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Ahead of mayoral run, a look at McLean’s 2015 campaign donations

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In January, BoiseDev published an in-depth look at the 2015-cycle campaign finance records for Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd.

After the story, de Weerd announced she would not run for another term. Bieter re-upped and formally announced a campaign for a fifth term in the mayor’s office.

Now, with city council president Lauren McLean officially in the race, we can look at where her past contributions came from.

Two other candidates declared to run, Matt Killburn and Adriel Martinez. Martinez ran unsuccessfully for council in 2015 and reported two donations totaling $243.

Business leaders, developers and politically-connected donors

In 2015, McLean ran unopposed for reelection to Boise City Council Seat 1.

According to a BoiseDev analysis of campaign records, she raised $57,465 in itemized contributions. Her campaign reported 188 total donations, with an average of $307.25 per contributor.

A total of 25 contributors chipped in at the maximum level of $1,000.

The large majority of McLean’s donations in terms of dollars came from donors with a Boise address – 77%. Another 6% came from Ada County and 5% from elsewhere in Idaho.

Of the dollars raised, 24% came from the general business community, excluding those in development. Eight of the 25 “maxed out” donors fell into the business category, including Bitercreek founder Dave Krick, Micron Technology and Republic Services.

Coming in just a few dollars behind, another 24% of donors came from the development community. Here as well, eight of the 25 “maxed out” donors fell into the developer category, including Ahlquist Development, Brighton Corp., Conger Management Company and Harris Ranch Developer Barber Valley Development, Inc.

The average contribution from a development community member rang in at $480 – the highest for any category we studied.

Seventeen percent of donations came from those in Idaho or national politics. Current presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg contributed $60.

Members of the legal community added 7% of donations, with the remaining dollars coming from the education, health care and fire union categories.

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Comparing McLean and Bieter

In many aspects, comparing the two candidates’ financial disclosures is imperfect since they ran for different offices and only Bieter had competition.

But a few measures provide insight. These figures only consider donations made in the 2015 cycle.

The two candidates shared 35 donors, about 18% of McLean’s total and 8% of Bieter’s.

McLean’s campaign made a $250 donation to Bieter’s campaign. Bieter did not make a donation to McLean’s campaign.

By donor category, Bieter took in a higher number of dollars from the development community, lawyers and fire unions. McLean saw more donations from political figures, and education. McLean also had a higher share of donors we categorized as “other” – including her family, community activists and non-profit leaders.

Election day in Boise is November 7th.

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