The campaign to re-elect Rep. Lora Reinbold, R-District 14, and the campaign to elect current Rep. Shelly Hughes, R-District 11, to the state Senate District F seat vacated by the retirement of longtime state Sen. Bill Stoltze, each spent more money in the 2016 campaign than either will earn doing the job in 2017.
Of course, campaign monies are mostly derived from supporter donations and not the elected officials’ paycheck.
Yet, comparing the cost of getting elected to the paycheck does provide an interesting look at just what it takes to win a seat in the Alaska State Legislature.
State representatives were paid $50,400 for their work in 2016.
According to documents filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, Reinbold’s campaign spent $54,835.55 on this year’s campaign as she fended off Joe Hackenmueller, an independent candidate, in the general election, and fellow Republican, Crystal Kennedy, in the primary.
Hughes campaign spent $53,232.08 on her bid for the Senate F seat.
Other local incumbents claiming election victory over challengers spent less than half of that of Hughes and Reinbold.
Rep. Dan Saddler, R-District 13, spent $20,980.28.
Cathy Tilton, R-District 12, spent $23,718.31.
Reinbold received $3,700 from supporters in the reporting time period from Oct. 8 to Oct. 29 – including a $250 credit card payment from Sen. Anna MacKinnon, R-District G, who publicly endorsed Kennedy during the primary campaign. Reinbold received $500 donations from the following: Thomas Blackley, the senior network administrator with the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation; the BP Alaska Employee PAC; and James Thompson, CEO, and president of Pacific Star Energy LLC.
During the same time period, Hughes raked in another $9,025 for her campaign. MacKinnon gave Hughes $250. Hughes also received $500 donations from the following: the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association; former Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell; the Anchorage Republican Women’s Club; Dale Hammit, a self-employed Wasilla electrician; Thomas McGrath, owner of Frigid North in Anchorage; Bob Penney, a Soldotna real estate developer;
Henry Penney, real estate manager of Penco Properties in Anchorage; and PJ Penney of Penco Properties in Soldotna.
Read more APOC reports online at www.aws.state.ak.us/ApocReports/CampaignDisclosure/CDForms.aspx.