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DeBoer tops Moro in campaign cash

Republican Alan DeBoer has raised three times the campaign money of his Democratic opponent, Tonia Moro, in the race for the Senate District 3 seat. 

"We're going to raise a lot," DeBoer said Tuesday. "We're going to get a lot of money from upstate."

DeBoer has raised $37,130 to Moro's $12,172, according to the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

Moro, of Talent, and DeBoer, of Ashland, are running for the seat formerly held by Alan Bates, who died Aug. 5.

Moro's campaign plans to ramp up its fundraising efforts in the coming weeks as both sides prepare for media buys and other advertising.

Sarah Westover, Moro's campaign manager, said more than half the donations to DeBoer came from his immediate family. 

"It's not as if it's coming from a groundswell of community support," she said. "It's indicative that he has access to more resources and money in his family. We're seeing more small donations."

Westover said Moro had received about 50 small donations from local residents.

The largest contributors to Moro's campaign are $2,500 from the Friends of Elizabeth Steiner Hayward and $2,000 from the Jackson County Democratic Central Committee (corrected to not reflect contributions from Moro's 2014 commissioner campaign).

DeBoer's largest contributors are Karen DeBoer and Sid DeBoer, who each gave $12,500, according to the Oregon Secretary of State's Office. Sid DeBoer, Alan's brother, is chairman of Lithia Motors. Patricia Smullin, owner of KOBI, donated $1,000, when DeBoer was running for the House seat earlier this year.

After Bates' death, Democrats and Republicans scrambled to find candidates for the Nov. 8 election and had just a three-month window to run a campaign.

Over the years, Senate District 3 has trended Democratic, with 32,701 registered Democrats and 25,221 Republicans, providing a Democratic advantage of 7,480 voters.

The Senate seat has been hotly contested over the years, because it has helped sway the balance of power in Salem. In 2004, Bates ran against Medford resident Jim Wright. Together the two candidates spent $750,000, an amount that surprised political observers at the time.

However, Wright got tarred by an attack mailer against Bates sent out by a political action committee that supports Republican candidates in Oregon. Wright denounced the mailers and said he had nothing to do with them.

In 2014, Dave Dotterrer challenged Bates. The campaign was one of the most expensive in the state, with more than $1 million spent by both candidates combined.

DeBoer said he's going to try to keep a tight lid on so-called "dark money" from political groups that spend money on a candidate's behalf but aren't campaign donors.

Even though he expects large donations from political groups from Northern Oregon, DeBoer said he will make sure there are "no strings attached."

"It'll be a hectic six weeks," he said. "We'll be working hard to get elected."

Westover said she expects a number of in-kind contributions, particularly from organizations that Moro has supported throughout Oregon. She said Moro also will raise donations through house parties and other fundraising events.

She said a large number of volunteers will be knocking on doors and canvassing neighborhoods.

Moro, a Medford lawyer, is chairwoman of the Rogue Valley Transportation District, a member of Medford Rotary Club, and serves on the Oregon Public Transportation Plan Policy Advisory Committee and on the board for OnTrack Inc. In her time at OnTrack, she worked on issues related to mental health and family services. The organization collaborated with Bates for policy reform.

DeBoer, owner of TC Chevrolet in Ashland and Airport Chevrolet in Medford, is a lifelong Ashland resident who served as the city's mayor from 2001 to 2004 after serving two years on Ashland City Council and eight years on the Ashland School Board. He has served on numerous community organization boards, ranging from Little League and the Mt. Ashland Ski Association to the Ashland chamber and the Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.

Alan DeBoer
Tonia Moro