Parnell leads gubernatorial rivals in cash on hand

  • Tuesday, July 22, 2014 9:38pm
  • News

JUNEAU (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott brought in nearly $300,000 during the latest fundraising period, more than Republican Gov. Sean Parnell.

But Parnell had $450,000 available as of Friday. Mallott had about $66,000, plus $10,000 in debts.

Bill Walker, who finished behind Parnell in the 2010 gubernatorial primary and is running this time as an independent, brought in nearly $260,000, $170,000 of which he personally contributed. He had about $115,000 available, according to a filing with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

Parnell is seeking his second full term in office. He took over as governor in 2009, when Sarah Palin resigned, and was elected in his own right in 2010.

Walker, in a release, said he’s been able to run a “lean, but very effective, machine” with a network of statewide volunteers. He said the campaign has more momentum than money, but it has used its funds wisely, including securing ad buys into the fall.

It’s not clear yet whether Walker will put any more of his own money toward his run, Walker campaign spokeswoman Lindsay Hobson said. He chose to run as an independent so he could focus on Alaskans, not platforms, she said by email.

“This is a strong Alaska-focused campaign which relies on massive family and volunteer support,” she said.

Walker is the only one of the three who does not face a primary. Mallott and Parnell have been endorsed by their respective parties and received financial support from them.

Mallott’s total includes about $50,000 in personal contributions and $55,000 from the Alaska Democratic Party. He also received $4,000 from the Tongass Democrats, a southeast Alaska Democratic group.

Parnell raised more than $285,000, including $100,000 from the state GOP.

The reporting period spanned from Feb. 2 through July 18.

One of the big challenges facing Mallott is getting his name out there, spokeswoman Laury Roberts Scandling said. Parnell has the advantage of being able to travel the state for events like bill signings that get media attention, she said.

Mallott’s campaign sought a ruling from the Alaska Public Offices Commission on whether a volunteer who is a private pilot and owns a plane can volunteer his time and airplane to the campaign. The commission ruled the pilot can volunteer all the time he wants but cannot exceed the $500 annual individual contribution limit, which includes the non-monetary value of air travel time. The campaign would have to pay a commercially reasonable rate for use of the aircraft, the commission decided; paying for fuel is not enough.

As for other candidates, Russ Millette, one of Parnell’s challengers in the Aug. 19 primary, reported raising $3,500 since announcing his plans to run in May. He had about $1,300 on hand.

Millette was elected chairman of the state GOP by Ron Paul supporters during a tumultuous 2012 convention, but he was ousted by party leaders before he took over.

Republican Gerald Heikes raised $250, and had about $80 available. A fundraising report was not immediately available for another Republican, Brad Snowden.

Mallott’s lone Democratic challenger, Phil Stoddard, reported raising no money.

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