Fundraising for 2022: Little, Critchfield build big early advantages

Gov. Brad Little, left, and state superintendent’s candidate Debbie Critchfield confer before a July 2020 news conference.

Gov. Brad Little has raised upwards of $300,000 for his not-yet-official re-election bid, swamping his other likely opponents.

Nearly $250,000 of Little’s money has rolled in since mid-July.

Meanwhile, Debbie Critchfield continues to build a big fundraising edge in the state superintendent’s race.

The campaign finance reports are incomplete; for now, candidates are required only to report contributions of $1,000 or more. But these reports provide at least an early glimpse into the money race.

Here’s the latest.

Governor, GOP

Little has raised at least $291,750 so far this year. Donors include some of Idaho’s big corporate players: Intermountain Gas, the J.R. Simplot Co., Blue Cross of Idaho and the Idaho Association of Realtors. Little also picked up support from some familiar allies: newly appointed State Board of Education member Bill Gilbert and former Secretary of State Ben Ysursa. One oddity: Little received $2,500 from a Tuscaloosa, Ala., backer: Paul W. Bryant Jr., a banker and the son of legendary University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. (Donations reported on July 12: $44,500.)

Ed Humphreys: The newcomer candidate and regional GOP chairman from Eagle has raised at least $124,020. (July 12 reporting: $103,020.)

Janice McGeachin: Her fundraising includes at least $82,500, including $10,000 from her old lieutenant governor’s campaign fund. One notable donor: Viki Purdy, an Adams County commissioner and Southwest District Health board member who has vocally criticized the use of masks during the pandemic. (July 12 reporting: $23,000.)

Steve Bradshaw: The Bonner County commissioner, a recent entrant into the race, has raised at least $3,000, a sum that includes $1,000 from the candidate himself.

Ammon Bundy: The Emmett activist has raised at least $2,000. (July 12 reporting: $1,000.)

The rest of the gubernatorial field

Nine other candidates have named a campaign treasurer but haven’t reported any contributions. The list includes Republicans Jeff Cotton of Boise, Chris Hammond of Lewiston (who has since suspended his campaign), Lisa Marie of Boise and Cody Usabel of Meridian; Nampa Democrat Melissa Robinson; Constitution Party candidates Chantyrose Davison of Marsing and Pro-Life of Emmett; and unaffiliated candidates Robert Dempsay of Paul and John Dionne of Boise.

State superintendent, GOP

Debbie Critchfield: The outgoing State Board of Education member has raised at least $92,000 since announcing in May. One notable recent donation: $1,000 from House Education Committee member Julie Yamamoto, R-Caldwell. (Donations reported on July 13: $65,500.)

Sherri Ybarra: The incumbent has not announced her plans for 2022, but has raised at least $6,500. (July 13 reporting: $5,500.)

Branden Durst: The former legislator, who has switched affiliation from the Democratic Party to the GOP, has raised at least $4,500, including $1,000 from Idaho Freedom Foundation board chairman Brent Regan of Coeur d’Alene. (July 13 reporting: $1,000.)

Lieutenant governor, GOP

Luke Malek: The former legislator from Coeur d’Alene has reported $93,446 in contributions. It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison, since Malek is filing monthly reports listing all of his fundraising — not just the legally required reports of donations of $1,000 or more. (Donations reported on July 13: $82,768.)

Priscilla Giddings: The state representative from White Bird has raised at least $89,000. (July 13 reporting: $53,000.)

Scott Bedke: The House speaker from Oakley has raised at least $70,356. The politics of the House — and the festering feud between Giddings and Bedke — will be must-see political theater between now and the May primary, so here’s a snapshot from the Bedke reports. He lists $1,000 contributions from Yamamoto and Assistant Majority Leader Jason Monks of Meridian. (July 13 reporting: $43,856.)

Lieutenant governor, Democrat

Terri Pickens Manweiler: The Boise attorney and newcomer to the race reported $10,000 in donations — $5,000 from the candidate herself, and $5,000 from her husband, Mark Manweiler.

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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