Bullock has raised most in governor's race; Hill tops GOP field

2012-01-05T21:15:00Z 2012-01-27T11:25:50Z Bullock has raised most in governor's race; Hill tops GOP fieldBy CHARLES S. JOHNSON Gazette State Bureau The Billings Gazette

HELENA -- Attorney General Steve Bullock, a Democrat, continues to top all candidates in the 2012 governor's race in total money raised in the campaign.

On the Republican side, former U.S. Rep. Rick Hill of Helena continues to maintain his lead in the nine-candidate field, according to reports filed Thursday with the state political practices office.

Bullock has raised a total of $549,242 for his campaign through Dec. 31. He reported having $279,667 in cash on hand, or money left on the bank, as of the end of the year.

Hill reported raising a total $462,271 so far in his campaign as of Dec. 31 and he had $283,694, or slightly more than Bullock, remaining in the bank.

For the quarter, Bullock reported raising $160,691, while Hill raised $81,399.

Bullock has a lone opponent in the Democratic primary, state Sen. Larry Jent of Bozeman, who has raised nearly $33,000 in his campaign and reported $6,958 left in the bank on Dec. 31.

Here are their campaign finance totals for the other Republican candidates:

Former Sen. Corey Stapleton of Billings had a strong quarter to boost his total contributions for the campaign to $170,373, including $101,650 for the latest quarter. He loaned his campaign $10,000 to bring his total loans to $50,000. He has $125,353 left in the bank.

Ken Miller, a former state senator from Laurel, has reeled in $152,256 so far for his entire campaign and reported a cash balance of about $22,400 as of Dec. 31. He has donated $10,127 to his campaign.

Neil Livingstone of Helena, a national security consultant, has collected nearly $99,000 so far for the campaign, including his own donation of $27,500. He reported having $14,712 left in the bank at year's end.

In his first campaign finance report, state Sen. Jeff Essmann of Billings reported of raising a total of $85,892 for the campaign and had $72,821 remaining on Dec. 31. He made a $5,000 loan to his campaign.

Republican Drew Turiano, a real estate investor from Helena, filed his initial report. He has raised $25,380 through Dec. 31, with $23,000 of that total coming in money he has loaned to his race and $623 in a personal donation. He reported a cash balance of $2,848 on Dec. 31.

In his first report, former state Transportation Director Jim Lynch, a Republican from Kalispell, reported collecting $27,461 in campaign contributions and showed cash balance of $13,778.

Chouteau County Commissioner Jim O'Hara, a Republican from Fort Benton, has raised a total of $23,714 so far and reported a cash balance of $9,151 as of Dec. 31.

The report of the final Republican, Bob Fanning of Pray, was not complete.

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