2022 Alaska State Senate candidate Tuckerman Babcock hands out candy during the 65th annual Soldotna Progress Days Parade on Saturday, July 23, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

2022 Alaska State Senate candidate Tuckerman Babcock hands out candy during the 65th annual Soldotna Progress Days Parade on Saturday, July 23, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Babcock leads local candidates in fundraising for state office, reports show

Babcock, Jesse Bjorkman and Andy Cizek are running to represent Kenai and Soldotna in Alaska State Senate District D

Alaska Senate hopeful Tuckerman Babcock continues to lead fundraising efforts among central Kenai Peninsula state legislative candidates, new reports filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission show. The 30-day reports from candidates, which must be filed 30 days before Election Day on Nov. 8, cover the time period that began on Aug. 7 and ended on Oct. 7.

Running to represent State House District 7, which includes Kenai and Soldotna, are incumbent Rep. Ron Gillham and Justin Ruffridge, both Republicans.

Gillham’s campaign has raised about $26,500 to date, including about $10,500 from about 53 individual donors over the last two months. He finished the reporting period with about $11,300 on hand. Among his biggest contributors since Aug. 7 are Pamela Gillham, Brian Miller and Cathy Sturman.

Challenger Ruffridge has raised just under $40,000 to date, including $10,000 from about 25 donors over the last two months. His biggest contributors over the last two months include $1,000 donations from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302, Thomas Wright of Kenai, Michael Horton of Soldotna and the Alaska Medical PAC.

Babcock, Jesse Bjorkman and Andy Cizek are running to represent Kenai and Soldotna in Alaska State Senate District D. That district is currently represented by Sen. President Peter Micciche, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek reelection.

Babcock’s campaign has brought in just under $125,000 to date, including about $38,500 — representing about 93 individual donors — during the most recent reporting period. Among his biggest contributors over the last two months are Thomas Mechler, of Amarillo, Texas, who has contributed more than $5,000 and Kathy Toms of Homer who contributed $2,000. Babcock also reported a $10,000 electronic funds transfer from himself.

Babcock is trailed by Bjorkman, whose campaign to date has raised about $53,000. That’s including just over $21,000, representing about 96 individual donors, during the most recent filing report.

Among Bjorkman’s biggest contributors are unions, including Teamster ALIVE, Alaska Laborers’ Local 942, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 302 and Public Employees Local 71 Supporting League, all of which donated $1,000. Bjorkman also reported a $1,000 contribution from Ryan Tunseth and a $5 contribution from himself.

Cizek’s campaign has reported just under $2,000 raised to date, including $370 in monetary and nonmonetary contributions over the last two months.

Incumbent Rep. Ben Carpenter, who has represented Nikiski and the northern Kenai Peninsula in the Legislature since 2018, is running unopposed to represent Alaska House District 8 in the Legislature.

Carpenter started the current reporting period with about $5,500 on hand. He received two contributions over the last two months: $500 from the Alaska Sea Pilot PAC and $250 from the Alaska Realtors PAC. Carpenter finished the reporting period with about $6,200 cash on hand.

Full campaign finance reports can be found on the Alaska Public Offices Commission website at aws.state.ak.us.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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