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Sunday, August 9, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Ahlquist campaign says he’s raised more than half a million in donations, plus $378K of his own $$

Campaign finance reports in Idaho state races are due on Monday – which is when we’ll find out who’s providing the initial funding behind the 2018 campaigns for governor, lieutenant governor and more. But GOP gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist sent out a news release today touting his fundraising, saying his campaign raised nearly $575,000 between March 1 and June 30, with more than half of the donations below $100.

Ahlquist also put in $378,000 of his own money, according to the release, bringing overall receipts to the campaign during the first reporting period to more than $950,000. The campaign spent just over $790,000; it’s been running statewide TV ads to introduce the first-time candidate.

“Collectively our opponents have held elected office in Idaho for a total of 27 years and have raised and spent millions of dollars campaigning for public office,” said Ahlquist campaign senior advisor Travis Hawkes. “Going up against career politicians has required Tommy to invest personally along with the tremendous support from fellow Idahoans, a necessity at this early stage of the race in order to share his message with voters of building an even better Idaho.”

Ahlquist is a physician and developer; his rivals so far for the 2018 GOP nomination for governor include Lt. Gov. Brad Little and 1st District GOP Congressman Raul Labrador.

Ahlquist hasn’t yet filed his full campaign finance report; his campaign said it will be filed with the Idaho Secretary of State on Monday. None of the other gubernatorial hopefuls have filed yet, either. So far, just one 2018 candidate for statewide office who faces a contested race has filed the mid-year report: Rep. Kelley Packer, R-McCammon, who is running for lieutenant governor.

Packer reported raising $10,274, with the largest single donation a $2,300 transfer from her legislative campaign fund. She spent $7,165 on campaigning, with the largest expense a campaign-logo wrap for a campaign RV.

Candidates who aren’t running next year but have remaining campaign funds also have to file reports by Monday. Among those who have filed so far is embattled state Treasurer Ron Crane, who reported receiving no donations but spending down most of his remaining campaign funds. His largest expenditures were a $1,000 donation to the Campaign for Working Families PAC in Virginia, an anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage PAC; and $750 to Raul Labrador for Governor.

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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