Surprise of 1st quarter Idaho congressional finance reports: Nicole LeFavour

Democratic state Sen. Nicole LeFavour of Boise raised almost $59,000 in just 12 days in March, as she began her bid to upset seven-term Republican Congressman Mike Simpson.

Simpson is still well ahead in the money race, with about $316,000 in cash, but LeFavour raised more from individuals in the first quarter ($58,996) than Simpson ($41,737). All of LeFavour's contributions were from individuals.

Simpson also raised $65,600 from political action committees in the first three months of 2012, bringing his quarterly total to $107,337.

"People just walk up and hand me money," LeFavour said Tuesday. "It's pretty wonderful. It's going to take a million dollars and I'm going to just keep asking people and hope they'll keep being generous."

LeFavour received $22,215 of her contributions through her page on Act Blue, an online tool for Democrats.

For the two-year election cycle, Simpson has raised about $715,000.

Both Simpson and LeFavour appear to be on a glide path to their party nominations in the May 15 primary in Idaho's 2nd Congressional District.

Simpson's GOP opponent, Chick Heileson did not file a report with the Federal Election Commission, meaning he hadn't yet raised $5,000 by March 31. Heileson spent $127,000 in 2010 against Simpson, winning 24 percent of the vote to Simpson's 58 percent.

LeFavour's primary opponent, Jack Wayne Chappell, also did not file a report. Chappell ran for governor as a Democrat in 1998 and won 17 percent of the primary vote, finishing third in a four-way race.

Freshman Republican Rep. Raul Labrador also had a good quarter, raising about $115,000, and reaching $532,000 for the election cycle. He has $200,000 in the bank and continues to pay his wife, Rebecca, $2,060 a month to staff the campaign. Labrador also raised more from individuals than Simpson, almost $80,000, with $34,500 comping from PACs.

Labrador's primary opponent, Reed McCandless, did not file a report.

The other leading Democratic congressional candidate, former NFL player Jimmy Farris, is struggling to raise money. He raised $13,908 in the first quarter, $10,000 of it from four contributors who gave $2,500: Idaho Democratic Party Chairman Larry Grant and his wife, Pam; Russell Buschert of Eagle; and Toni Sutton of Boise.

Farris has yet to effectively tap the font of contributions from NFL players he said he expected to draw upon last fall. Free-agent tight end Alge Crumpler gave Farris $2,500 in October. Farris has raised just $25,904 in total and has $7,925 in cash.

Still, Farris seems set for a general election match against Labrador. The other 1st District Democrat, Cynthia Clinkingbeard, is facing aggravated assault charges and a court-ordered mental health evaluation. Police say she pointed a gun at three employees at a Staples store, where she was seeking to have campaign posters printed. Clinkingbeard did not file a finance report.

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Farris Wheel

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe each of his "Max out" donors were "in kind" donations, as in, stuff given him other than cash.

Farris (sic) are the brothers from INXS, Ferris the wheel.

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

I'm on the edge of my bar stool wondering......

who the Statesman's Ed Board will endorse in the LeFavour race -- who will it be?

it's only a surprise

to people who aren't paying attention. She's been working hard.

I'll bet money they don't endorse LeFavour over Simpson.

There is always a chance I will have to eat my words but I don't think it is going to happen.

LeFavour's Long-Game: get the heck out of Idaho

There's zero chance she'll unseat Dr. Mike, but by being a viable, ex-Legislator Idaho Democrat (first in many, many years), she'll get noticed by the National Left-Wing Nuts, and that'll be the ticket out of Bozo-land. It's too bad, because there's a serious grass-roots developing "we're mad as H*ll at the moronic Idaho Legislature" movement brewing on the East Side, and they got big bucks behind 'em. Nicole could be an asset, if she wasn't so polemic about her personal lifestyle. But then again, that plays well in lickety-split-dominated DC.

Paine of House, see a window of oppotunity?

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?

No Surprise Really

Simpson doesn't do much campaigning in Idaho. He's tied to the Washington lobbyist money. Not that I support LeFavour but anyone running against Simpson will outraise him in individual contributions. Heileson entered the race late this year so I'm not surprised to see his numbers from March. He far outraised Simpson in individual and Idaho contributions the last time around.

hang onto your barstool

Lindy High

Why would she do that?

Get high?

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"foreignoregonian" is not anonymous

It is my identity and my philosophy

Would you prefer everyone to be called 'Poster'?