In his bid for the GOP nomination in the race for the Oregon governorship, Dudley has raised $1.36 million in contributions — more than double rival Allen Alley’s $615,040, according to campaign finance data on the Secretary of State’s Orestar Web site.
With less than a month until the election, the political newcomer also has more cash on hand — $303,629 compared with Alley’s $123,694 — to spend for advertising and get-out-the-vote operations.
A third Republican who has been sharing the campaign spotlight, former state legislator John Lim, is in distant third in the chase for campaign dollars. Lim has raised $104,352 and has $56,430 cash on hand. Among the remaining low-spending candidates seeking the Republican nomination for governor, the best known is Bill Sizemore, a conservative initiative activist who reports raising $6,345 and having $114 cash on hand. Sizemore, the party’s 1998 nominee, faces criminal charges for tax evasion and was found liable for a $2.5 million racketeering judgment against his committee.
All three of the leading Republicans have found support from their personal and professional connections formed well before they entered politics.
Alley, a former high-tech executive with a background in engineering for the aerospace and auto industries, has drawn financial support from the worlds of business and of the investors who finance startup companies. Three of his top contributors are venture capitalists from Boston and California’s Silicon Valley, and each gave Alley’s campaign $20,000 or more.
Lim moved from South Korea to Portland as a young man and went on to form a vitamin and nutritional supplement supply company. He formed bonds with other Korean-American business people across the country. Those connections are apparent in Lim’s list of campaign contributions, most of which are from Korean-American business people or businesses they own, many of them outside of Oregon.
Lim said his candidacy for the highest state office in Oregon has attracted support from others who share his Korean heritage, even though the decisions of the next Oregon governor won’t affect their lives or businesses.
“They’re doing it because they are proud that I am running for governor,” he said.
Dudley and Alley both have received support from traditional Republican donors from within Oregon.
Dudley, a partner with a Lake Oswego investment firm, has done especially well among financial advisers and investors. Former business colleague Steve Shepard contributed $50,000 and numerous others from that sector in and outside of Oregon have given to his campaign. Among those from the sports world to donate to the 16-year veteran of the National Basketball Association are former Trail Blazers Terry Porter ($5,000) and Clyde Drexler ($1,000), NBA Commissioner David Stern ($2,500), Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle ($1,000), and former Seattle SuperSonics coach P.J. Carlesimo ($500).
Political scientist Jim Moore said Dudley’s money lead over all Republicans — and even over the top fundraising Democrat, former Gov. John Kitzhaber (who’s raised $1.23 million) — is impressive, considering his lack of campaign experience. But he said neither Dudley nor his rival Republicans are putting on a great show of fundraising force, considering that the governorship is an open seat for the first time in eight years.
“It’s a total mystery to me,” said Moore, who teaches at Pacific University in Forest Grove. “The money really isn’t coming in to them.”
With four weeks until the May 18 primary election, the three top Republicans have raised a combined $2.1 million. In comparison, the three top Republicans seeking the same nomination in 2002 had reported a combined $3.35 million when that year’s primary vote was still seven weeks away.
Small donations of $100 or less to Dudley total $74,475. They have added up to $39,184 for Alley and $9,673 for Lim.