The deadline for candidates to file the first round of campaign finance reports was Oct. 10.

In Meridian, money is flowing into the mayoral race, particularly to two candidates: Mayor’s Chief of Staff Robert Simison and Rep. Joe Palmer. Simison has secured contributions from major Meridian developers and has been given the nod by Mayor Tammy de Weerd. Meanwhile, Palmer is receiving support from his Republican colleagues in the Idaho State Legislature.

Simison raked in just under $100,000, including $1,000 from Republic Services, the city’s waste collection contractor, and $1,000 from De Weerd’s campaign fund.

The following businesses and people pitched in $1,000 to Simison:

Ahlquist Development and owners J. Thomas and Shanna Ahlquist

Developer David Turnbull of Brighton Corporation, and Kristin Turnbull

ESI Construction

The Russell Corporation

Boise Hunter Homes

Blue Cross of Idaho

UHFG Insurance, a Meridian-based political action committee

The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine contributed $500. Wahooz Family Fun Zone and Roaring Springs Water Park gave a combined $1,500; both businesses are co-owned by Tom and Diana Nicholson, who gave $2,000, and Patrick and Tara Morandi, who also gave $2,000.

Palmer brought in the second-highest campaign contributions among Meridian mayoral candidates at almost $63,000. More than $10,000 of that came from 11 GOP Idaho lawmakers’ election funds:

Sen. Jim Rice, Caldwell

Rep. James Holtzclaw, Meridian

Rep. Judy Boyle, Midvale

Rep. Brent Crane, Nampa

Rep. Steven Harris, Meridian

Rep. Mike Moyle, Star

Rep. John Vander Woude, Nampa

Rep. Scott Bedke, Oakley

Rep. Jason Monks, Nampa

Rep. Megan Blanksma, Hammett

Rep. Lynn Luker, Boise

Idaho Chooses Life, a Boise-based pro-life political action committee, gave $1,000 to Palmer.

The Biltmore Company, a home builder, along with owners Kevin and Liz Amar, donated a combined $3,000, in addition to $1,000 each from:

KD Roofing


Stephen’s Electric

Titanium Excavation

Granite Excavation

Hi-Grade Underground Inc.

Tradewinds General Contracting

C4 Investments

United Heritage, an insurance company

Anne Little Roberts, a Meridian City Council member running for mayor, has received more than $20,000 in campaign contributions. She is her largest donor, loaning her campaign $16,050 over a five-month period.

Roberts received $5,300 in contributions, including $500 from Marv Hagedorn, chief administrator of the Idaho Division of Veteran Services and former longtime Republican legislator from Meridian.

Candidate Shaun Wardle, the chairman of the Western Ada Recreation District, reported $11,000 in contributions, the majority of which he loaned to the campaign.

Candidate Gina Johnson reported $25 in contributions.


In the Meridian City Council race, nine candidates are vying for three seats. Three candidates, one for each open seat, showed they are better funded than their competitors.

Seat 1

In the Meridian City Council Seat 1 election, Elizabeth “Liz” Strader has received $3,700, including $2,000 from herself and another $1,000 from Pine Avenue Valley LLC, of which she is the registered agent with the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office.

Donna Lusignan raised $695, and Rudolph “Rudy” Patrick had no contributions to report. Michael Christianson dropped out of the race on Oct. 7.

Seat 3

Candidate and former Meridian City Councilman Brad Hoaglun has raised $7,057, including $1,000 from the Brighton Corporation and from C17, an LLC registered with the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office under the Givens Pursley Corporation, a Boise law firm.

Kristen Pudlow, running for Seat 3 as a write-in candidate, did not file a campaign finance report because she is not asking for donations. “My plan is to not have any contributions, at all,” Pudlow told the Idaho Press. “If you’re applying for a job, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.”

Seat 5

Jessica Perreault leads Seat 5 candidates, with $6,173 raised. The Brighton Corporation and Turnbulls donated a combined $2,000. Craig and Jessica Perreault lent the campaign more than $3,200.

Candidate Denise Hanson-LaFever has raised $1,557. Personal contributions comprised $460. Sally Reynolds and Susan Karnes, both members of the Meridian Southern Rim Coalition — a group of several hundred residents concerned about the city’s growth — donated $500 each.

Rounding out the Seat 5 candidates, Jeffrey Miller reported $400 in contributions.

Joshua Valk’s report was not available. He told the Idaho Press he submitted his report on Friday, and he had no contributions to report, anyway. Valk isn’t actively pursuing contributions, he said.


Jacob Bower, a candidate for Seat 6 on Nampa City Council, leads contributions with $6,795, according to his finance report. Darl Bruner, the unopposed incumbent for Seat 2, has the lowest amount of contributions at $40, his own money used for his filing fee.

Seat 4

Incumbent Councilwoman Sandi Levi has raised $1,860, including from her political treasurer, local boutique Story & Company and Concerned Citizens of Canyon County committee member Hubert Osborne. Levi has spent $994.85, mostly on advertising.

Candidate Jeff Cornilles brought in $1,090, including $600 from himself and $250 from Jerry Cornilles.

Another $200 for Cornilles came from Bruce Skaug, Levi’s fellow council member, who is not seeking reelection for Seat 6.

Cornilles has spent $671.52, largely on advertising.

Candidate Michael Gable reported contributions of $3,270, with all but $20 of that being a loan from himself and Toni Acarregui-Gable. Gable has spent $3,216.12, all on advertising.

Seat 6

Candidate Jacob Bower has raised $6,795, more than any other Nampa City Council candidate. Tommy Ahlquist contributed $1,000. Skaug contributed $200.

Bower has spent $2,466.90, mostly on advertising.

His opponent, Scott Glover, has brought in $1,460, including a $570 loan from himself. He has spent $1,211.22, all on advertising.


Seat 4

Jarom Wagoner, a state representative and Caldwell’s senior planner, hasn’t raised or spent any money. His opponent, Christopher Trakel, has brought in $302.61, largely from himself. He has spent $254.08, largely on advertising. Just $1.47 went toward a GoFundMe page for his campaign, which has collected $80.

Seat 5

Incumbent Councilman Chris Allgood, who is running unopposed, reported $573.60 in contributions, largely from a previous campaign fund. He reported no expenditures.

Seat 6

Incumbent Councilman Chuck Stadick’s campaign finance report was not available Friday. Caldwell City Clerk Debbie Geyer said his political treasurer had to make an amendment.

Candidate and former Sen. John McGee brought in the most contributions of any Caldwell candidate, at $4,016.

McGee resigned from the Senate in 2012 amid sexual harassment allegations, to which he would plead guilty.

McGee has racked up 23 donations. Sen. Patti Anne Lodge, R-Huston, who served alongside McGee, contributed $500. Rev. Bill Roscoe of Boise Rescue Mission Ministries contributed $100.

McGee has spent $324.49, mostly on advertising.

Candidate Evangeline Beechler reported $1,100 in contributions, all from individual donors and ranging from $10 to $120. Beechler has not spent any of her campaign funds, according to her report.

Erin Bamer is the Nampa/Caldwell reporter. Contact her at 208-465-8193, or Follow on Twitter @ErinBamer.

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