NewsPoliticalInside The Statehouse


Little’s raising money like he’s running

little 3 .jpg
Posted at 3:36 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 17:36:41-04

This article was written by Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News.

Gov. Brad Little hasn’t formally announced his re-election plans, but he is raising money like a candidate.

Little has received at least $44,500 in donations since June 16, including maximum donations from a prominent political power broker and his spouse.

On Tuesday, Little reported receiving $10,000 from Frank VanderSloot, the CEO of Idaho Falls-based Melaleuca Inc. and the state’s richest person. VanderSloot is a perennial big-money campaign donor, contributing largely to Republicans.

Little received a matching $10,000 contribution from VanderSloot’s wife, Belinda.

Under state law, donors can contribute up to $10,000 to a candidate — $5,000 for a party primary, $5,000 for the general election.

Little’s donations include $10,000 from the Idaho Prosperity Fund, the campaign apparatus of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, a powerful business lobby. Little also received $5,000 from the Idaho Associated General Contractors and $5,000 from the Professional Fire Fighters of Idaho.

Little has not announced his re-election run, but has broadly hinted he will seek a second term.

Candidates don’t have to file to run for office until next spring — but 11 presumptive gubernatorial candidates have named campaign treasurers, a precursor to fundraising. Candidates must report contributions of $1,000 or more within 48 hours.

Since candidates don’t have to report smaller donations right away, the 48-hour reports are an incomplete picture. However, they provide at least some snapshot into fundraising activity.

Here is some more information from the 48-hour reports:

Ed Humphreys. The regional GOP chairman from Eagle has outraised the field since spring, reporting $103,020 in donations since April. That total includes $10,000 from the candidate himself, and $1,000 from Eagle Mayor Jason Pierce.

Janice McGeachin. The Republican lieutenant governor reported receiving $23,000 since May 19, when she appointed a treasurer and formally announced her campaign plans. Donations include $4,000 from Brent Regan of Coeur d’Alene, chairman of the Idaho Freedom Foundation board of directors; and $1,000 from state Rep. Dorothy Moon, R-Stanley.

Ammon Bundy. The Emmett conservative activist has reported only a single $1,000 donation since announcing his plans to run on the Republican ticket.

Seven other would-be candidates have appointed treasurers but have reported no donations: Republicans Jeff Cotton of Boise, Chris Hammond of Lewiston, Lisa Marie of Boise and Cody Usabel; Nampa Democrat Melissa Robinson; and unaffiliated candidates Robert Dempsay of Paul and John Dionne of Boise.