With a political war chest of $3.2 million, Congressman Greg Walden has raised more cash than all the other candidates for House District 2 combined and also has spent more money.
Former Phoenix City Manager Jamie McLeod-Skinner has raised the most among the Democrats at $125,371, followed by Jennifer Neahring at $97,774 and Jim Crary at $62,091.
Four of the 10 candidates hoping to eventually unseat Walden have failed to raise any money before the May 15 primary, according to numbers available through the Federal Elections Commission.
Since the beginning of 2017, Walden has raised $3.565 million and spent $1.35 million on his campaign, leaving him with a cash balance of $3.199 million. More than half his money came from political action committees, according to the FEC.
The Walden campaign’s largest expense was $150,000 to the National Republican Central Committee on Jan. 3, 2017. He also conducted a survey Oct. 31, 2017, at a cost of $28,409.
Both of his Republican opponents in the May primary, Paul Romero and Randy Pollock, haven’t raised or spent money, according to the FEC filing.
McLeod-Skinner, down to a cash balance of $48,743, anticipates she will need to raise $1.5 million to battle Walden in the general election if she wins the primary.
“We don’t need to outraise Greg Walden,” McLeod-Skinner said. “We just need to get more votes than Greg Walden.”
Unlike the presumptive Republican nominee, McLeod-Skinner said she will not accept money from corporate political action committees, though she will accept donations from like-minded PACs.
“The one thing I am most proud of is receiving contributions from folks who have never given to a campaign so far,” she said. Some of the contributors have volunteered for phone banks or other campaign efforts, McLeod-Skinner said.
McLeod-Skinner, now of Redmond, worked in civil engineering and planning before being hired as Phoenix city manager in November 2016. She was fired by the City Council in March 2017 after she raised questions about possible financial malfeasance in city government, claims her successor said couldn’t be substantiated.
Neahring, a medical doctor living in Bend, said she’s using her money to get around the state to talk to voters and share her background as a doctor who wants more access to rural health care in Oregon.
“We know the November campaign will be expensive, but our campaign is more focused on people than money, so we’re thinking about the tens of thousands of supporters we’re looking forward to raising in the general election,” she stated in an email.
She said she has received money from individuals and organizations. She also made a loan to her own campaign of $25,000 and had a cash balance of $62,311 as of March 31.
Crary, who is a Jackson County along with Mark Roberts, said, “I don’t take money from any corporation, any PAC, any special interest group.” A former lawyer with the Anchorage Law Department and BP, Crary lives in the Greensprings and has a cash balance of $10,724.
He said Walden routinely takes money from corporations and PACs, sometimes to the tune of $10,000 or more.
“There’s a lot of big money in politics,” he said.
If elected in the primary, Crary said he would reach out to voters to give him individual contributions.
In 2016, when he ran for the Second Congressional District, Crary said he received 106,640 votes.
“If everybody who voted gave me $10, then I’d be way ahead of Walden,” he said.
Democrat Eric Burnette raised $49,647 and spent $44,167; Democrat Michael Byrne and Independent Mark Roberts have raised no money, according to the FEC.
Walden’s office didn’t respond to questions about campaign finance Monday.
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.