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Democrats report higher fundraising in most Interior matchups

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Posted: Thursday, November 1, 2012 12:29 am | Updated: 11:52 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS – Candidates in key Fairbanks-area races have continued strong fundraising efforts in the final sprint to Tuesday’s election.

As with previous reporting periods, Democrats generally raised far more money than their Republican counterparts during a three-week period between Oct. 6 and Oct. 27, and both sides have been bolstered by independent spending.

Incumbent Rep. Sen. Joe Thomas, D-Fairbanks, raised $20,431 to put him at a total of $133,563, the highest of any Interior candidate. His opponent, Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, raised $16,230 to put him at a total of $88,384.

Sen. Joe Paskvan, D-Fairbanks, raised $17,790 during the same period to put him at a campaign total of $98,603. Republican

opponent Pete Kelly picked up $14,231 during that period to put him at a race total of $77,184.

Aside from candidate fundraising and spending efforts, Outside money has been pouring into these races.

The Alaska Republican Party spent about $80,000 statewide during the most recent reporting period. Of that, $24,268.35, about 30 percent, went into direct ads against Fairbanks Democrats Sen. Joe Paskvan and Reps. Scott Kawasaki and David Guttenberg. The party also made direct contributions and ran advertisements in support of its candidates.

The Alaska Democratic Party and the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee also spent a fair amount of money directly supporting Democratic candidates.

The union-backed independent election group, Putting Alaskans First, which opposes Gov. Sean Parnell’s oil tax plan and supports the bipartisan coalition in the Senate has raised $244,800 for a total of $528,900. Many of the group’s contributions have been large single checks, such as a $49,000 contribution from McKinley Capital Management CEO Robert Gillam.

However, not all money has been easy to trace.

A group by the name of the Accountability Project has raised more than $140,000, much of which has come from the outside Republican State Leadership Committee. The national group raised $38 million nationwide and had spent more than $26.5 million in a bid to win state seats across the country.

Earlier this year, the Make Alaska Competitive Coalition, the group that has assumed much of the campaigning in favor of decreasing oil taxes, announced that it planned to raise between $300,000 and $500,000 on the races. The group, however, has declined to release its fundraising or expenditures because it has not run ads for a specific candidate.

Below are fundraising totals in several other contested Interior races:

• House District 1 — North Pole area

Janice Golub (D) $25,403

Doug Isaacson (R) $17,738

• House District 2 — northern portion of the Fairbanks North Star Borough

Rep. Bob Miller (D) $65,671

Rep. Tammie Wilson (R) $53,584

• House District 4 — West Fairbanks

Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D) $70,871

David Pruhs (R) $103,940

• House District 5 — Chena Ridge, University West, Salcha

Pete Higgins (R) $26,146

Dave Watts (D) $35,507

• House District 38 — Ester, Goldstream Valley, rural Alaska westward to the Bering Sea

Rep. David Guttenberg (D) $43,148.00

Rep. Alan Dick (R) $52,392.94

Dorothy Shockley (nonpartisan) $14,495.84

Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544 or follow him on Twitter: @FDNMpolitics.

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