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Statewide candidates file finance reports: AG candidates in tight money battle

2012-03-14T00:00:00Z Statewide candidates file finance reports: AG candidates in tight money battleIR State Bureau Helena Independent Record
March 14, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Jesse Laslovich has raised slightly more money in the Democratic primary for attorney general’s race, while his opponent, Pam Bucy, reported more money left in the bank.

In the Republican race for attorney general, state Sen. Jim Shockley of Victor holds a financial lead over new candidate Tim Fox of Helena, but most of Shockley’s money the past two months came from a $45,000 personal loan to his campaign.

The information came from the latest campaign finance reports, which were filed Monday with the state political practices office. The reports covered the period from Jan. 1 through March 5.

The four candidates are vying to be Montana’s next attorney general to succeed Democrat Steve Bullock, who is running for governor. Bullock edged Fox in 2008 to win the job as the state’s top legal and law-enforcement officer.

Laslovich, a former state senator who now is chief legal counsel in the state auditor’s office, raised $113,772 through March 5, including $23,238 in the last two months.

He has spent $30,881 so far to leave a total cash balance of $82,891, including a $78,921 balance for the June 5 primary election.

Bucy, a former county prosecutor who is an attorney for the state Department of Labor and Industry, collected $109,211, including $22,265 over the last two months.

Her campaign has spent $21,850 to leave a total of $87,361 in the bank on March 5, including a $79,631 cash balance that can be spent in the primary. Bucy made a $10,000 loan to her campaign last year that remains outstanding.

On the Republican side, Shockley has raised $128,797 so far, including $49,436 over the past two months, boosted by the $45,000 loan. So far, he has spent $76,491 to leave a $52,307 balance on March 5. That includes a primary election balance of $50,957.

Besides the loan, Shockley previously donated $9,917 to his campaign. He earlier made a $50,000 loan to his campaign but has paid back $45,000.

Fox, who practices in a private law firm, jumped into the attorney general’s race Feb. 1. He raised $42,513 over in slightly more than a month as a candidate.

The Fox campaign has spent $3,980 through March 5, leaving a total cash balance of $38,533, including $30,713 for the primary.

Here’s a look at the other races:

Supreme Court. Elizabeth Best, a Great Falls lawyer who lives in Cascade, leads the campaign fundraising for the seat being vacated by Justice James Nelson. She has raised $100,280 so far and reported having $89,209 in the bank on March 5, including $61,287 for the primary. She donated $5,000 to her campaign in the period, bringing her total personal contributions to $10,274.

Ed Sheehy, a Missoula attorney, has collected $18,536 so far and has $3,423 left in the bank, including $3,123 for the primary. Sheehy made personal loans totaling $4,500 to his campaign during the period.

District Judge Laurie McKinnon of Choteau, filing her first report, raised $3,230 for the reporting period and had $1,358 left on March 5. She has donated $200 to her campaign and lent it $350.

Justice Brian Morris, who is running for re-election, hasn’t filed a report yet. His opponent, attorney Hertha Lund of Bozeman, filed for office after the reporting deadline.

Supreme Court clerk. In his first report, Ed Smith, the Democratic incumbent, reported raising $6,152, including a $1,012 loan from himself. As of March 5, he had $5,933 left in the bank.

State auditor. Monica Lindeen, the Democratic incumbent, has taken in $66,370 to date and showed a cash balance of 449,353 on March 5.

Her Republican opponent, state Rep. Derek Skees of Whitefish, reported donations totaling $5,585 and had $3,828 left in the bank on March 5.

Secretary of state. Democratic incumbent Linda McCulloch, unopposed in the primary, has reeled in $58,580 so far and had $45,340 left in the bank on March 5.

On the Republican side, Scott Aspenlieder of Helena has raised the most among the four candidates. He has collected $48,831 so far and had a $40,451 left in the bank on March 5, including $37,326 for the primary.

Drew Turiano of Helena switched to the secretary of state’s race during this period after originally running for governor. He has raised $44,988 for both races and had $12,072 left in the bank on March 5, including $11,442 for the primary. He lent his campaign $19,598 this reporting period on top of the $23,000 in loans he made to his campaign for governor last fall.

Former Secretary of State Brad Johnson has collected $7,660 to date and had $1,596 left in the bank on March 5 for the primary election.

The fourth Republican, Patty Lovaas of Missoula, filed after the reporting period closed.

Superintendent of public instruction. Democratic incumbent Denise Juneau has collected $99,865 so far and reported having a cash balance of $73,459 on March 5.

Republican Sandy Welch of Martin City has raised $15,655 so far and had a cash balance of $9,459 on at the close of the reporting period.

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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