Ulmer edges Murkowski in spending for governor's race

Winner spent $13 per vote; runner-up out $18.50

Posted: Tuesday, November 26, 2002

ANCHORAGE - Gov.-elect Republican Frank Murkowski spent about $13 a vote in his winning bid for governor, while Democratic opponent Fran Ulmer spent about $18.50 a vote.

Ulmer slightly outpaced Murkowski in campaign expenditures, spending $1.75 million, while the winner spent $1.73 million, according to reports filed with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

The campaign finance reports cover the week leading up to the Nov. 5 election and 10 days after. In that time, Murkowski spent $228,427. He collected 56 percent of the vote, 129,110 votes.

Murkowski's finance form shows a deficit of $25,913. The campaign owes Murkowski $25,000 to repay a loan, said campaign treasurer Steve Frank. If that loan is repaid, the campaign's total expenditures will rise to $1.75 million.

Ulmer took 94,015 votes, about 41 percent. She also ended the campaign with a debt of about $30,000, said campaign treasurer Chris Herberger. The campaign plans to try to raise that amount and pay off the debt, she told the Anchorage Daily News.

The amounts reported by the candidates do not include so-called soft money spent by political action groups to support or attack a candidate or advocate for an issue or urge people to vote.

The Republican Party spent $700,000 for such activities, said Randy Ruedrich, the Alaska Republican Party chairman. He estimated that less than one-third of that went toward the race for governor.

The Democratic Party spent about $650,000 on similar activities, said Scott Sterling, Democratic Party chair. Most of that went for vote drives, he said.

Candidates can accept contributions to cover campaign expenses until Dec. 20. Excess money must be disbursed by Feb. 3. The money could go toward a future governor's campaign, to a political party, the state general fund or a post-election party.

Green Party candidate Diane Benson spent $5,586 on her campaign, according to the APOC. Libertarian Billy Toien spent $1,274. Republican Moderate Raymond VinZant Sr. spent $743.



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