Candidates indicate where campaign funds coming from

Posted: Thursday, May 27, 2004

All 40 Alaska House seats and 11 in the Senate are up for grabs in the November general election, including all three House seats and both Senate seats representing the Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Two of the five peninsula incumbents already have drawn challengers who were listed officially with the Alaska Division of Elections as of Tuesday, while three House District 34's Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski; House District 35's Paul Seaton, R-Homer; and Senate District R's Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak are, for now at least, enjoying a free ride.

Other potential candidates have filed letters of intent with the Alaska Public Offices Commission, which allows them to begin raising funds, but they, and any other legislative hopefuls, must register with the Alaska Division of Elections by Tuesday at 5 p.m. to be eligible to campaign.

Rep. Kelly Wolf, R-Kenai, who represents House District 33 covering the Soldotna-Kenai area, will face at least two challengers from his own party in the August primary. They are Kurt E. Olson, of Soldotna, currently an aide to Sen. Tom Wagoner, and John G. "Ozzie" Osborne Sr., of Kenai.

Whoever survives the primary could face Democrat Harold V. "Hal" Smalley, of Kenai, a former member of the House, who for now at least is the only Democrat registered to run in the District 33 race.

Wagoner, R-Kenai, who represents Senate District Q, which includes the central and northern peninsula, could face at least two challengers from his own party in August.

Former Sen. Jerry Ward, who now lives in Sterling, is seeking to regain the Senate seat wrested from him by Wagoner in the 2002 election. Redistricting made Wagoner's seat only a two-year term. Normally, Senate terms are four years.

Also challenging Wagoner is Scott D. Hamann, a Republican from Kenai.

All the candidates and their challengers have filed financial disclosure statements with the APOC. While not all-revealing, campaign donations do show where a candidate's support is coming from.

Donations mostly come in small amounts from individuals, but some also comes from businesses, professional organizations and political action committees (PACs).

Except for donating their own money, sitting lawmakers are not permitted to accept campaign donations during the legislative session.

Here's a look at how they are doing. Complete lists and details are available at the APOC Web site at www.state.

In the Senate District Q race, Wagoner reported $41,008 in campaign contributions, all but $200 of it coming since late June 2003, according to his most recent APOC campaign income record dated Feb. 1.

He received $11,550 from various PACs representing attorneys, employee unions and professional associations, such as Alaska Doctors of Optometry.

Some $4,950 came from individuals Outside, the largest a $1,000 donation from Charles Bundrant, president of Trident Seafoods.

Wagoner also received help from sitting legislators. An-chorage Republican Sen. John Cowdery, District O, contributed $500, as did Anchorage Republican Sen. Ben Stevens, of District N.

Also adding to Wagoner's campaign war chest were donations from officials with various cruise ship lines, seafood companies, transportation companies and nine members of the Southeast Pilots Association.

Wagoner contributed $1,000 of his own money, according to the APOC financial record.

Ward, meanwhile, chipped in $10,000 of his own cash, along with $2,000 from his wife. Altogether, Ward accumulated $19,717 toward his campaign effort between July of last year and the February reporting date, virtually all of it from individual donors.

Among Ward's more generous donors were Wasilla real estate developer Peter Zamarello, who donated $2,000. Only $200 was received from Outside.

Hamann reported no campaign income to APOC.

Sen. Gary Stevens, who serves District R that covers Kodiak and the lower Kenai Peninsula from Anchor Point to Seward, reported $24,243 in his February filing.

He received $1,800 from PACs, including $1,000 from Citizens for Competition, a group promoting fair competition in the telecommunications industry.

Outside donations totaled $3,650, which came mostly from individuals, a few of whom were officials with Carnival Corporation or Royal Caribbean Cruises who gave a total of $2,200. Another $300 came from an Anchorage executive with Holland America Lines.

Five VECO Corp. officials donated $2,100 to Stevens' campaign, while six marine pilots donated a total of $1,750.

Another Stevens contributor with an executive position was Robert Walp, vice chair of the board with GCI, who donated $1,000.

District 33 incumbent Wolf only lists four donations on his February disclosure statement totaling $1,500, all of it from Outside individuals. Those donations were made in early December of last year.

Wolf's Republican challengers, Olson and Osborne have reported no income. Olson only has recently filed. The next reporting deadline is July 23.

District 33 Democratic party hopeful Smalley had collected $2,570 as of the February reporting deadline, all of it from individuals, including one Outside donor who gave $100. His largest donation to that date was for $500 from a Soldotna doctor.

By February, District 34 incumbent Chenault had received a total of $26,459. Of that, PACs gave $2,750, including $1,000 each from BP Alaska Employee PAC and Tesoro Alaska PAC.

He took in $4,500 from Outside sources, including a total of $1,000 from two cruise line representatives. He also received a total of $3,500 from seven company officials with the energy industry service company, VECO.

Chenault also received $300 from Republican party chair Randolph Ruedrich.

District 35 incumbent Sea-ton collected $11,565 by February, all of it from individuals. No money was reported as coming from PACs or professional organizations or unions. The only Outside money was $1,000 from two family members in California.

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