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Bates-Wright race expensive even in primary, reports show

Senate contest will be costly

If you follow the money, the most contested campaign this November in Jackson County is shaping up to be Senate District 3.

During the uncontested primary campaign for this race, Democratic Rep. Alan Bates received almost &

36;70,000 in contributions while his Republican rival, Jim Wright, collected about &

36;100,000, according to filings with the Secretary of State's office.

It just blows me away that local elections cost that much, said Sunny Spicer, treasurer for the Sue Kupillas for Commissioner campaign.

But as Spicer and others found out, more money doesn't necessarily translate into a win for a candidate.

— In the primary race for commissioner, incumbent Kupillas collected almost &

36;50,000 ' nearly three times the contributions of challenger Sue Densmore, who received a little more than &

36;17,000. However, Kupillas lost the election by an almost 2-to-1 margin.

Kupillas' contributions were dramatically higher mostly because of an in-kind contribution of &

36;27,859 from Shady Cove resident Ron Boehm. Boehm spent the money on a campaign kickoff party for Kupillas that included live music at his estate. Her largest cash contribution was from Boise Cascade for &


Densmore's largest contributor was the Oregon League of Conservation Voters at &

36;6,600.60 in in-kind contributions, which paid for staff time, a mailing, access to a statewide database and voter identification and a get out the vote campaign.

Her next largest contributor was Nancy Ames Cole, an Ashland environmentalist and community watchdog, who gave her &

36;818.25 in cash and in-kind contributions.

Densmore also received a &

36;250 contribution from Neil Goldschmidt, the former Oregon governor who recently left the state Board of Higher Education after it was learned he had sex with a 14-year-old girl 30 years ago while he was mayor of Portland. The donation was received before Goldschmidt's sex abuse scandal came to light.

C.W. Smith, the Republican challenger in the November commissioner race, received just &

36;2,950 in the uncontested primary. His largest contributors at &

36;1,000 each were Bonnie Ericson of Central Point and Jeffrey V. Maldonado, a New York insurance vice president.

Wright, vice chairman of LTM Inc., received substantial contributions from the construction industry, business community and politicians. His largest contributors were &

36;10,000 from both the Republican Roger Beyer for Senate campaign and from Republican Sen. Frank Morse of Albany. The Morse campaign also contributed &

36;5,000. Another &

36;10,000 contribution came from retired Ashland resident Vera Lashua.

Bates, a Medford physician, received many contributions from the health-care industry but also a sizable amount of small contributions totaling &

36;100. His largest contributor was Doctors for Healthy Communities in Oregon at &


Cathy Shaw, campaign manager for Bates, anticipates both sides will spend at least &

36;250,000 before the election is over.

This will be an expensive race, she said. We will be outspent, but we're not particularly concerned.

Shaw says the Bates campaign has a small army of volunteers that will lead the charge in a race that both sides expect to be close.

Voters respect a campaign where there are a lot of people involved, she said.

Both sides will conduct polls, but Shaw said the results will be confidential.

Burke Raymond, campaign manager for Wright, said the Senate race could be an expensive one. Certainly some people speculate it will be, he said.

In the uncontested primary, Wright was already advertising heavily on the radio and sending out mailers.

The Wright camp is still working out a strategy for the fall, but what it is will likely remain a secret.

We're not going to give the other coach the game plan, said Raymond.

Here's what candidates raised in primary

Campaign contributions from primary campaigns for county commissioner and state Senate reveal how much candidates received and from where. Listed are contributions of &

36;250 or greater:

Sue Kupillas:

Total contributions: &

36;47,729. Ron Boehm, owner of Trans-Box Corp., &

36;27,859; Jed D. Meese, retired, Ashland, &

36;500; L.D. Josephson, retired, Gold Hill, &

36;1,000; Boise Cascade, &

36;5,000; George C. St. Laurent Jr., a Vancouver, Wash., entrepreneur, &

36;1,000; Sidney B. DeBoer, Lithia Motors chief executive officer, &


Sue Densmore:

Total contributions: &

36;17.225. Sharon Schaefer, retired, Medford, &

36;500; Estelle H. Voeller, Ashland homemaker, &

36;300; Neil Goldschmidt, Portland, &

36;250; Ogden Kellogg Sr., retired, Gold Hill, &

36;250; L.J. Edwards, Ashland educator, &

36;250; David R. Ralph, Austin, Texas, physician, &

36;250; Norma M. Wright, retired, Talent, &

36;250; Jim Sims, Ashland attorney, &

36;300; David Willis, Ashland wilderness guide, &

36;300; Nancy Ames Cole, Ashland forest land manager, &

36;818.25; Diane Christopher, Jacksonville store owner, &

36;300; Oregon League of Conservation Voters, &

36;6,600.60; Thomas N. Dimitre, Ashland union negotiator, &

36;250; Lois Thorson, Medford desktop publisher, &


C.W. Smith:

Total contributions: &

36;2,950. Bonnie Ericson, retired, Central Point, &

36;1,000; Jeffrey V. Maldonado, New York insurance vice president, &

36;1,000; Robert Reed, Medford Realtor, &


Jim Wright:

Total contributions: about &

36;100,000. Karen T. Doolen, retired, Medford, &

36;500; Oregon Smith Fund of Medford, &

36;1,000; Roger Beyer for Senate, &

36;10,000; Republican Sen. Frank Morse of Albany, &

36;10,000; Alan W. DeBoer, Ashland mayor, &

36;500; Robert Doolen, retired, Medford, &

36;500; Michael D. Rydbom, retired, Ashland, &

36;1,000; Noel Lesley Event Services Inc. of Ashland, &

36;1,000; Lester A. Cracraft, Medford health insurance executive, &

36;500; Paula A. Cracraft, Medford homemaker, &

36;500; Judy Wright, Medford homemaker, &

36;500; Jed D. Meese, Ashland pharmaceutical executive, &

36;5,000; William E. Schneider, Medford construction executive, &

36;1,000; Jim Wright of Medford, &

36;500; AGC Committee for Action of Wilsonville, &

36;5,000; Nancy J. Purdy, Medford water gardening consultant, &

36;500; Answer Page Inc. of Medford, &

36;1,000; Bernard A. Young, Medford Realtor, &

36;1,000; Richard F. Hensley, retired, Medford, &

36;2,000; Roy Vinyard of Jacksonville, Asante Health System chief executive officer, &

36;1,000; William H. Williams, Medford retail executive, &

36;1,000; Val A. Bubb, Medford accountant, &

36;1,000; Capital Associates, Inc. of Medford, &

36;5,000; Samuel O. James Jr., White City real estate salesman, &

36;500; Hap Taylor and Sons Inc. of Bend, &

36;1,000; MDU Resources Group Good Governance Fund of Bismarck, N.D., &

36;1,000; Sidney DeBoer, Lithia Motors chief executive officer, &

36;2,500; Karen DeBoer, Ashland homemaker, &

36;2,500; S&B James Construction of White City, &

36;1,000; Dan Agnew, owner-operator of timber business in Centralia, Wash., &

36;1,000; W.H. Hampton, Palm Springs, Calif., Realtor, &

36;1,000; Robert E. Vaughan, Central Point construction executive, &

36;1,000; Burrill Real Estate Inc. of Medford, &

36;1,000; Reginald P. Breeze, Medford commercial real estate investor/manager, &

36;500; Frank Morse for State Senate of Albany, &

36;5,000; Adroit Construction Co. Inc. of Ashland, &

36;1,000; Southern Oregon Management Inc. of Medford, &

36;1,000; Dale A. Campbell, Gresham general contractor, &

36;1,000; Donald W. Skundrick, Eagle Point construction executive, &

36;500; LTM Inc. of Medford, &

36;2,500; Marilyn I. Hutchins, Medford homemaker, &

36;750; R.A. Murphy Construction Inc. of Eagle Point, &

36;1,000; Harry A. Dick Jr., retired, Wilsonville, &

36;1,000; Vera E. Lashua, retired, Ashland, &

36;10,000; Jim Wright, computer valued at &

36;538.50; Judy Wright, computer valued at &

36;538; Airport Chevrolet of Medford, &

36;2,000; Hamilton Construction Co. of Springfield, &

36;1,000; Michael T. Mahar, Medford residential real estate developer, &

36;500; Mahar Homes of Medford, &

36;500; Tim Alford, Medford credit union executive, &

36;1,000; Croman Corp. of White City, &


Alan Bates:

Total contributions: almost &

36;70,000. Doctors for Healthy Communities in Salem, &

36;20,000; Sol Blechman, retired, Ashland, &

36;250; Oregon Orthopedic of Portland, &

36;500; Foresight Ophthalmology of Portland, &

36;500; OMA Political Action Committee, &

36;2,500; Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, &

36;1,500; Coalition for a Healthy Oregon of Portland, &

36;10,000; Mid Rogue Independent Physician Association of Grants Pass, &

36;2,500; Osteopathic Political Action Committee of Portland, &

36;1,000; Jeff S. Heatherington, Portland lobbyist, &

36;1,000; Jean Maack, retired, Medford, &

36;250; Allen J. Douma, retired, Ashland, &

36;1,000; Cindy L. Thomas, Medford physician, &

36;300; Thomas J. Hammond, Medford physician, &

36;250; Mary C. Hough, Ashland physician, &

36;250; Charles R. Dibb, Medford physician, &

36;1,000; Phoebe D. Noyes, retired, Medford, &

36;250; John A. Walker, Medford physician, &

36;250; Betty Jo Reynolds, retired, Ashland, &

36;300; Oregon Nurse PAC of Tualatin, &

36;500; GlaxoSmithKline of Philadelphia, &

36;2,000; Oregon Beverage PAC of Portland, &

36;500; Oregon Optometric Public Affairs Council of Milwaukie, &

36;1,000; Low Income Dental of Salem, &

36;1,000; Oregon Health Care Association of Portland, &

36;5,000; Senate Democratic Leadership Fund, &

36;300; Oregon Optometric Public Affairs Council of Milwaukie, &

36;1,000; Oregon Education Association, &


Sources: campaign treasurers, Jackson County Elections Division and Secretary of State's office.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476, or e-mail