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Monday, September 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Malek far outraises challenger; Riggs, Amador raise twice as much as Reps. Cheatham, Sims

Three contested North Idaho legislative GOP primary races have seen lopsided fundraising, according to campaign finance reports, with incumbent Rep. Luke Malek, R-Coeur d’Alene, far outpacing challenger Art Macomber in fundraising; while challengers Peter Riggs and Paul Amador each have raised more than twice as much as incumbent Reps. Don Cheatham, R-Post Falls, and Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene.

Here’s a look at the tallies:

Malek has raised $31,200 since Jan. 1, and carried over $17,289 from last year. He’s spent $33,152, and had $15,337 on hand at the close of the reporting period on May 1 and no debt. In his initial report, Malek said his campaign treasurer misclassified a $1,500 donation from Idaho Power as being for the primary election; a correction is being filed to reflect that $500 of that is for the primary, and $1,000 for the general election, staying within the limits, Malek said. He said Idaho Power also gave him $500 last fall for this year’s primary.

Other than that, his largest donations were $1,000 each from the NRA Political Victory Fund; Idaho Forest Group; CenturyLink; four Idaho firefighters PACs; Jim Deffenbaugh of Rathdrum; Stimson Lumber; and Idaho Sugarbeet Growers. He also received 62 smaller donations, from individuals, businesses or PACs, nearly all in Idaho.

Macomber has raised $6,891 in contributions, including $700 carried over from the previous year; spent $2,247; and had $4,664 on hand at the close of the reporting period May 1. His largest donation was $1,000 from Winning for Idaho, a Boise-based PAC that supports “instant racing” machines at Idaho horse racetracks, which lawmakers have banned. He also received more than a dozen smaller donations, nearly all of them from individuals or couples in North Idaho.

Cheatham reported $8,185 in donations since Jan. 1, carried over $1,209 from last year, spent $10,035 and had just $644 on hand at the close of the reporting period May 1, plus $3,147 in debt. His largest donations were $1,000 each from Winning for Idaho and AGRA-PAC, which is affiliated with the Idaho Farm Bureau. He also received nine smaller donations, all from PACs, businesses or other lawmakers from outside his district; he had no in-district donations.

Riggs reported raising $15,386 in contributions since Jan. 1, spending $8,838, and closing the period with $6,548 on hand and $5,236 in debt. His largest donations were $1,000 each from CenturyLink, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and Jack Riggs, his dad and the former Idaho lieutenant governor, and $750 each from the Idaho Realtors PAC and Todd Brinkmeyer of Post Falls. He also received 22 smaller donations from individuals, couples, businesses or PACs, mostly in North Idaho.

Rep. Kathy Sims, R-Coeur d’Alene, reported raising $6,390 in contributions since Jan. 1, carrying over $1,267 from the previous year, spending $4,083, and closing the period with $2,573 on hand and $6,257 in debt. Her largest contribution was $1,000 from the Idaho Automobile Dealers Association; she also received several smaller donations from auto dealers around the state; Sims has long owned Coeur d’Alene Honda. She also received nearly a dozen donations from PACs, businesses or individuals from outside her district; she had just one in-district donation, from James J. Addis of Coeur d’Alene for $250.

Sims’ challenger, Amador, reported raising $18,155 in campaign contributions, spending $13,559, and closing the period with $4,597 in hand and no debt. His biggest donations were $3,358 from himself and $3,100 from various relatives; he also received $1,000 each from Todd Brinkmeyer of Post Falls and Shelley Smith of Modesto, Calif.; and more than 40 smaller donations, mostly from individuals in his district.    

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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