If money were to decide the Boise mayoral election, the campaign would boil down to the two already at the top of city government: incumbent David Bieter and City Council President Lauren McLean.
Through Sept. 30, they raised more than $200,000 each, 20 times as much as Ada County Highway District Commission President Rebecca Arnold and 48 times as much as former mayor Brent Coles.
While elections aren’t always won by whoever raises the most, it’s that money that pays for professional staffs (Bieter alone has several full-time campaign workers), advertising and other expenses to win votes.
That money comes from donors across the city and around the country. Candidates submitted their campaign finance reports Thursday, giving the public its first look at who’s donating to whom. Here’s the breakdown by each office:
Mayor: Bieter, McLean, Arnold, Coles and 3 more
Coles drew in only $4,500 while Arnold received $31,971 — though more than $20,000 of that came from loans she made to her campaign. McLean collected $216,263 and Bieter $225,194.
McLean had more itemized cash donors overall, with 1,018 to Bieter’s 704.
Bieter won the financial support of several city employees, including Airport Director Rebecca Hupp and Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan. He also got donations from several local businesspeople and developers — he brought in $1,000 from David Wali of Boise’s Gardner Development Co., for example.
Several firefighter PACs and elected officials also gave Bieter money, including $500 from the campaign of state Sen. Maryanne Jordan and $1,000 from former Boise City Council member Alan Shealy. He got $1,000 donations from several businesses, including the Simplot Co., ESI Construction and the Micron Technology Inc. political action committee.
Bieter also got donations from a few members of his campaign staff, plus $1,000 each from Strategies 360 Inc., the company managing his campaign, and Ron Dotzauer, its CEO.
McLean got money from Planned Parenthood, which had endorsed her, and several neighborhood association presidents. Sally Boynton Brown, a former executive director of the Idaho Democratic Party, gave her $1,000, as did Jennifer Stevens, chair of the Boise Planning and Zoning Commission. She got donations from several members of the Simplot family, including Adelia Simplot, the president of community group Boise Working Together, which got measures about the proposed new main library and the proposed baseball and soccer stadium on the November ballot.
McLean may have turned corporations aside, but she got donations from her fair share of people who are prominent in business, including doctors and real estate agents around the Treasure Valley. Joe Scott, a member of the Albertson family, donated $1,000; Richard Hackborn, a former HP executive, did the same.
Nearly 25% of McLean’s donations came from out-of-town donors, including several $1,000 donations from Washington, D.C, California and Illinois. Both McLean and Bieter got donations from across the country, but McLean received donations from more cities.
Arnold raised $10,425 in cash contributions. She loaned her campaign $21,546, including a $17,000 loan labeled as being from Sept. 30, 2017. (Her other loans are all marked from September 2019, and her finance filing is dated from Sept. 6, 2019, to Sept. 30, 2019.)
Wayne Richey, a Democrat, and Adriel Martinez, who is unaffiliated, both reported no donations for their campaigns, although Richey’s report shows him spending $1,233. Cortney Nielsen, who is unaffiliated, reported a $538 deficit.
Council Seat 1: Bageant, Scigliano, Danley, Moeness
Patrick Bageant raised the most of the six candidates for Seat 1, now held by McLean: $30,081.
Brittney Scigliano was a close second with $25,384. Tecle Gebremicheal raised $7,825, Ryan Peck $7,171 and Karen Danley $5,892. Chris Moeness raised the least money in the race, bringing in $1,019 from five donors, including himself.
Seat 3: Stead, Hallyburton
Seat 3 has two candidates in the race for the seat now held by Scot Ludwig, who is stepping down. Meredith Stead outraised Jimmy Hallyburton, $29,130 to $21,826.
Hallyburton received nearly 10 times as much in-kind donations. Stead had $250, while Hallyburton had $2,436, billed as being for wages and event expenses.
Seat 5: Clegg, Lombard-Bloom, Fuller
Debbie Lombard-Bloom outraised four-term incumbent candidate and Council President Pro Tem Elaine Clegg for Seat 5 on the Boise City Council through the help of $10,000 in loans from herself. In cash contributions, Lombard-Bloom raised $12,620, while Clegg raised $13,985.
Brady Fuller raised almost as much money in unitemized contributions of $50 or less as he did in itemized ones. Unitemized contributions, made in amounts of $50 or less, brought Fuller $4,207, while itemized contributions gave him $4,600. Combined with in-kind contributions, he raised $8,807.
Thursday was the first filing deadline before the election, which is just over three weeks away. There is one more deadline for finance reports before the election, plus a requirement of 48 hours’ notice for any contribution of $1,000 or more made after Oct. 21.
The next filing deadline, Oct. 29, covers Oct. 1 through Oct. 20. After that is 48-hour notice deadline for any contributions of $1,000 or more made from Oct. 21 to Nov. 2. A post-election report is due Dec. 5, and an annual report is due Jan. 31, 2020.
Contributions from candidates must be reported. Individuals, corporations, political action committees or other entities can contribute up to $1,000 to a candidate or a committee organized on the candidate’s behalf per election. There are no limits on amounts that can be collected by candidates, political action committees, or committees formed to support or oppose ballot measures.
The election is Nov. 5.