$260,700 in governor's campaign coffers

Posted: Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Gov. Frank Murkowski has collected more than $260,700 in his bid for re-election, $50,000 of which the Republican incumbent donated to his own campaign.

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Campaign finance disclosure reports had to be filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission by midnight Monday. Murkowski's report was filed late Monday night.

Among his donors are executives and lobbyists from Alaska's three largest oil companies, with whom Murkowski has negotiated a natural gas pipeline contract proposal, plus most of his cabinet and top aides.

The governor also has reached the $20,000 limit in campaign contributions from individuals who live outside Alaska. As a result, Murkowski had to give back 20 donations totaling $14,500 that exceeded the limit, according to his disclosure report filed with the commission.

Murkowski's cash doesn't come near one of his main competitors to win the Republican nomination, John Binkley of Fairbanks, who reported raising $1 million since December. About a third of that money came from the candidate himself.

Murkowski entered the campaign at the end of May and raised the amount he has in less than two months.

"I don't see that as a threat at all," said Murkowski campaign spokeswoman Michelle Delaney on Binkley's fundraising. "I think he's going to need all the money he can get."

The third major candidate in the Republican primary, Sarah Palin, has raised a total of $295,000.

The three Republican candidates are spending heavily in the competitive race.

Murkowski reported spending $186,945, and debts of nearly $5,500, leaving him with $68,283 before the Aug. 22 primary election.

Delaney said the campaign's goal is to raise $500,000 for the primary, which she said can still be reached.

Palin reported having $38,299 left and Binkley more than $181,000. Both are still actively raising money.

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