The election money race: an early Top 10 list

As a contentious and costly election year begins, Idaho Education News will follow the dollars.

We plan to write regularly on fundraising and spending, as all 105 legislative seats are on the ballot.

Look for lists and articles throughout the election, starting today, Feb. 1. Here’s a top 10 list: the incumbents and candidates who have raised the most money so far:

  1. Ted Hill, R-Eagle: $110,310. There’s an asterisk here: Hill, a first-term lawmaker, has loaned an eye-popping $106,860 to his campaign. Hill sits on the House Education Committee, and he has sponsored a bill to allow teachers and school staff to carry guns on campus; the House passed this bill Wednesday.
  2. Jim Woodward, Republican, Sagle: $85,568. A big-money rematch will unfold in Idaho’s northernmost legislative district. Woodward, a former state senator, has raised much of his money from mainstream GOP circles — such as Idaho Power, Spokane, Wash.-based Clearwater Paper, and State Board of Education member Shawn Keough, his predecessor in the Senate. Woodward also has loaned his campaign $20,000. (More on his opponent later in this piece.)
  3. Steve Berch, D-Boise: $75,764. Berch, a three-term incumbent and House Education Committee member, represents West Boise’s battleground District 15. No opponent appears to be doing any fundraising so far.
  4. Brett Skidmore, Republican, Ammon: $64,700. Skidmore is raising money from conservative circles — including Idaho Freedom Foundation vice chair Bryan Smith and former Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin. Skidmore is taking on first-term Rep. Joshua Wheeler, R-Ammon, who has raised $27,279.
  5. Brandon Shippy, Republican, New Plymouth: $57,574. Shippy’s donors include Freedom Foundation chair Brent Regan and Freedom Foundation board member Doyle Beck. Shippy is opposing Assistant Majority Leader Abby Lee, R-Fruitland, who has raised $10,150.
  6. Josh Tanner, R-Eagle: $56,750. Tanner, a first-term lawmaker and Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee member, has loaned $50,000 to his campaign.
  7. Scott Herndon, R-Sagle: $56,602. Herndon defeated Woodward in the 2022 GOP primary, and now sits on the Senate Education Committee and JFAC. His donor base includes several Freedom Foundation connections: Regan, Beck and Smith’s Idaho Falls law firm.
  8. Ben Toews, R-Coeur d’Alene: $43,539. The Senate Education vice chair has loaned $40,000 to his campaign.
  9. C. Scott Grow, R-Eagle: $43,170. Grow is JFAC’s Senate co-chair. His donor base includes several industry PACs and Idaho Chooses Life.
  10. Codi Galloway, Republican, Boise: $42,980. The former legislator has secured donations from at least four sitting lawmakers, and has loaned $20,000 to her campaign. She is positioning for a rematch in District 15. Democrat Rick Just, who narrowly defeated Galloway in 2022, has raised $40,155.
Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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