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Mitchell has fundraising edge for state House campaign

Spending higher for open seat
By Edward Stratton

The Daily Astorian

Published on October 29, 2018 8:23AM

Tiffiny Mitchell

Tiffiny Mitchell

Vineeta Lower

Vineeta Lower


More than $230,000 has been spent so far in the campaign between Democrat Tiffiny Mitchell and Republican Vineeta Lower for state House District 32.

Mitchell, a state child welfare worker in Astoria, spent $133,782 between the end of the Democratic primary in May and Friday. Lower, an online schoolteacher from Seaside, spent $98,453.

The campaign spending has largely focused on television advertisements, mailers, door-to-door contacts and social media outreach.

Mitchell has paid more than $77,000 to Winning Mark, a progressive campaign strategy consultant based in Portland; nearly $40,000 to Elevated Campaigns, a similar progressive consulting firm; and more than $21,000 to Kramer’s Metro Mailing.

Lower has paid more than $80,000 to Jamestown Associates, a Republican political advertising and campaign management firm; and $4,000 to Victory Enterprises, a public polling firm.

Facing a hotly contested Democratic primary in May, Mitchell’s campaign fundraising started earlier and had surpassed $400,000 as of Friday.

A member of the Service Employees International Union, Mitchell has received more than $225,000 from labor and education unions; more than $57,000 from Future PAC, the campaign committee for state House Democrats; and more than $46,000 from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters.

Nearly 40 percent of her fundraising so far has been in-kind contributions from groups campaigning on her behalf.

In the primary, Mitchell scored an upset victory over Tim Josi, a Tillamook County commissioner and former state representative heavily backed by regional industries and incumbent politicians, and John Orr, a local attorney and environmentalist whose campaign was more grassroots and raised less than $20,000.

Lower faced no opponent in the Republican primary and began most of her fundraising during the general election, so far gathering more than $164,000.

After coming in third in the Democratic primary, Josi crossed the political aisle and endorsed Lower, who has since been backed by many of the same timber, agriculture and other industry groups that supported Josi, along with state Republicans.

Some of Lower’s largest contributions so far include more than $90,000 from Republican groups and state House lawmakers; $12,000 from the Low Income Dental PAC formed by Advantage Dental, a large Medicaid recipient; more than $10,000 from the Right to Life PAC opposing abortion; and more than $16,000 from agricultural, lumber and fishing groups and companies.

The campaigns for House District 32 between 2012 and 2016 gathered less than $272,000 in contributions when incumbent state Rep. Deborah Boone, D-Cannon Beach, was running for re-election, according to the National Institute on Money in Politics, a nonprofit tracking campaign finance.

This year’s campaign to replace her has so far gathered more than $485,000 in cash contributions.

A report by the institute showed that over the past 20 years, the collective cost of state legislative races in Oregon has jumped from around $2 million to $20 million each election. More than 90 percent of the better-funded candidates in past few election cycles have won the election, according to the institute.

•••


By The Numbers


$403,781: Amount raised by Mitchell in the primary and general election.

$164,183: Amount raised by Lower in the primary and general election.

$211,889: Amount spent by Mitchell in the primary and general election.

$101,535: Amount spent by Lower in the primary and general election.



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