A special-interest group is spending nearly $8,500 on advertising for Kootenai County Commission candidate Tom Cronin.
Citizens to Inform Voters, a political action committee whose treasurer is former Kootenai County Commissioner Katie Brodie, now spokeswoman for the lobby Concerned Businesses of North Idaho, is buying newspaper ads in support of Cronin in the May 27 Republican primary.
Cronin has raised a record-breaking $30,058 for his campaign, dwarfing the $4,700 raised by commission Chairman Rick Currie.
Challenger Jai Nelson, a rural preservation advocate, has raised $4,641, according to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday.
Brodie, who didn’t return phone calls, served with Currie for two years until 2006, when she lost re-election.
Cronin has broken Brodie’s fund-raising record of $26,380 set in the 2004 primary.
Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson has given $910 of his campaign dollars to civic groups such as the Boy Scouts, Coeur d’Alene Symphony and North Idaho Human Rights Foundation – a rare gesture, especially in a contested race.
He’s also given $200 to Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, who is running for U.S. Senate.
Former Kootenai County Sheriff Deputy Joe Bodman is challenging Watson.
Watson, who has $17,244 in his war chest, mostly from his previous campaign, has spent about $720, mostly for events.
Bodman’s report hadn’t yet been posted on the Kootenai County Web site.