The latest campaign finance reports in the 1st District congressional race, filed yesterday, show a race that’s shaping up, with an open seat up for grabs in 2018. Former state Sen. Russ Fulcher loaned his campaign $35,000 on Sept. 30, the final day of the reporting period, to pump his fundraising numbers up from $65,421 to $100,421 for the period from July 1 to Sept. 30, higher than those of GOP rival Luke Malek, who raised $82,814 in the same time period, but didn’t start until two months ago, receiving his first contribution on Aug. 10.
Fulcher has raised $119,145 since he entered the race in June, in addition to the $35,000 loan; that puts his total receipts at $154,145. He’s spent $52,030, and at the end of the filing period had $102, 115 in cash on hand and $35,000 in debt.
Malek has raised $82,814, spent $7,328, and had $75,487 on hand at the close of the reporting period and no debt.
Meanwhile, David Leroy, the third big-name Republican seeking the congressional seat, reported raising $31,036 in the most recent quarter, on top of the $114,004 he raised the previous quarter, including $53,813 of his own money. Leroy’s total receipts come to $145,040 year-to-date; he’s spent $75,215 and had $69,825 cash on hand at the close of the reporting period.
Fulcher’s biggest contributions were from Michael and Marilyn Johnson of St. Johns, Fla, $8,100; Doyle and Elizabeth Beck of Idaho Falls, $5,400; John and Teresa McCallum of Glenns Ferry, $5,400; George and Mary Gersema of Meridian, $5,400; LaMont and Vicki Keen of Boise, $5,400; and Larry and Marianne Williams, Boise, $5,400.
Malek’s biggest contributions were from Stewart and Mary Butler of Hayden Lake, $5,400; Robin and Mary Jo Shaw of Coeur d’Alene, who are both physicians, $5,400; and the Association of Firefighters International Interested in Registration and Education PAC, $5,000. He also received contributions of $1,000 or more from the mayors of both Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls; from Shawn Swanby, CEO of North Idaho tech company Ednetics; from Mark Rey, former timber lobbyist and former undersecretary for natural resources and agriculture in the George W. Bush administration; from Sandy Patano, former longtime aide to U.S. Sen. Larry Craig; from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe; and from the CEO of Lighthouse Foods in Sandpoint, among others.
Leroy’s biggest contributions were from Dennis and Kathy Johnson of Eagle, $10,800; Kenneth and Kathleen Fait of Newport Beach, Calif., $10,800; Rex and Mary Beth Chandler of Boise, $5,400; Todd Maynes, St. Charles, Ill., $5,400; and Robie Russell of Seattle, $5,400. He also received donations including $1,050 from former Idaho First Lady Patricia Kempthorne, and more than $7,000 in in-kind accounting services from Richard Howard of Fruitland.
Interestingly, Leroy received a $250 donation from Joe Parkinson, while Fulcher received a $500 donation from Ward Parkinson. The Parkinson twins founded Micron Technology, the microchip firm that at one time was Idaho’s largest private employer; Fulcher worked for Micron for 15 years earlier in his career.
First-time Republican political candidate Michael Snyder raised $37,892, the AP reports, with $4,000 coming from a personal loan, according to his FEC quarterly report. The majority of Snyder's contributions came from donors outside Idaho. That's because while Snyder is not well-known among Idaho's political leaders, he has developed a far-right religious following as an end-times author and guest speaker.
In addition, Nicholas Henderson of Post Falls has filed for the seat as a Republican, and Michael William Smith of Post Falls and Donald Miller of Meridian have filed as Democrats, but none have reported any campaign fundraising.
Current 1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador is running for governor in 2018 rather than seeking re-election.