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Interest groups have drawn battle lines in election (Oregon Gub. Election ^ | 5-04-02 |

Posted on 05/04/2002 11:16:32 AM PDT by Salvation

    Interest groups have drawn battle lines in election
The six major candidates for governor are feverishly trying to get their names out to the undecided.

With less than three weeks to go before the May 21 primary, the six major candidates for governor are feverishly trying to raise money to get their names out to an undecided public.

But the interest groups supplying the campaign cash have their minds made up.

The six candidates have received more than $3 million from last September through April 4, a pace that will make this year's contest the most expensive governor's race in state history.

More than 5,100 campaign contributions leading up to this month's primary election were recently analyzed by the Oregonian, and who's backing whom has clearly been established.

Law firms and individual attorneys favor Republican Ron Saxton and Democrat Ted Kulongoski. The forest products industry is supporting Saxton and fellow Republican Jack Roberts; developers are sending most of their campaign dollars to Roberts. Labor unions are backing Kulongoski and the financial industry is favoring former state Treasurer Jim Hill. Educators, retirees and the health care industry have all given the nod to Democrat Beverly Stein. Former state legislator Kevin Mannix, a Republican, has seen his strongest support come from retirees and a few individual farmers.

To date, four candidates -- Hill, Roberts, Saxton and Stein -- have reported raising at least $1 million. The next accounting, covering money raised and spent in the past month, is due May 9.

More than any of the other candidates, Saxton, a former Portland School Board chairman, has received campaign cash in big chunks. He has received more than $520,000 in contributions of $5,000 or more.

Some of those big contributions came from the forest products industry. Eugene timber man Aaron Jones, for instance, contributed $35,000 to Saxton's campaign, adding to $15,000 he gave him before September.

Together, Saxton and Roberts received nearly all of the money given by timber interests: $82,873 for Saxton; $50,515 for Roberts. Both have said they would advocate for the timber industry, which also gave more than $45,000 to Roberts from April to August last year.

Roberts has been the clear favorite among realtors, builders and developers, collecting more than $75,000 from them.

Among Democrats, Kulongoski has proven to be the favorite of labor unions. Through April 4, the former attorney general and Supreme Court justice received $104,000 from labor unions. Kulongoski picked up another $68,137 from lawyers.

The financial industry has strongly favored Hill, giving him nearly half of the more than $110,000 it donated overall. Most of that money came from outside Oregon, where the Salem Democrat built up a network of contacts in eight years as state treasurer.

Hill's candidacy also has attracted national interest because he is trying to become only the second black governor in U.S. history. Contributors to his campaign range from Coretta Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King Jr., to Coca-Cola and Ford Motor Co. executives.

In all, about 80 percent of the campaign cash Hill raised from September to April 4 came from outside Oregon.

Retirees favored Stein most, giving her $97,350, although that was only $400 more than Mannix received from them. The health care and high-tech industries also are giving more to Stein, though Roberts and Saxton received nearly as much.

Stein's clearest edge was among educators, who gave her more than half of the nearly $33,000 they contributed.

TOPICS: Oregon; Campaign News; Issues; State and Local
KEYWORDS: elections; governorsrace; oregon
Who will win in the primary?



1 posted on 05/04/2002 11:16:32 AM PDT by Salvation
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