News

Waldo leads in campaign fund race

Incumbent Bill Knobloch says ideas, not campaign funds, will carry the day.

In elections, some believe big wallets equal big winners.

Islanders won’t know the latter half of that equation until after the Nov. 6 general election. But so far the biggest wallets – at least in terms of money raised to fund their City Council campaigns – belong to Kim Brackett and John Waldo.

“It seems as though things are swinging a bit in my direction,” said Waldo, who so far has garnered $10,725 in cash and in-kind donations, according to Public Disclosure Commission reports.

Waldo said he’s seen a swell in support, particularly since the state Supreme Court last week ruled the city overstepped its authority with its shoreline moratorium.

Contributions to Waldo’s campaign have come from individuals of varying interests, nearly all of whom live on Bainbridge Island. Included on that list are Don Audleman of Capstone, the development company enlisted by the city to study the parking garage; former mayor and city councilor Dwight Sutton; and current city councilor Chris Snow.

Waldo has raised nearly triple the $3,825 collected by his opponent, incumbent Bill Knobloch. Waldo raised more during the month of May ($3,850) than Knobloch has all year.

Still, despite losing the fund-raising race, Knobloch is comfortable with his position. He won the August primary, and said he overcame a similar financial disadvantage the first time he ran for the council.

“Back then my opponent raised in excess of $25,000,” he said. “I raised $6,000. Money doesn’t win campaigns – the message wins campaigns.”

He said he wants to set an example that candidates can win elections without spending a great deal of money.

Knobloch’s biggest contributors thus far are the Kitsap County Board of Realtors ($500), the Washington Association of Realtors ($300) and the Home Builders Association of Kitsap ($250); five individuals also donated $250 apiece. His biggest fund-raising month was June, when he received seven total contributions totaling $1,250. In the South Ward race, Kim Brackett has raised $8,135 in cash and in-kind donations.

“One of the more uncomfortable things about running for public office is raising money,” she said. “I started with friends and family.”

Thus, contributions to her campaign – the biggest being a $2,000 donation from friend Allison Thomas of Seattle – came from all over the country. Other contributions came from Idaho, Maryland, New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her largest donation from an islander – $500 – came from attorney Marci Burkel.

Brackett initially planned to run a mini-campaign, like her opponent Curt Winston, but said she received a flurry of support following a negative ad campaign by an island developer.

Candidates who choose a mini-campaign must cap fundraising and spending at $3,500. They still are required to keep records, but don’t have to report contributions or expenditures.

Winston – who is out of town and couldn’t be reached – has raised $2,011, according to his campaign treasurer Dee Dumont. His backers include attorney Dennis Reynolds – who represents the litigants in the shoreline moratorium case against the city – Bob and Rachel Smith, and Merril and Sally Robison.

Barry Peters and Hilary Franz, both of whom are running unopposed, raised $6,525.40 and $2,130 for their respective campaigns. A full list of contributors to campaigns is at www.pdc.wa.gov.

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