Begich, Stevens already in million-dollar battle

Latest reports show Democrat has raised more than $1 million

Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2008

U.S. Senate candidates Mark Begich and Ted Stevens are officially embroiled in a million-dollar battle for the seat Stevens has held for 40 years.

According to the latest campaign finance reports filed Tuesday, Begich raised more money than Stevens in the second quarter, netting more than $1 million. But Stevens' campaign still has twice as much money as Begich.

And these two aren't even opponents just yet. They must first win their respective primary races on Aug. 26 before squaring off.

Candidates for federal office had to file their campaign finances by Tuesday for a period covering April 1-June 30 with the Federal Election Commission.

According to his campaign's summary pages, Begich received more than $851,000 from individual donations, another $151,000 from political action committees, and $32,300 netted from a fundraiser to help more than one Senate candidate.

His total receipts were $1,034,660, according to reports. Begich had to refund $2,400 because of an over payment from some donors.

Begich's campaign reported he started the quarter with more than $204,207 cash. During the reporting period he spent $435,216, leaving him with $803,000 on June 30.

"I am overwhelmed and humbled by the support our campaign is receiving," Begich said in a prepared statement. "I think it shows Alaska's families are excited to have a candidate with an open and transparent style, and someone who can bring new energy and ideas to the U.S. Senate."

Stevens, who is the focus of a federal corruption probe, took in $488,551 from individual donors, another $245,350 from political action committees and another $10,150 from authorized committees for $745,078.

But after second quarter expenses of $383,265, Stevens' campaign still has nearly $1.7 million left at the end of the second quarter.

"We have had another good fundraising quarter," Stevens said in a prepared statement. "We have continued to have strong support from hundreds of Alaskan donors. I am very grateful for this support."

Even though both touted the support of Alaskans in their reports, neither candidate immediately provided a list of their donors.

Senate candidates submit their reports to the Senate secretary first before detailed reports - some of them hundreds of pages - get posted on the FEC's Web site.

Candidates running for Republican incumbent Don Young's seat in the House were to file their reports electronically with the FEC.

Young too is under investigation and has more than $1 million in legal fees before the second quarter, but has not disclosed details about that spending.

He has two Republican primary opponents, state Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux and Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, checked in with six-digit, second-quarter reports.

LeDoux took in more than $200,000. But of that sum, about $157,000 was a loan she made to her own campaign. Donations accounted for $46,826; she spent $69,048.67.

LeDoux said out of 146 second-quarter donors, all were individuals and 86 percent are Alaska residents. Additionally, 15 percent of her donors came from Kodiak, her home district.

Parnell, who announced his campaign in March, reported raising $266,000 for the second quarter, which was his first full quarter of campaigning. Like LeDoux, Parnell's campaign said all contributions were from individual donors although a detailed list later noted numerous unnamed donors contributing through PACs, or Political Action Committees.

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