Broad Donor Rolls and Deep Pockets in Anchorage Mayor’s Race

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Candidates Dan Coffey and Andrew Halcro have raised the most money in the Anchorage mayor’s race. However, financial disclosures paint a more nuanced picture of what those numbers mean.

Filings earlier this week with the Alaska Public Office’s Commission earlier this week show that former Assembly member Dan Coffey has raised by far the most money from donors since launching his campaign in 2013: $275,264.07. Donations are capped at $500 a year, and the long timeline means Coffey has been able to appeal to some donors multiple times. He has also spent the most–$124,394.72 in just the last month, most of it on signs, mailers, and radio ads. Coffey has a broad range of support from members of the business community, including many developers and realtors.

The second largest war-chest belongs to Andrew Halcro, former president of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, who raised $104,288.95 since announcing his candidacy in January. But most of that money, $85,000, is from Halcro himself, and the number of individual donors is under 100.

Assembly member Amy Demboski has also put a lot of her own money into the race, $45,000 so far, which she says is part of a commitment to match donors dollar for dollar. To date, Demboski’s campaign has raised just under $38,495.82, mostly from fiscal and social conservative donors.

The last major fundraiser in the race is Ethan Berkowitz, who reports bringing in nearly $61,700.72 from about 350 donors, many of whom are public employees and union members. He entered the race in February and raised the most funds during the recent reporting period, and that does not include any large personal donations.

The campaign has kept much of that cash on hand, but Berkowitz would not say whether the reserves will be spent down by the April 7th election or saved for a possible runoff in May. The campaign plans on spending “to win,” Berkowitz said.

The municipality’s chief Information Officer, Lance Ahern, raised $2,399.82 for his campaign, much of it self-financed.

The other candidates in the race either reported raising no funds in the last filing period, or count as exempt filers because they anticipated less than $5,000 in total spending.