The August election is almost within sight, and Q2 campaign finance reports were due on July 15th, giving us more insight as to how each of the candidates is doing in the vital money race. So how do the candidates stack up as we approach the election?
We will start at the bottom, and two candidates are in very precarious positions as far as money is concerned. Outsider candidate Pamela Carter is in the worst position; with only $10K raised so far and under $1,400 cash on hand (CoH) as of the end of June, it is difficult to see how she gets any traction. Also in a very tight money position is Kathy Littlefield; she has raised over $30K but has spent nearly $43K, with much of it dedicated to signature collection. She only has about $1K CoH, which would normally be cripplingly low; however, she has very wide name ID and strong grassroots support, so while not ideal it is not necessarily a death knell of a campaign.
We have a very distinct middle tier in the money race, where three candidates currently sit. Barry Graham has had relatively tepid fundraising, bringing in only $25K so far. However, he has managed to keep $20K as CoH, implying that his deep ties with the local Republican party allowed him to activate volunteers and get ample signatures without paying for them.
Meanwhile, Solange Whitehead (who already had over $46K in her campaign account from the last cycle) has raised $27K but has spent all the way down to $11K CoH; most of the funds were spent on campaign print materials, such as signs and literature. Lastly, Raoul Zubia also exists in the middle tier; he has only raised $17K but has kept $13K CoH as of the end of Q2.
That means there are only two candidates in the highest tier of cash. Tim Stratton has raised $42.5K and has managed to keep over $32K of it. However, the pales in comparison to the top performer of the bunch, which is actually Daniel Ishac: the candidate who was last to have their own website beat the group in fundraising by bringing in nearly $71K and managing to hold on to over $44K of those funds.
While the money race is nowhere near as important as the count of the votes, they are often strongly correlated. While major expenses such as street signs often do not seem to be reflected in all of the Q2 reports, that will balance things out some going forward. But we currently have a good snapshot into who currently has a leg up going into the most important part of the first election.