Stapleton tops House Republicans in donations from Montana

2014-03-23T00:30:00Z 2014-05-30T11:02:43Z Stapleton tops House Republicans in donations from MontanaBy CHARLES S.
JOHNSON Gazette State Bureau
The Billings Gazette
March 23, 2014 12:30 am  • 

HELENA — Former state Sen. Corey Stapleton, R-Billings, has raised more money in itemized individual campaign donations from Montanans than did his other two major Republican U.S. House opponents as of Dec. 31.

Stapleton, an investment adviser, collected $153,500 in itemized donations from Montanans through the end of 2013 for 46 percent of his total contributions of $330,579.

“That’s been my focus,” Stapleton said. “I’m focused on Montana voters and Montana donors because that’s who I want to represent.”

In contrast, state Sen. Matt Rosendale, R-Glendive, received $48,250 in itemized individual donations from Montanans, or 45 percent of his total contributions.

Former state Sen. Ryan Zinke, R-Whitefish, collected $83,700 from individual Montanans whose donations were itemized on his report, or 18.7 percent.

Individual donations must be reported if they total more than $200 by an individual. An individual can donate up to $5,200 for the campaign.

Stapleton said many frequent Republican contributors have been sitting on the sidelines so far.

“They are typically $1 million of Republican dollars in a (Montana) cycle,” Stapleton said. “By and large, at least up to this point, they haven’t engaged.”

Of his Montana donors, Stapleton received the most, $91,100, from residents of Billings, which he represented in the Senate for eight years.

Residents of Roberts donated $10,400 to Stapleton. Here are totals from some other Montana cities or towns: Big Sky, $7,800; Laurel, $7,500; Columbus, $5,000; Great Falls, $3,750; Kalispell, $3,200; and Helena, $3,000.

Among his donors is Steve Arntzen of Billings, who gave $500 in March 2013, before his wife, state Sen. Elsie Arntzen, decided to enter the same race this year.

Looking at other states, Stapleton received $6,000 from donors in California, $5,650 from Georgia, $5,200 from Massachusetts, $4,250 from Florida and $4,100 from Minnesota.

Stapleton received $5,200 from James Cox Kennedy of Atlanta, chairman of Cox Enterprises, a media company. Kennedy also is a Montana landowner in Madison County who has been involved a dispute with recreationists over public access to the Ruby River.

“James Kennedy and I love to talk cycling,” Stapleton said. “He was a competitive cyclist and I do triathlons.”

Stapleton received one political action committee donation, $1,000 from WebPAC, of Louisiana.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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