Thousands of dollars are rolling into the campaign coffers of candidates seeking four Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly seats.
Leading the way with the most campaign contributions are Mindy O’Neall, Seat C incumbent; Frank Tomaszewski, Seat B challenger; Geoffry Wildridge, Seat E incumbent; and Jimi Cash, Seat E challenger.
Six of the 12 hopefuls have filed an exemption with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, indicating they intend to raise and spend less than $5,000 between now and the Oct. 1 election. By law, they don’t have to file reports.
One of those candidates, Seat B incumbent Shaun Tacke, said he plans to withdraw his exemption and boost fundraising.
“I am just now hitting the pavement harder,” he said.
His decision comes as the latest disclosure reports, 30-day reports, have been made public by the Alaska Public Offices Commission. The reports cover fundraising and expenses that have occurred through 30 days prior to the election.
A few candidates who filed exemptions provided campaign financing information when asked about it Friday. Two candidates filed 30-day reports despite having collected less than $5,000.
Tomaszewski, a landlord and syrup merchant, has a total of $7,442 in campaign funds and is far ahead — moneywise — of the four people seeking Seat B.
Tomaszewski has invested $3,300 of his own money into his campaign.
His other contributors include the Republican Women of Fairbanks, $750; former Assemblymen Lance Roberts, $500, and Rick Solie, $200; former state legislator Andrew Warwick, $200; electrical contractor Michael Samson, $500; businessman Bill Vivlamore, $250; and Mark Zweifel, pastor at True North Church, who donated flyers.
According to Tomaszewski’s 30-day report, he has spent about half the money so far on printing, office supplies and room rentals.
Tacke, the incumbent, said in an interview that he has spent about $800 on his reelection campaign and will be seeking more financial support. The chief financial officer and general manager at a marijuana processing company is seeking a second assembly term.
William Pawlirzyn, an industrial hygiene technician, said he will not be seeking financial support for his campaign. He said he is focusing his efforts on free campaign activities, such as candidate forums and social media.
“I don’t want people’s money,” he said. “They have worked hard for it, and they should keep it.”
Jo Ann Borges, owner of 2nd Mom Child Care, is asking people who offer her campaign contributions to instead donate the money to charity.
Borges, who is making her third bid to join the assembly, said she is running on her reputation.
“Why do I need money?” she said. “People know me by face and by what I do.”
Of any candidate for assembly, O’Neall has attracted the most individual donors, about 80. Her fundraising has exceeded $8,500 — also the most of any candidate.
Her opponent, Jeffrey Rentzel, who unsuccessfully ran for the Borough Assembly last year, filed an exemption indicating he does not plan to raise and spend more than $5,000.
O’Neall is seeking a seat that she won recently by appointment. She is a business agent and organizer for Laborers’ International Union of North America.
Rentzel is a retired civil servant and part-time juvenile justice officer.
O’Neall’s campaign contributors include the Fairbanks Fire Fighters Union, $1,000; Sen. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks, $500; former borough Mayor Jim Sampson, $250; Anchorage consultant Arianna Cocallas, $500; Rep. Harriet Drummond, D-Anchorage, $100; former assemblyman and state legislator John Davies, $100; former Democratic state Sen. Joe Paskvan, $100; Crystal Tidwell, business agent at the International Union of Operating Engineers, $250; and former Democratic state Rep. David Guttenberg, $100.
O’Neall has contributed about $250 to her own campaign.
She has spent more than $5,000 on yard signs, printing, stamps, a website, room rentals and photography.
Wildridge, who was appointed to the assembly earlier this year, is leading in campaign finances among the four men seeking Seat E, records show.
The retired lawyer has raised $7,053, including $3,500 in contributions from himself, according to his 30-day report. He has spent $3,835.
His nearest rival, Cash, has raised $5,969 and spent $3,430, his 30-day report indicates.
Michael LaDouceur, a geologist, and Tim Beck, a former assemblyman and retired civil servant, both filed exemptions.
Wildridge’s supporters include Paskvan and Guttenberg, the same former Democratic legislators who are supporting O’Neall, who each contributed $100; retiree Ruben Clayton, $500; former borough Mayor Luke Hopkins, $50; former Assemblywoman Kathryn Dodge, who is also running for Fairbanks city mayor, $100; and fellow assembly members Liz Lyke, $50, Leah Berman Williams, $50, and Matt Cooper, $100.
On the spending side, Wildridge has listed yard signs, refreshments, printing and office supplies.
Cash is drawing support from the Republican Women of Fairbanks, $750; insurance agent Ed Randolph, $500; insurance agent Dick Randolph, $300; Cheryl Markwood, a real estate broker and an officer in the Repubican Party, $400; businessman Kevin McKinley, $200; former Assemblymen Lance Roberts, $200, and Rick Solie, $150; and real estate broker Angie Tallant, $500.
Cash’s campaign has spent money on signs, printing, office supplies, photography, stamps and room rentals.
The presiding officer of the assembly, attorney Matt Cooper, has raised $1,858 and spent $417 in his bid for reelection to Seat I, according to campaign records.
His challenger, Zachary Floyd, general manager of Hydro-Tech Alaska Inc., has raised $1,825 and spent $1,350 so far.
Floyd is filing campaign finance reports despite having raised below $5,000 because he aims to raise $10,000 and wants to maintain transparency, he said.
“If I do win, I want to start out with being as open and transparent as I possibly can right from the get-go,” he said.
Floyd said his campaigning has involved door-knocking, social media and passing out business cards and flyers. He hopes to add radio advertising closer to the time of the election, he said.
His top contributors are the Republican Women of Fairbanks, $750, and electrical contractor Michael Samson, $500. Former Assemblyman Lance Roberts contributed $100.
Cooper’s top contributors are retired Judge Niesje Steinkruger, $250, and businessman Rick Winther, $250.
Cooper contributed $200 to his own campaign and has received smaller campaign donations from fellow assembly members, former borough Mayor Luke Hopkins and Don Gray, a former Democrtic party official.
Cooper has spent $300 on campaign signs.
Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 459-7545. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMborough.