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Fundraising a dead heat between Republican candidates for Idaho lieutenant governor

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Idaho’s capitol building is located in Boise. (Kelcie Moseley-Morris/Idaho Capital Sun)

Combined total far higher than previous lieutenant governor races

As the Idaho Legislature conducted its business throughout the past two months, candidates for statewide office continued the fundraising march to the primary in May, including two legislators who are in a dead heat for fundraising — Speaker of the House Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, and Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird.

Bedke and Giddings are vying to be Idaho’s next lieutenant governor and have raised $482,953 and $482,439, respectively. March donations only reflect amounts in excess of $1,000 until the April 10 filing deadline.

Terri Pickens Manweiler, a Democrat who is running unopposed for lieutenant governor in the primary, has raised more than $125,000.

That combined sum is far higher than previous lieutenant governor races, particularly for the primary. One week before the primary in 2018, current Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin had raised about $95,000, while her four Republican primary opponents raised a combined total of approximately $525,500.

It’s also lower than what Gov. Brad Little raised during the primary for his re-election campaign as lieutenant governor in 2014. One week before the primary, Little reported raising about $305,800, while his primary opponent, Jim Chmelik, raised close to $34,000.

Candidates file monthly reports with the Idaho Secretary of State’s office by the 10th of each month, which includes all donations of any amount, in-kind contributions and loans, as well as expenditures and other financial activity from the previous month. The individual maximum contribution for a single election is $5,000, but some individuals and businesses will give two $5,000 contributions at the same time with one marked for the primary election and one for the general election if the candidate makes it through the primary process.

The candidate filing deadline was March 11. Idaho’s primary election will take place May 17, and the general election will be held Nov. 8. An official list of candidates has been published by the Idaho Secretary of State.

For other races between Republican candidates, the gap in fundraising is growing. Little has raised more than $1.6 million, which is nearly on track with the nearly $1.9 million Little raised by the May primary in 2018. McGeachin has raised $585,189, including about $39,000 in the month of February. Fellow Republican Ed Humphreys sits at about $313,000 and roughly $275,000 spent.

Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad filed a declaration of candidacy on March 11 to run for governor as a Democrat, but failed to change his affiliation from Republican to Democrat by the deadline and will not be listed on the ballot. Instead, he has launched a write-in campaign and has raised about $122,400 so far.

Stephen Heidt, a Democrat of Marsing, filed as a Democratic candidate for governor but has not yet reported any donations to his campaign.

In the competition for Idaho attorney general, incumbent Lawrence Wasden has raised about half of challenger Raul Labrador’s total with $214,178 in donations to Labrador’s $397,912.

Among Republican candidates to be Idaho’s next secretary of state, Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane has about $223,000 to Stanley Rep. Dorothy Moon’s $176,000. Sen. Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene, raised about $4,000 in February, bringing her total to about $101,000.

The Idaho Capital Sun has compiled the donations for statewide candidates into searchable tables that will be updated throughout the 2022 election year.

For tables, please see ICS page:

Fundraising a dead heat between Republican candidates for Idaho lieutenant governor  - Idaho Capital Sun