offer clues to District 25
Express Staff Writer
Legislature District 25 incumbents are out-fund-raising their
challengers by a significant margin this fall, but a Boise-based expert
said money alone doesnít indicate a strong campaign.
origins is one of the most telling indicators of a strong campaign, said
Jim Hansen, executive director of United Vision for Idaho, a nonpartisan
and nonprofit public interest research group.
incumbents kick back and look on as they watch political action
committee (PAC) money come in," he said.
said incumbent Rep. Tim Ridinger, R-Shoshone, appears to be doing
exactly that, while incumbent Sen. Clint Stennett, D-Ketchum, has sought
financial support from many individuals, "which is really
the incumbent doesnít do much fundraising," Hansen said.
"Clint looks like an exception. It looks like he took his challenge
seriously and had a hefty individual campaign."
campaign disclosure reports filed with the secretary of state Tuesday,
Stennett out fund-raised his Republican opponent, Gooding County
Commissioner Tom Faulkner, more than 3-to-1. Stennett raised $37,174.91
to Faulknerís $11,370.25.
candidates received money from PACs, and Stennett raised more in
individual contributions. Also, Hansen pointed out, Faulkner received
money from "more traditional Republican PACs."
the big PACs in Boise are reluctant to bet on a challenger," Hansen
said. "And when they do, they will do it en masse, and usually itís
to take out a Democrat."
Tuesday Ridinger had raised $12,654.91 to the $8,443.66 his challenger,
Donna Pence, D-Gooding, had raised.
said the number of individual contributions Pence has amassed means
"Tim Ridinger has a race on his hands."
looks like he could have raised more. Heís just gone after the Boise
PACs, which could indicate a weakness on the ground."
Hansen observed, "is somebody who at least knows how to raise
money. If she has organization on the ground to at least match that, she
is in a position to give him a run for his money.
incumbency is something he probably shouldnít take for granted, like
his Republican counterparts in the rest of the state."
Hansen said the District 25 senate raceís combined price tag of
$48,519.91 is average for a competitive race, Faulkner said he was
surprised at the amount of money his opponent raised.
said he thought a normal campaign would cost $10,000 to $20,000.
my standpoint, I guess maybe I was a little naÔve," he said,
"but I still believe that the citizens of Idaho are smart enough to
vote for the candidate and not some slick ads and big money.
feeling pretty optimistic. Thereís good support for me at the grass
roots level, and Iím feeling pretty good."
part, Stennett said he believes his successful fundraising efforts are
both a reflection of widespread support in the district and an indicator
that he worked hard hosting a lot of fundraising events.
that, despite considerable contributions from PACs, "Iím going to
vote my conscience."