UPDATE: A glitch at the Secretary of State’s office caused an in-kind contribution of just over $6,000 to be reported as a contribution of over $106,000. This post has been corrected reflect that.
The candidates in North Dakota’s red hot gubernatorial primary race – Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Fargo businessman Doug Burgum – don’t have to file another full campaign finance report until the end of the year. But since May 13 they have had to report all contributions over $500 within 48 hours.
Both candidates have filed multiple 48 hour reports reporting significant amounts of money.
Adding up all contributions received by the Burgum campaign as of the this publication I come up with just over $1.03 million in total contributions in reported individual contributions (the campaign doesn’t have to report contributions $200 and under; Burgum has received no reportable dollars from political action committees or other organizations).
UPDATE: Initially I reported that Burgum had received another $106,000+ contribution from Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Which is about the only conclusion you can draw from the most recent 48-hour report for the Burgum campaign listed on the Secretary of State’s office. But after I wrote this Burgum called me and explained that, due to a glitch in the campaign finance reporting system, Gates’ most recent in-kind contribution (he covered the expenses of a fundraising event, apparently) showed up combined with his previous $100,000 contribution. If you read the report (link above) it looks like a new $106,000 contribution, but it isn’t.
Of that total, more than 68 percent has come from outside of the state:
Burgum has clearly spent a great deal of his own dollars on his campaign as well – FCC disclosures indicate that he’s spent over $1 million on broadcast advertising alone, not counting other types of advertising and staff expenses, etc. – but he doesn’t have to report any of that. When I’ve asked the campaign for details on Burgum’s personal spending on his campaign they’ve declined to provide them.
You can explore all of Burgum’s campaign finances here.
Stenehjem is way behind and falling further behind, at least in terms of dollars raised. He can’t match Burgum’s personal wealth, nor can he match Burgum’s roster of big-money contributors.
Adding up all of Stenehjem’s contributions through the time I’m writing this, Stenehjem has received $779,941. Of that total $576,441 came from individuals and the rest from organizations (political action committees and the like).
Of the individual contributions, almost 90 percent have come from inside North Dakota:
It’s worth noting that Stenehjem does still have money sitting in the fund for his last campaign to be re-elected as Attorney General. At the end of 2015 Stenehjem reported $150,537.75 in that fund. I asked Stenehjem campaign manager Nate Martindale about those funds last week and he said they haven’t yet been transferred over but could be made available almost immediately when the gubernatorial campaign needs them.
You can explore all of Stenehjem’s reported contributions here.