While candidates for Idaho’s statewide offices are raising hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, candidates in state legislative races haven’t raised as much, especially in districts that are considered less competitive than others.
Idaho has 35 legislative districts, with two state representatives and one senator for each district.
So far in the 2022 race for Idaho’s state representative and senator seats, more than $597,000 has been raised for House candidates, and more than $509,000 has been reported for Senate candidates. Certain districts make up a larger share of that total, where the Republican primary may be hotly contested.
Candidates were required to file a 2021 annual report with the Idaho Secretary of State’s office by Jan. 10, which includes all donations of any amount, as well as in-kind contributions and loans. Throughout the year, candidates will also file monthly reports showing all donations, expenditures and other financial activity. The individual maximum contribution for a single election in legislative races is $1,000.
Many candidates have already announced their intentions to run for office. Some have not publicly announced but have started to raise funds or appointed a treasurer for a campaign. Candidates won’t be on the ballot unless they officially file for office in 2022.
Idaho’s primary election will take place May 17, barring any changes related to the redistricting process and the Idaho Supreme Court’s rulings. The general election will be held Nov. 8. The deadline for candidates to file for statewide office is March 11.
The Idaho Capital Sun has compiled all donations declared by candidates for state legislative offices into searchable tables sorted by the date of the donation. These tables will be updated regularly throughout the 2022 election.
House races show high dollar fundraising among Democratic candidates
Republicans in candidates for statewide offices have reported large contributions from individuals and businesses, while Democrats have largely trailed behind. But in most legislative races, the opposite is occurring.
Incumbent Republican legislators in House seats such as Reps. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, Chad Christensen, R-Ammon, and Julie Yamamoto, R-Caldwell, have raised less than $5,000 so far with four months to go until the Republican primary. But so far, all three are running unopposed.
Among Republicans, Rep. Scott Syme, R-Caldwell, has the highest dollar amount with $31,100, but $30,000 of that total is a loan from his own funds.
Among Democratic candidates, Reps. Lauren Necochea, D-Boise, and Chris Mathias, D-Boise, have raised $24,730 and $21,823, respectively. Natalie MacLachlan, a Democrat who is challenging Republican Rep. Greg Ferch, R-Boise, has raised $29,859. Ferch has raised $2,349 so far.
Out of all House candidates, Rep. Steve Berch, D-Boise, has raised the most, with $90,907 in his campaign coffers.
N. Idaho Senate race already hot with donations for Republican challenger
One Senate primary race that is flush with cash for one candidate is District 1, a seat occupied by Sen. Jim Woodward, R-Sagle. Woodward and superintendent of public instruction candidate Branden Durst recently made headlines due to an altercation at the Statehouse when Durst confronted Woodward after a committee vote Durst did not agree with. Durst said he would use the vote against Woodward in the primary campaign and said Woodward’s opponent, Scott Herndon, had a copy of the bill.
Herndon is already well funded. He has raised $51,805 compared to Woodward’s $4,410.
In District 10, Democrat Jodi Ferro, has raised $20,500 so far and is running unopposed. District 10 Sen. Jim Rice, R-Caldwell, reported raising $419 in 2021. If the two candidates remain unopposed in the primary, they will face each other in the general election.
In Boise’s District 15, Sen. Fred Martin, who is chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, has one Republican challenger in Rep. Codi Galloway, who was elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in 2020. Galloway has raised $21,055 so far to Martin’s $46,350.
On the Democratic side for District 15, James Rick Just has raised $30,394.