Little’s raising money like he’s running

Gov. Brad Little hasn’t formally announced his re-election plans, but he is raising money like a candidate.

Little has received at least $44,500 in donations since June 16, including maximum donations from a prominent political power broker and his spouse.

On Tuesday, Little reported receiving $10,000 from Frank VanderSloot, the CEO of Idaho Falls-based Melaleuca Inc. and the state’s richest person. VanderSloot is a perennial big-money campaign donor, contributing largely to Republicans.

Little received a matching $10,000 contribution from VanderSloot’s wife, Belinda.

Under state law, donors can contribute up to $10,000 to a candidate — $5,000 for a party primary, $5,000 for the general election.

Little’s donations include $10,000 from the Idaho Prosperity Fund, the campaign apparatus of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, a powerful business lobby. Little also received $5,000 from the Idaho Associated General Contractors and $5,000 from the Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho.

Little has not announced his re-election run, but has broadly hinted he will seek a second term.

Candidates don’t have to file to run for office until next spring — but 11 presumptive gubernatorial candidates have named campaign treasurers, a precursor to fundraising. Candidates must report contributions of $1,000 or more within 48 hours.

Since candidates don’t have to report smaller donations right away, the 48-hour reports are an incomplete picture. However, they provide at least some snapshot into fundraising activity.

Here is some more information from the 48-hour reports:

Ed Humphreys. The regional GOP chairman from Eagle has outraised the field since spring, reporting $103,020 in donations since April. That total includes $10,000 from the candidate himself, and $1,000 from Eagle Mayor Jason Pierce.

Janice McGeachin. The Republican lieutenant governor reported receiving $23,000 since May 19, when she appointed a treasurer and formally announced her campaign plans. Donations include $4,000 from Brent Regan of Coeur d’Alene, chairman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation board of directors; and $1,000 from state Rep. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley.

Ammon Bundy. The Emmett conservative activist has reported only a single $1,000 donation since announcing his plans to run on the Republican ticket.

Seven other would-be candidates have appointed treasurers but have reported no donations: Republicans Jeff Cotton of Boise, Chris Hammond of Lewiston, Lisa Marie of Boise and Cody Usabel; Nampa Democrat Melissa Robinson; and unaffiliated candidates Robert Dempsay of Paul and John Dionne of Boise.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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