Incumbent Kim Elton tops fund-raising battle

Senate race is Juneau's most expensive

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2002

With less than a week to go before the Nov. 5 general election, local legislative candidates have raised a combined total of more than $367,000.

The Alaska Committee, the group fighting the legislative move initiative, has raised about $1.7 million, mostly from the city of Juneau.

Sen. Kim Elton, the incumbent Democrat running to maintain his seat representing Senate District B, has pulled ahead of his Republican opponent, Cathy Muñoz, by $24,689, according to reports filed Tuesday with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

Elton is the only candidate to break six figures in the fund-raising race, with a total of $102,937. Muñoz has raised $78,248 and spent $10,000 of her own money on the campaign.

Elton has spent $90,201 on the campaign so far and has $7,355 debt for a total surplus of $4,879. Muñoz has spent $59,940 on the campaign and debt totaling $1,600 for a surplus of $15,707.

Republican candidate Bruce Weyhrauch, running against Democrat Tim Grussendorf to fill Rep. Bill Hudson's House District 4 seat representing the Mendenhall Valley and neighborhoods out Glacier Highway, leads his opponent by $25,500.

Weyhrauch has raised $70,614 and spent $50,214. With only $237 in debts, Weyhrauch ends the final full week of the campaign with just more than $20,000.

Grussendorf has raised $45,114 and spent $43,982, leaving him with a surplus of $1,132.

Beth Kerttula, the Democratic candidate for House District 3, which represents downtown Juneau, Douglas, Lemon Creek and the airport area, has more than doubled her Republican opponent Mike Race in contributions and expenditures.

So far, Kerttula has raised $48,125 and spent $38,686. With debts totaling $5,239, Kerttula is left with $5,489 in the final week of the campaign.

Race's total income for the campaign is $22,119. He has spent $16,623 of that and with no debts is left with $5,495.

Outside of races for elected office, Juneau has been waging a million-dollar-plus campaign against Ballot Measure 2, which seeks to move legislative sessions from Juneau to Anchorage and then to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

The Alaska Committee has raised about $1.7 million, according to Executive Director Win Gruening. About $1.6 million of that has come from the city of Juneau, Gruening said.

He said the group already has spent $1.25 million on the campaign, which includes mailings, radio and television ads. Juneau Finance Director Craig Duncan said the city of Juneau spent $1.11 million in 1994 to fight a ballot measure that would have moved the capital to Wasilla.

Gruening said the Alaska Committee is not required to file a seven-day report with APOC because the group is registered as a nonprofit organization that works on capital improvement projects when it is not battling capital or legislative move initiatives.

Instead the organization files with APOC using a different form every 10 days, Gruening said.

Since the 1994 move initiative, the Alaska Committee has worked to implement televised and Internet coverage of legislative committee meetings and floor sessions. It also was instrumental in providing discounted constituent air fares and installing a global positioning system at Juneau Airport to provide more reliable flights in and out of Juneau.

If Ballot Measure 2 is defeated on Nov. 5, Gruening said the Alaska Committee will continue to press for improvements to the capital city.

Although the group does support road access to Juneau, Gruening said the leftover funds raised to fight Ballot Measure 2 would not be used to promote construction of a road.

Timothy Inklebarger can be reached at timothyi@juneauempire.com.



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