The end of July not only marked the winding down of summer for a lot of Idaho families, but also provided a glimpse into the unfolding of the upcoming Governor’s race for 2018. All of the candidates had to file their Campaign Financial Disclosure Report.

For those that enjoy parsing data and numbers and “looking under the hood”, they can provide a lot of information. You can find each of the reports by going to this link and selecting the various candidates:

Here’s a brief roundup of the reports:

Brad Little

The sitting lieutenant governor has an impressive report. He might not be knocking the lights out with really big donors but his report tells you a few things:

  • It’s the longest. That says a lot in that they probably have more than 1,300 individual donors so far, and in a primary race with lower turnout those small donors are likely to get out and vote for you. It shows Brad has broad support amongst Idaho Republicans if you look at it in that light.
  • He’s not spending heavily yet and has some good cash on hand. He spent $114,000 this past quarter which is only a fraction of what Tommy Ahlquist spent. Brad still has $449,000 sitting in the bank
  • Geography of donors- Brad’s donors look to be virtually all from Idaho. Significant when you compare the other candidates reports that have decent amounts of out of state donors.
  • Primary Money- The donations were all earmarked for the Primary race. Smart move. You can only spend “primary” cycle money right now. If you take “general” cycle money now you can’t spend it. You have to return that money if you lose in the primary and don’t move on to the general election.

Tommy Ahlquist

Tommy is charging hard. You could make the argument that he has deep pockets himself and has access to deep pockets with his connections. However, his report is impressive nonetheless:

  • Big money- Tommy raised $570,000 in only a few months according to his press release and report. So he raised as much as Brad Little has in the last year or so in just a short period of time. That is a strong start.
  • Deep Pockets- Tommy contributed $380,000 himself. In all fairness he has to get his name ID up from zero so you can see why he needs to throw in. However, this will be a talking for his opponents, guaranteed.
  • Spending- he is definitely getting his name out there and paying dearly for it. Total spend was $796,000 in the quarter.
  • Geography of donors- Tommy has a smattering of high dollar donors from Utah, otherwise it appears to be all Idaho
  • Primary Money- The donations were all made towards the Primary race.

Raul Labrador

Raul comes into the race with a bang on fundraising. However, after looking at the names on Brad’s report and Tommy’s report, you have to wonder where Raul is going to raise his money amongst the Idaho wealthy and $100 plus donors:

  • Big Start- Raul raised $309,000 in a very short period of time. Impressive.
  • Spending- Raul only spent $21,000, but that is over a short period of time. That gives him good dry powder that will help as fall and winter rolls around.
  • Geography of donors- Raul has a good amount of out of state donors. Lots of big donations from folks in Utah, Nevada, Ohio, the east, the south, etc. Looks like his donors are going to be the further right PAC’s and individuals all over the country.
  • Primary Money- this one gave us pause. If our math is correct he has raised over $60,000 in “general” cycle money. That is about 20% of his total. Since he can not spend this money in the primary, we wonder what his strategy his here. Or perhaps, he is a little overconfident in his campaign against Brad and Tommy.
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