Juneau’s unopposed candidates still raise campaign funds
Juneau’s House district boundaries changed this year, adding new communities to one district and new neighborhoods to the other.
But both capital city incumbents face no opposition, and are virtually guaranteed re-election. (Scroll down to read recent finance reports.)
The latest Alaska Public Offices Commission reports show they’ve brought it a combined total of about $40,000. The question is, why?
“I actually haven’t been asking to raise money. I have gotten some donations,” says Democrat Beth Kerttula, whose district includes downtown Juneau, Douglas Island, Petersburg, Skagway, Gustavus and Tenakee Springs.
Republican Cathy Muñoz tells a similar story. She represents Juneau’s populous Mendenhall Valley and neighborhoods to the north and south.
“The contribution I’ve received in 2012 were unsolicited. They were coming from organizations and individuals that supported my work in the Legislature,” Muñoz says.
She has raised the most, about $25,000.
A little more than half came from Political Action Committees. They included construction unions, state workers and teachers associations, realtors, seiners and a bank.
Four-fifths of her money came in last November and December.
“It’s very common to raise funds at the end of the year in anticipation of the election coming up. Fortunately, I haven’t had to raise additional funds this year,” Muñoz says.
Kerttula has brought in about $12,500, close to two-thirds of it during 2011.
About three-quarters of her funds came from PACs. They’re a mix of teachers, state workers and construction union groups. The hospitality industry and dentists’ PACS also chipped in.
“They just are sending it. It’s what the PACs themselves do. So I haven’t been asking, but they’ve been sending some money. And I will say, actually, I’m thankful, because of being able to travel,” Kerttula says.
And she has, to some of the communities added to her district.
Muñoz has used a part of her campaign funds to travel outside the area she will represent.
“Southeast Conference had a candidate forum and I traveled to that. There were election night activities in Anchorage that I attended. So I was able to travel up and use some of my campaign funds to do that,” Muñoz says.
Along with travel, Kerttula’s campaign money goes to bookkeeping, office equipment and community outreach.
“I plan to do a mailing into the communities, and possibly an ad. Senator Egan and I during the primary did an ad reminding people to go vote. Things like that,” Kerttula says.
Both candidates expect to have money left over after the election. Campaign finance rules allow a limited amount to be used for legislative office funds. Some can also be given to a political party or held over ‘til the next campaign. And surplus money can go to non-profit groups.
Juneau Senator Dennis Egan is the only legislator not facing re-election this year. The Democrat represents Munoz’ and Kerttula’s House district.
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Read earlier Southeast campaign finance news reports: