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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

District 1 race leads campaign funds pack

A write-in candidate for the District 3 Bonner County commissioner’s seat has raised more money than any of the other commission candidates who had filed campaign finance reports as of Tuesday.

Current Bonner County Commissioner Karl Dye has a war chest of more than $27,738 – $7,387 of which he’s raised in the last three weeks.

Dye lost his bid for re-election for the District 3 commissioner’s seat in the May primary to fellow Sandpoint resident Lewis Rich. He announced his write-in candidacy in August.

Rich’s campaign finance report was not available Tuesday, but independent candidate Wayne Stotts has more than $1,577 and Republican Bud Mueller and Democrat Todd Crossett, the candidates for the District 1 commissioner’s seat, have $9,622 and $11,645 in campaign funds, respectively.

In the state legislative elections, the high-rolling District 1B House race in Boundary and Bonner counties continues to be one of the highest-grossing races, with Democratic challenger Steve Elgar raising more than $6,500 in the last three weeks and Priest River Republican Rep. Eric Anderson raking in more than $9,100.

Anderson and Elgar have raised more money than any other candidate in North Idaho, with Elgar posting $54,697 and Anderson $46,617. During the pair’s first showdown in 2004, Elgar raised more than $63,000 – twice as much as Anderson.

This year, Elgar’s the only one to receive a donation from the Idaho Democratic Central Committee. The only other Democrat from the first three district races to crack $1,000 in the past three weeks is Steve Johnson, a candidate for the District 2 Senate seat currently held by Republican Joyce Broadsword. Johnson has brought in about $4,000 – including $2,800 from his own pocket and $250 from Senate Minority Leader Clint Stennett of Ketchum.

The Elgar-Anderson race is the most evenly matched races in the area, financially speaking. District 1 Sen. Shawn Keough of Sandpoint, has out-fundraised her Democratic opponent, Jim Ramsey, nearly 6-1. She has raised more than $15,000 of her $47,785 since the last campaign finance report was filed. Her donations include $1,000 from Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis of Idaho Falls and $500 from Senate President Pro Tem Bob Geddes of Soda Springs.

Ramsey raised just $710 during the last three weeks, bringing his total to $8,557.

Things are more evenly matched in the race for the open Senate seat in District 5, which includes Post Falls, as both candidates have raised more than $25,000.

Republican Jim Hammond has $25,729 in his war chest, which is just $615 more than Democratic challenger Chuck Thomas, who has a total of $25,114.

The difference is much of Thomas’ cash is from his own pocket while Hammond has received donations from a variety of businesses, political action committees and individuals.

Sen. Dick Compton, R-Coeur d’Alene, who is retiring, has given Hammond nearly $2,000, according to the latest sunshine report that documents donations and expenditures through Oct. 22.

Hammond, the recently retired Post Falls city administrator, has spent a total of $18,863 on billboards and advertisements, including $6,486 to Coeur d’Alene’s Savvy Marketing.

Thomas, a retired Coeur d’Alene firefighter, has spent a total of $22,970 on advertising.

In District 4, which includes Coeur d’Alene, Democrat Rep. George Sayler has raised $20,000 more than his Republican challenger, Sharon Culbreth.

Sayler has a total of $34,687 while political newcomer Culbreth has $14,565. Sayler’s donations are from a mix of individuals, businesses and political action committees such as $300 from the Idaho Consumer-Owned Utilities Association PAC.

He has spent a total of $19,405 on advertisements and postage.

Culbreth received money from Rep. Dick Harwood, R-St. Maries, and $500 from local car dealer Darrel Sims. She has spent a total of $7,235.

In the race for the Kootenai County Commission, Republican Todd Tondee has raised a total of $4,448, while independent challenger Tom Macy has raised less than $100.

Tondee, who ousted Commission Chairman Gus Johnson in the May Republican primary, received a $1,000 donation from Concerned Businesses of North Idaho and $250 from Avista Corp. He has spent a total of $1,700.