Election Central

So far, Balukoff self-funding 82 percent of run for Idaho governor

Democrat A.J. Balukoff salted his campaign mine with nearly $91,000, providing 82 percent of the money he raised after announcing his run for governor in early December.

Balukoff has said the campaign to be the first Idaho Democratic governor elected since 1990 will be a “shared effort.”

Balukoff’s Sunshine Report was filed Thursday with the Idaho secretary of state for the July-December reporting period. The businessman raised $20,110 from individuals, including $500 from the last Democratic governor, Cecil Andrus. Bev Harad, who served on the Boise School Board with Balukoff, gave $5,000.

Those who contributed $1,000 were: Claude Milton Gillespie, Jacqueline Gail Groves, Mike Lindstrom and John Stedman of Boise; Margaret Graves of Idaho Falls; and Neil Valentine of Orem, Utah.

Balukoff reports $70,000 of his contribution as a loan and $20,750 in-kind. The in-kind spending was $20,000 to the Idaho Democratic Party for management services and $750 to Berryhill Restaurant for an event.

Balukoff spent almost $73,000, the bulk of it on preparation and production of advertising.

As the likely Democratic nominee, Balukoff would face the winner of the GOP primary between two-term incumbent Gov. Butch Otter and Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Russ Fulcher of Meridian.

Otter reported raising almost $686,000 between July and December.

In a news release Thursday, Fulcher says he raised $250,000 in the first 10 weeks of his campaign, between mid-October and December. Fulcher will be the last of nine gubernatorial candidates to file his report, which is due Friday. His report was not yet posted Friday morning.

Five of the other six fringe candidates reported raising no money: Walter Bayes of Emmett, Harley Brown of Nampa, John Bujak of Eagle, Jill Humble of Boise and Steve Pankey of Shoshone.

Pro-Life, of Letha, reported $3,032 in contributions, most of it in-kind from himself to cover his mileage. Formerly Marvin Richardson, Pro-Life changed his name and runs for office every two years.


Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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Posted in Election Central, Idaho Politics