Candidates for Boise City Council are ramping up for the campaign’s final stretch and raking in the last few dollars they need to get them over the finish line.
As of the most recent campaign finance reports available, the top two fundraisers across all three districts up for election is North End real estate agent Greg MacMillan and his incumbent opponent City Council President Pro Tem Lisa Sánchez in District 3. Other fundraisers include Luci Willits in District 1 and City Council Member Holli Woodings in District 5.
Tens of thousands of dollars in District 3 race
MacMillian barely edged out Sánchez to top the fundraising pile with $44,605 raised since the beginning of the year. After months of spending on ads and other marketing materials, he is sitting on $28,272 in cash on hand.
Several of his notable donors, many of which gave the maximum donation amount of $1,000, include Brighton Corporation, Bronco Motors, and the Idaho Land Fund, which is associated with the J.A. Kathryn Albertson Foundation. An LLC associated with Larry and Marianne Williams and fellow realtor Lynn Bradescu also gave $1,000 each. Bradescu was one of the organizers for the attempted recalls of Mayor Lauren McLean and Sánchez in 2020.
Sánchez wasn’t far behind with $43,418 raised in 2021, which is on top of the $14,810 she started the year with. As of the end of September, her campaign had $37,604 in cash on hand. She returned a little over $200 of campaign expenditures this week she spent on personal expenses after questions from BoiseDev.
She pulled in a high fundraising total, but a large percentage of her donations were for small amounts. On her September fundraising report alone, she reported a little over 30 donations from different individuals of less than $100 each.
The other candidates for the seat came in far behind. Maria Santa Cruz-Cernik brought in $750, including a donation from her business, and Nicholas Domeny said he had not received any donations. So far, he paid for his campaign with his own money, but he said he was not aware he needed to file paperwork for self-funded campaign costs as of this week.
Top Republicans chipping in to District 1 contest
Willits ran away with the field in fundraising in West Boise.
As of the September filing report, she pulled in $26,824 and still has $20,370 in cash on hand. Her top donors include top Republicans, including Idaho Republican Party Chair Tom Luna, Idaho State Treasurer Julie Ellsworth, and an LLC associated with Speaker of the House and Lt. Governor candidate Scott Bedke. She also got donations from Bradescu and Meridian City Council Members Treg Bernt and Luke Cavener.
Willits also got maximum donations from the Idaho Land Fund, Jaime Scott, and the Building Contractors Association of Southwest Idaho.
As of the most recent report, her opponent Laura Metzler bought in $9,125 and still has $4,119 left to spend. She earned support from prominent Democrats, including Rep. Lauren Necochea, Rep. Melissa Wintrow, Rep. Steve Berch, and former State Senate candidates Jim Bratnober and Rick Just. She also pulled in $1,000 from the District 15 Democratic Party, where she was once a candidate for the Idaho State Senate.
David Jones did not file any campaign finance paperwork and publicly stated earlier in the race he would not be raising any funds for his bid for the seat.
Woodings leads fundraising in District 5
Woodings brought in the most in the race for District 5, with $10,385 raised in 2021. This is on top of the $8,065 she started the year with. After spending funds on mailers, signs, and other materials, she is still sitting on $9,624 in cash on hand.
She pulled donations from fellow Council Member Jimmy Hallyburton, former Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo, and the Ada County Democratic Party. Former Mayor Dave Bieter’s spokesperson Mike Journee also contributed.
The opponent coming in second behind Woodings is Katie Fite. She brought in $4,921 and was still sitting on $3,444 in cash on hand as of the last filing period. Her major donors include several organizers with the citizens’ group Boise Working Together, which put the ballot initiatives on the library and sports park on the ballot in 2019.
Crispin Gravatt and Steve Madden were neck and neck with $2,900 and $2,375 raised, respectively. Gravatt earned the support of local Democrats, including former State Senator Nicole LeFavour and Wintrow. He also got donations from 2019 city council candidate and local musician Ryan Peck, 2020 ACHD candidate Emilie Jackson Edney and Hallyburton.