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Monday, September 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

Ahlquist, Labrador and Little report campaign finances, all raising hundreds of thousands

Right at the deadline, the campaign finance reports for the three leading GOP candidates for governor of Idaho are in. Boise physician and developer Tommy Ahlquist raised the most during the reporting period, at a whopping $952,531, including $378,271 of his own money, but he’s also spent the most – $796,360, with $615,905 of that going for broadcast advertising alone. Ahlquist closed the reporting period with $156,171 cash in the bank and $5,576 in credit card debt, mostly for food and travel.

1st District GOP Rep. Raul Labrador reported raising $309,046 during the reporting period, including a little over $2,000 in in-kind donations from his earlier congressional campaigns. He received $17,500 from out-of-state political action committees, or PACs; and $40,000 in donations from the campaigns of other members of Congress, including Friends of Jim Bridenstine (Okla.) and Jim Jordan for Congress (Ohio), which each gave $10,000. Labrador’s biggest donors were five couples, three of them from Idaho, who each donated $20,000. Labrador reported spending just $21,224 and no debt; he closed the period with $287,822 in the bank.

Interestingly, though he no longer is paying his wife, Becca Labrador, a salary to keep the books for the campaign, Labrador did pay his son, Michael Labrador, $1,440 in wages on June 15, according to his report. Michael Labrador, a graduate student in healthcare administration, has skills including web development, data analysis and computer support.

Lt. Gov. Brad Little reported raising $229,501 during the reporting period, in addition to his $334,052 beginning cash balance; he spent $114,295, and reported no debt and a cash balance at the close of the reporting period of $449,258 – the highest among the three candidates.  Little’s report runs for 67 pages, and includes contributions of as little as $10, as does Labrador’s 19-page report. I’m still working my way through all the numbers, but Little reports that he’s received more than 1,900 contributions averaging $322, and that 90 percent of his contributions have come from individuals and businesses in Idaho.

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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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