It’s the day-after for federal candidates like Jeff Merkley, Steve Novick and those running for Oregon’s congressional delegation (including 2006 loser Mike Erickson). But while every other source spews forth the money chase for high elective office, you can county on the Boundary to highlight the less glamorous–but still powerful–state races.
Of course, the most interesting races right now are the Democratic primaries for Secretary of State and Attorney General. In the latter contest, state Rep. Greg Macpherson picked up two super-boosters today in current Governor Ted Kulongoski and former Governor Barbara Roberts. They’ve been elected statewide, and they know what it takes–apparently they both think Macpherson has the experience to lead Oregon’s Department of Justice over opponent John Kroger. The winner could possibly defend the state in chambers such as the United States Supreme Court (which is where Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna is this week). But what’s the financial factor of the race so far?
(First a disclaimer: Oregon’s reporting system relies on rolling deadlines–at this stage of the 2008 primary election, each contribution must be reported no later that 30 days after receipt. That timeframe will narrow to 7 days closer to the deadline, and we’ll have a more accurate picture then…but for now, here we go with the information available.)
According to public election records, online at the Secretary of State’s website, Macpherson has a huge money edge over Kroger. Friends of Greg Macpherson lists $142,521.89 as of today, with a big chunk of it rolled over from last election cycle and smaller chunks coming from attorney Bob Stoll, state Rep. Chip Shields, and Department of Education lobbyist Morgan Allen. Macpherson has raised $35,000 since the beginning of the year, which really means July 1, as legislators are not allowed to accept contributions during session. Kroger’s campaign committee, John Kroger for Attorney General, has collected $29,673.94 since he formed his committee on August 21. Among Kroger’s large and well-known contributors are Jackson County Democrats chair Paulie Brading, Portland lawyer Michael Simon, John Calhoun, and real estate banker Bob Scanlan. This is a close race, and we’ll have to watch how the Governors’ endorsement of Macpherson plays out in fundraising over the next few weeks.
The Boundary just took a look at the Secretary of State race yesterday, but here’s a better and refreshed picture of Kate Brown’s financial edge after her kickoff events: the Kate Brown Committee shows $119,450 in the bank, with about $100k raised in 2007. New Seasons founder Eileen Brady and lawyer Linda Love are the latest contributors, with Win McCormack and Eric Lemelson anchoring much of that $100k. The rest of the Sec. State field has yet to take off. Brad Avakian has raised $7500 so far this year, but after factoring in expenditures, he has started October with $2000. Vicki Walker is in slightly better shape, having raised $8000 with $6500 remaining. Rick Metsger has not yet created a Secretary of State committee, but he could roll over the $45,000 that’s in his current campaign coffers should he jump into the race.
Senator Ben Westlund has not yet created a committee to run for state Treasurer, but he’s still paying off parts of his 2006 independent bid for Governor.
More good news for Democrats: Potential GOP challengers are lacking money (at this point, anyway). Rumored Attorney General candidate Kevin Mannix has no money in his 2006 Governor committee, which is about $500,000 in debt. Mannix has both raised and spent $35,000 this year, most of which probably relates to his campaign to impose Measure 11-like mandatory minimum sentences for property crimes (boo, hiss). Potential Secretary of State candidate Bruce Starr holds about $3500 in his state Senate re-election fund.
That’s the state money check. Hopefully, that balances out all of the federal elections information about to come your way. And remember, you can check this stuff anytime online at http://www.sos.state.or.us–Oregon’s elections information clearinghouse.
We are 231 days out from Oregon’s primary.