As PAC Money Pours Into Runoff, Some Numbers Still Missing

With less than a week until Anchroage voters head to the polls to select a new mayor in a runoff election, hundreds of thousands of dollars are flooding the race. Candidate Ethan Berkowitz has an overwhelming lead in terms of donors and funds, but with no polling data released by either campaign, the results are difficult to predict.

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According to the latest round of filings with the Alaska Political Offices Commission,  Berkowitz leads Amy Demboski by every fund-raising measure.

In terms of overall totals, the Berkowitz campaign raised $220,848.13 between March 29th and April 25th, more than twice the Demboski campaign’s reported income of $97,942.39.

And Berkowitz money came from a broader donor roll: around 1,4500 individuals. Demboski’s campaign collected donations from just over 400.

Many of Berkowitz’s donors are public employees donating individually. However, a Political Action Group called Berkowitz For A Better Anchorage made up of unions representing the fire and police departments, state employees, and teachers has raised $102,000, spending down $86,037.50 on local ads so far.

Four sitting members of the Anchorage Assembly made financial contributions the Berkowitz campaign, the body Demboski currently serves on. In earlier filings, Assembly Member Bill Evans donated to Demboski’s campaign. Mayor Dan Sullivan also made a $500 contribution to her campaign in April.

With just a few days left before Tuesday’s runoff, the Demboski campaign has $28,205.84 cash on hand (before $14,988.19 in outstanding debts), about a quarter of the $100,556.15 the Berkowitz campaign plans on spending down before the runoff on May 5th.

Both candidates have paid outside groups to collect polling data, but neither is saying what it’s turned up. Demboski’s campaign reports a $5,000 debt to Dittman Research for survey info. Campaign spokesperson David Boyle did not return requests for comment on what that research shows.

The Berkowitz campign lists “polling” as part of a $28,037.40 payment to Ivan Moore’s company, though a spokesperson for the campaign declined to specify further what the data show.