Who’s donating to candidates for Idaho state offices? Find out with these searchable databases

Candidates report all donations for 2021, showing high small-dollar contributions in some races

By: - January 27, 2022 4:45 am
Idaho State Capitol building

Idaho State Capitol building on May 5, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Mountain Sun)

With the midterm primary election less than four months away, candidates for statewide office in Idaho are closing in on $5 million in fundraising, with about $2 million coming from Gov. Brad Little and Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s campaigns for governor.

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 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.

Many candidates have already announced their intentions to run for office. Some have not publicly announced but have started to fundraise 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, 2022. The deadline for candidates to file for statewide office is March 11.

The Idaho Capital Sun has compiled all donations declared by candidates for statewide offices into searchable tables sorted by the date of the donation. These tables will be updated regularly throughout the 2022 election.

 

Incumbent Idaho governor’s campaign war chest continues to grow

Gov. Brad Little has still not announced if he is seeking a second term in the Republican primary, but he has raised nearly $1.4 million since the beginning of 2021. At a recent news conference, the Idaho Capital Sun asked Little if he was planning to run for another term, and he said, “I wouldn’t bet against it.”

Little has 1,749 donations as of Jan. 26, with more than $980,000 coming from Idaho sources. He has also raised $91,000 from donors in Utah, and more than $72,000 from donors in Washington state.

If he runs, one of Little’s challengers will be Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin, who declared her intention to seek the office last summer. McGeachin has raised more than $504,000, with 1,177 donations, the vast majority of which are from Idaho individuals and businesses. Her next largest source of contributions is from California, at $6,340.

McGeachin’s total also includes a $200,000 contribution of her own funds on Dec. 31.

Ed Humphreys, who is also running as a Republican, has raised more than $251,000 from 506 donors who mainly live in the Treasure Valley area. That total includes $10,000 from Humphreys’ own funds.

Ammon Bundy, who is running as a Republican, shot up in the fundraising tally from $19,000 in large-dollar contributions at the end of 2021 to more than $292,000 as of Jan. 26. Bundy has reported 890 donations, 30 of which were reported as in-kind, non-monetary contributions.

Bundy’s total also includes more than $96,000 of his own funds.

Steve Bradshaw, a Bonner County commissioner who announced his candidacy for governor as a Republican, has raised $51,381.

Other Republican candidates Lisa Marie, Cody Usabel and Jeff Cotton haven’t reported any contributions.

Paul Sand, a libertarian from White Bird, appointed a treasurer and announced his candidacy, but has not reported any contributions.

Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad, who announced in November that he would run for governor as a Democrat, has raised $79,000 so far, about $5,500 of which has come from Washington state donors. Democratic candidates Robert Dempsay, who announced his candidacy in November, and Melissa Sue Robinson have not reported any contributions.

Average donation amount:

  • Bradshaw: $338
  • Bundy: $329
  • Humphreys: $496
  • Little: $796
  • McGeachin: $428
  • Rognstad: $759

White Bird lieutenant governor candidate has received most small-dollar contributions

Two Republicans have announced their intentions to run for lieutenant governor, and both are members of the Idaho Legislature.

Speaker of the House Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, has more than $433,000 in his campaign coffers, compared to Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, who has raised more than $360,000. But there’s a large disparity between the number of donations between the two candidates. Bedke has 552 donations as of Jan. 26, versus Giddings’ 2,245.

That also reflects many more small donations on Giddings’ campaign. The average donation to Bedke is $775, while Giddings’ average donation is $160. Both have received a majority of their donations from Idaho individuals and businesses, but both have also reported a large amount of donations from California. Bedke has received $5,750 from California sources, while Giddings reports $9,020.

Terri Pickens Manweiler, a Boise attorney who is the only Democrat in the race so far for lieutenant governor, has raised $102,800, with an average donation amount of $529.

Average donation amount:

  • Bedke: $775
  • Giddings: $160
  • Pickens Manweiler: $529

Three Republicans vie for Idaho attorney general

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced he would seek a sixth term in late November. He was first elected in 2002, making him the longest serving attorney general in Idaho history. He will face several opponents in the May primary, including former U.S. Rep. Raúl Labrador, who announced the week before Wasden that he would run for the post.

Wasden has so far reported more than $70,000 in contributions, trailing far behind Labrador’s total of more than $287,000.

Both have high average donations — Wasden’s average contribution is about $1,400, while Labrador’s is more than $2,200.

Other Republican candidates are Dennis Colton Boyles, an attorney in Sandpoint, who recently represented Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin in a lawsuit over public records, and Arthur Macomber, a Coeur d’Alene attorney. Boyles has not reported any contributions.

Macomber reports a little over $97,000, about $40,000 of which are his own funds.

Average donation amount:

  • Labrador: $2,246
  • Macomber: $513
  • Wasden: $1,419

Ada County clerk leads fundraising battle for secretary of state

Three Republican candidates have announced their candidacy for Idaho secretary of state — Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane, state Sen. Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene and state Rep. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley.

Chad Houck, who is Idaho’s deputy secretary of state, dropped out of the race in December, citing a desire to spend time with his family instead of on the campaign trail. Secretary of State Lawerence Denney has not announced if he will run for re-election. 

McGrane has a large stash of nearly $171,000 from 683 donors, compared to Moon’s $102,000 from 170 donors. Souza is not far behind with about $95,600 from 139 contributions.

Average donation amount:

  • McGrane: $249
  • Moon: $586
  • Souza: $688

Still unclear if Idaho schools chief will run for another term

Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra has not announced if she will run for re-election in 2022, but she has raised $19,855 so far. That amount pales in comparison to one of her Republican opponents, former president of the Idaho State Board of Education Debbie Critchfield, who has raised more than $177,000 from 240 contributors since she announced her campaign in May.

Branden Durst, who is a former Democratic legislator running as a Republican for the office, has raised more than $29,000 from 128 donors.

Average donation amount:

  • Critchfield: $737
  • Durst: $229
  • Ybarra: $1,045

Idaho state controller running unopposed, but still raising funds

Brandon Woolf, who has been Idaho’s state controller since 2012, is running unopposed so far for re-election to the post. But he has reported $72,400 in contributions, including a $50,000 loan from his own funds.

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Kelcie Moseley-Morris
Kelcie Moseley-Morris

Kelcie Moseley-Morris is an award-winning journalist who has covered many topics across Idaho since 2011. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and a master’s degree in public administration from Boise State University. Moseley-Morris started her journalism career at the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, followed by the Lewiston Tribune and the Idaho Press.

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