SENATE DISTRICT 43
As of May 1, Senate District 43 candidate Jason Ellsworth was by far the biggest spender in the 2018 Montana State primary elections for the state senate. From the beginning of the campaign to the first of May, Ellsworth had outspent incumbent Patrick Connell by five to one and outspent the third Republican candidate Scott Roy McLean by almost 24 to one and he’d done it without a single contribution. He has loaned his campaign the entire amount himself. He loaned his campaign $50,000 and has spent $43,547.14.
According to his report, incumbent Pat Connell raised $8,475.80 for his primary campaign and has spent $8,039.78. Connell got his money from a dozen PACs and lobbyists and the other half from 53 individual contributors.
Scott McLean loaned his campaign $300 to get it off the ground and then raised $3,264 for his primary campaign. He got $20 from the Montana GOP and has paid some costs himself, but the bulk of his contributions came from 53 individuals.
HOUSE DISTRICT 85
Incumbent Theresa Manzella loaned her own campaign $20,000 but had spent none of it on the primary race as of May 1.
Green Party candidate John Gibney paid his own $15 filing fee but raised no money and declared no expenditures other than the filing fee.
Democrat Mary Toews has notified the Election Office of her intention to withdraw, but her notification was a day late so her name still appears on the ballot. She did not file a financial report.
Democrat Laura Jackson loaned her campaign $1,165 and raised another $295 for a total of $1,460 in campaign funds but has only spent $520.
HOUSE DISTRICT 86
Republican for HD 86 Jacob DeVries is another self-funded candidate, having loaned his campaign $9,855 and having spent $8,696.
David Bedey loaned his campaign $6,000 and garnered another $2,075.02 from individual donors for a total of $8,075.02. He has spent $7,724.24.
Democratic candidate Jason Nickisch, running unopposed in the primary, did not file a report.
HOUSE DISTRICT 87
The only candidate for HD 87 is Republican Nancy Ballance. As of May 1, Ballance had raised no funds for the primary but had raised $3632.91 for the general election to come.
HOUSE DISTRICT 88
As of May 1, Republican candidate Sharon Greef has raised and spent the most money in the HD 88 race. Greef loaned her campaign $1,000 and raised another $2,900 from 28 individuals. She has spent $2,254.
Jim Crews raised $915 and spent $850.
Kim Stoltz loaned her campaign $893.78 and spent it.
Democratic candidate Margaret Gorski is running unopposed in the primary and did not file a campaign finance report.