Ybarra, Dillon campaign fundraising off to a slow start

A gubernatorial candidate is reporting a record-setting fundraising haul for the first six months of 2017.

Meanwhile, the two Republican candidates for state schools superintendent reported small-change contributions.

Monday is a deadline day for candidates for statewide office. They are required to file fundraising reports covering Jan. 1 through June 30, 2017.

Some reports are already online, including paperwork for the two declared state superintendent’s candidates.

State superintendent

Wilder School District Superintendent Jeff Dillon outraised incumbent Sherri Ybarra — albeit slightly.

Dillon raised a modest $2,870 for the first half of the year, and reports $2,753 in cash on hand.

The biggest contribution, $2,000, came from M2 Automation and Control. On its website, M2 describes itself as a family-owned business specializing in fire and security alarms.

Ybarra raised only $900 to bankroll her bid for a second term, and ends the reporting period with only $281 in cash on hand. The campaign’s biggest contribution, $400, came from Ybarra herself.

For Ybarra, lackluster fundraising numbers are nothing new. In 2014, GOP primary and general election opponents significantly outspent Ybarra, but Ybarra still managed to prevail. And in all of 2016, Ybarra collected only a single $250 contribution. (Dillon did not file election paperwork until April, so he could not raise any money in 2016.)

Ybarra and Dillon are the only announced candidates for state superintendent; no Democrat has entered the race.


Midyear sunshine reports aren’t yet available for the three big-name Republicans seeking to unseat retiring Gov. Butch Otter.

But Boise developer and physician Tommy Ahlquist reported raising nearly $575,000 for the first half of the year. Ahlquist said he put $378,000 of his own money into his campaign.

“Competing with well-known career politicians requires significant resources and significant investment – and thanks to the historic support of Idahoans and Tommy’s dedication and contributions – we will ensure Tommy’s fresh approach and new ideas are being heard by Idaho voters,” Ahlquist senior adviser Travis Hawkes said.

Lt. Gov. Brad Little, the first high-profile Republican to jump into the gubernatorial race, raised $393,000 in the second half of 2016. U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador filed his candidate paperwork in May – so the midyear report will provide a first glimpse into his fundraising efforts.

Troy Minton, a homeless man from Boise, is the only announced Democratic candidate for governor.

Check back for the latest news from the campaign finance reports.  



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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