City candidates plan for less expensive runs

Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2001

Editor's Note: Today begins a series of articles previewing candidates and one proposition on the Oct. 2 city election ballot. The articles will be:

Monday: School board candidates Mary Becker and Stan Ridgeway.

Tuesday: Assembly District 1 candidates Jeannie Johnson and Tony Reiger.

Wednesday: Assembly District 2 candidates Clancy DeSmet, Dixie Hood and Randy Wanamaker.

Thursday: Assembly areawide candidates Chuck Collins and Jim Powell.

Sunday: League of Women Voters election guide.

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Local candidates say they don't plan to spend nearly as much in city races this fall as the $45,000 record set by Assembly member Jim Powell in 1998.

Not even Jim Powell.

Candidates running for Juneau Assembly are spending and raising money at similar levels, according to initial reports filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission. The seven candidates have raised an average of $950 and spent an average of $320, according to reports sent to APOC 30 days before the election. Larger figures will be reported as spending increases closer to the election.

Powell, who is running for re-election to his areawide seat, said he plans to spend less than half of the record $45,517 he did in 1998.

"I expect to spend less than $20,000. I hope it's more like $18,000," he said Friday.

APOC fined Powell $1,500 in November 1999 for a failure to report accrued expenses on his campaign reports in 1998. Under state law, a candidate is required to report an expense when a service has been ordered rather than when the bill for that service is paid. Powell's reporting was $3,200 off.

Powell said Friday he has hired accountant Bob Sramek to make sure there aren't any errors on his APOC reports this year, as he promised in 1998.

"We're very serious about the APOC reports. We've reported all of our accrued expenses," he said.

Powell's 30-day APOC report shows he raised $1,338 and spent $763. His report also notes $6,531 in debts, or accrued expenses, he said.

Powell's opponent for the areawide seat, local businessman Chuck Collins raised $905 and spent $105, according to the report.

"He's going to spend more money that I am. I'm not going to spend 45, 50, 60,000, whatever Jim spends to get elected to an Assembly position. It just doesn't make any sense," Collins said.

Collins said he expected to spend $20,000 or $25,000, most of which would be his own money. He owns two copy shops and a sign business in Juneau.

In the race for the District 2 Assembly seat, environmental assessor Randy Wanamaker raised $950 and spent $170.

"I haven't set a target amount. I'm looking at what seems to be a reasonable amount to do," he said.

District 2 candidate Dixie Hood raised and spent $665 and reported a 90-cent debt. She could not be reached for comment Friday.

District 2 candidate Clancy DeSmet, a project review coordinator with the Alaska Coastal Management Program, raised $945 and spent $154. He reported $863 in debts.

"I'm trying to spend as little money as possible," he said. "I'm trying to be available to people and as thrifty as possible. It's unfortunate. You shouldn't have to spend a whole lot of money, but it's part of the game."

In the District 1 race, real estate broker Jeannie Johnson raised $700 and spent $39.13. She estimates she may spend $15,000.

"I'm astounded by how much it costs to run a campaign. I started out thinking it would cost $5,000, but as I polled people, I got the figure from $15,000 to $60,000," she said. "I have a great desire to be on the Assembly, but I'm not in a position where I can spend my retirement in order to do that."

District 1 candidate and former teacher Tony Reiger, who works at Rayco Sales, raised $1,211 and spent $402. His report estimates $900 in debts, and he said he's not sure how much he will spend.

"I'm limping along ... I'm just doing the best I can. I know the expensive part of the campaign is yet to come," he said. "I'm not sure how I'm going to come out on this."

Juneau School Board candidates Stan Ridgeway and Mary Becker have filed exemption statements with the APOC stating they don't intend to raise or spend more than $2,500. Both are incumbents who are running unopposed.

Candidates also are required to file reports with APOC seven days before the election and 10 days after.

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Joanna Markell can be reached at joannam@juneauempire.com.



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