Idaho U.S. Senate candidate Richard Phenneger of Post Falls says he’s loaned his campaign “almost $100,000,” but his fundraising is picking up and he’s starting to pay off the loan. He financed his campaign “with a lot of my own money to start with on it,” Phenneger told Eye on Boise. “But I think a lot of that’s going to get replaced.” As of the last campaign finance report, which covered the period from Jan. 1 to March 31, Phenneger, a Republican, had reported $9,675 in individual contributions and $29,770 in loans of his own funds, but he said he added to that in April.
He isn’t the only one in the race for the seat now held by Sen. Larry Craig to draw on his own funds. Republican Jim Risch loaned his campaign $380,000, plus reported $456,859 in individual contributions and $291,900 in PAC contributions for a cash-on-hand total at the close of the period of $935,876. And independent candidate Rex Rammell, who initially announced as a Republican, reported loaning his campaign $140,000 from Jan. 1 to March 31, in addition to receiving $7,802 in individual contributions.
Democratic candidate Larry Larocco didn’t put in any of his own funds, but reported receiving $281,389 in individual contributions during the period plus $125,419 in PAC contributions. The only other candidates in the race to file campaign finance reports were Republicans Scott Syme, who reported no contributions in the period but spent $36,435, and Neal Thompson, who reported a single $1,000 contribution from a McCall resident and put in $200 of his own funds.