OGDEN — The 1st District U.S. House hopeful who started campaigning last, who’s the only one without elective experience and who doesn’t even live in the district has generated the biggest campaign war chest in his bid for the seat.
Blake Moore, one of four Republican hopefuls, had generated $357,639 in receipts for his bid for the Northern Utah House seat as of June 10, edging fellow GOPer Bob Stevenson, who had mustered $354,497. Trailing behind them were the next two Republican hopefuls, Katie Witt with $242,821 and Kerry Gibson with $201,000, according to pre-primary reports through June 10 to the U.S. Federal Election Commission that were due last week.
The four Republicans and two Democrats are facing off in their respective primaries, with mail-in ballots due June 30. The winners in each primary face off in the Nov. 3 general election to see who will succeed U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, the nine-term Brigham City Republican who’s not seeking reelection. The 1st District seeps into 10 Northern Utah counties, including northern Davis County and Weber County, and a poll released by Moore’s campaign earlier this month showed a close race among the GOPers, but with nearly half of the voters still undecided.
Moore’s place atop the list of fundraisers is notable in a few respects. He didn’t formally announce his bid until Feb. 12, later than the other GOPers, giving them a theoretical jump on fundraising. Katie Witt announced her candidacy on Aug. 26 last year, Bob Stevenson filed FEC paperwork formalizing his candidacy on Oct. 22 and Gibson announced his plans on Jan. 14.
Moreover, this is Moore’s first bid for office and his first time, at least as a candidate, having to drum up contributions to aid him in his electoral efforts. He’s a management consultant now living in Salt Like City, outside the 1st District, though he grew up in Ogden, inside the district, and says he still has a strong connection and deep sentiments to the area.
Witt is currently the Kaysville mayor and was previously a member of the Longmont, Colorado, City Council. Stevenson, currently a Davis County commissioner, also previously served as Layton mayor and a Layton City Council member, while Gibson served on the Weber County Commission and in the Utah House.
Even subtracting funds the varied candidates have loaned to their own campaigns — a considerable amount — Moore still leads in fundraising. He had amassed $198,656 in contributions from supporters, $197,656 of that from individuals. Witt had garnered $167,396 in contributions, $158,196 of that from individuals. Gibson was next with $149,781 in contributions, $116,281 from individuals, while Stevenson had garnered $92,480 in contributions, $91,480 from individuals.
Witt had the most donors who gave itemized contributions, 209. Next came Gibson, 178; Moore, 143; Stevenson, 61; Cheek, 26; and Parry 21.
Stevenson has invested the most from his own pockets in the House race, loaning his campaign $262,017. Moore came next, loaning himself $158,983 as of June 10. Witt had loaned herself $75,000 and Gibson had loaned his campaign $51,184. Altogether, the self-loans by the four GOP candidates totaled $547,184, 47.3% of the $1,155,957 pumped into the Republican campaign as of June 10.
On the Democratic side, Cheek hadn’t loaned any of her own money to her campaign, while Parry had loaned himself $1,626.
The campaign dollar figures don’t factor contributions since the June 10 FEC cut-off date for the pre-primary reports.