30-day Raised Total Spent Cash on Hand
Liz Snyder House 27 D $117,667.93 $31,196.02 $46,775.28 $72,305.98
Lance Pruitt House 27 R $17,356.47 $17,356.47 $1,371.87 $16,529.90

Julia Hnilicka – House District 6

The race for the vacant House District 6, the country’s largest legislative districts spanning from Denali to the Interior villages into the Chena Hot Springs Road area of Fairbanks and onto the Alaska-Canada border, hasn’t got a lot of attention, but it could be a key race for the political layout of the House.

Democrat Julia Hnilicka, of Nenana, leads the field for the race for House District 6, the massive house district currently held by the retiring Rep. Dave Talerico, with $28,423.79. She’s the only Democrat in the race, which is crowded with Republicans and independent hopefuls, and has outraised the field combined. She also holds a sizeable advantage when it comes to cash on hand at $15,906.14.

Travel will be one of the biggest challenges to winning the district and having that cash on hand certainly doesn’t hurt.

Name District Party Total Raised 30-day Raised Total Spent Cash on Hand
Julia Hnilicka House 06 D $28,423.79 $17,998.70 $12,517.65 $15,906.14
Mike Cronk House 06 R $10,191.41 $10,191.41 $6,858.70 $3,332.71
Julie Morris House 06 R $6,061.98 $6,061.98 $3,156.04 $2,905.94
Elijah Verhagen House 06 U (Certified) $4,269.11 $4,269.11 $4,083.40 $185.71
Ryan Smith House 06 R $186.95 $186.95 $36.95 $150.00
Deborah Williams Riley House 06 NA (Pending) $57.00 $57.00 $70.10 -$13.10

Marna Sanford – Senate B

Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, has never lost a race since winning his House seat in 1998. Former Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins gave him a serious run for the money in 2016 but ultimately fell pretty far short.

Could independent candidate Marna Sanford change the dynamic?

It’s a tricky district to run in—as Hopkins would tell you—and a lot of the attacks on Coghill during the 2016 campaign fell flat. Sanford, meanwhile, has stuck to a far more independent route while also effectively tapping into social media to engage voters during the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s had a strong showing when it comes to fundraising.

Coghill also faces a less-than-easy path to re-election. He’s got a far-right primary challenger in Robb Myers and independent challenger Evan Eads has not been shy about going after Coghill’s record on criminal justice reform.

Name District Party Total Raised 30-day Raised Total Spent Cash on Hand
Marna Sanford Senate B NA (Pending) $37,978.69 $37,978.69 $15,605.69 $22,373.00
John Coghill Senate B R $31,584.99 $12,309.99 $4,611.07 $26,958.92
Robert H Myers Jr Senate B R $4,459.95 $3,719.95 $3,376.93 $1,083.02
Evan Eads Senate B NA (Certified) $699.60 $699.60 $699.60 $0.00

Kelly Cooper – House District 31

House District 31 saw a massive change in its representation when Republican Rep. Sarah Vance sent longtime Rep. Paul Seaton packing in the 2018 elections. The district swung from a moderate Republican to the far-right, Dunleavy-aligned, student-bashing Vance and judging by several very… vocal constituent meetings, it seems like there’s the appetite for change.

That’s what independent candidate Kelly Cooper, a current member of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly, offers and it she’s got the fundraising to numbers to show for it. Cooper has raised a total of $46,786.76 with $39,262.76 of that coming during the latest reporting period.

By comparison, Vance has a significant $37,646.60 but saw her fundraising fall to just $9,114.17 during the latest reporting period (though legislators are barred from raising money during the legislative session).

Cooper’s spending has been much higher though ($27,769.74) and Vance holds the cash on hand advantage with $32,125.26 to Cooper’s $19,017.02.

Name District Party Total Raised 30-day Raised Total Spent Cash on Hand
Kelly Cooper House 31 NA (Pending) $46,786.76 $39,262.76 $27,769.74 $19,017.02
Sarah L. Vance House 31 R $37,646.60 $9,114.17 $5,521.34 $32,125.26

Paul Dale – House 29

Also, down on the Peninsula is the race between independent candidate Paul Dale and far-right Republican Rep. Ben Carpenter, who among his accomplishments in office has been to say Hitler was misunderstood while opposing coronavirus health screenings in the Legislature.

It’s not hard to look like the moderate in this race, but Dale has also said that he doesn’t believe the state can still afford a statutory dividend (Carpenter’s key issue, aside from lecturing Jewish legislators about the Holocaust and the “Jewish Nation”). Dale has written his campaign a $10,000 check but he still is well ahead of Carpenter when it comes to cash.

Name District Party Total Raised 30-day Raised Total Spent Cash on Hand
Paul D. Dale House 29 NP (Pending) $17,495.00 $17,495.00 $9,806.16 $7,688.84
Ben Carpenter House 29 R $3,534.55 $2,184.55 $94.55 $3,970.37

More from TMS

Be the first to comment on "Liz Snyder leads pack of progressives outraising Republicans in key legislative races: State of the Race"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.