In Republican race for state representative, District 18, Darnell's $100,000 war chest came from two backers. Gilliam's start-up of $179,000 came from some 40 supporters.
One of the states most closely watched races in this years Republican primary is between state Rep. Vic Gilliam, who represents the 18th House district, and Hubbard electrician David Darnell, who also serves as Marion County Republican Party chairman.
Gilliam, who was appointed to the Legislature in 2007, is seeking a fourth term and is considered a moderate. Gilliams views on most issues may not raise eyebrows among many Republicans, but he has been accused by far-right conservatives of being too moderate.
Darnell, who calls his committee fund I Will Vote Like a Republican Should, is considered a conservative. His campaign strategy to date has been characterized mostly by attacks against his opponent.
The race for the house seat moved into high gear in late March, after Nevada millionaire Loren Parks pumped $75,000 into Darnells then-empty campaign chest, followed days later by a $25,000 contribution from Stimson Lumber Company of Portland.
According to the Secretary of States office, Darnell's total contributions came to $107,294 by May 1. By that date, however, he had spent $78,567.21, leaving him with a cash balance of $28,727.04.
Meanwhile, Gilliams campaign started off in January with a beginning balance of about $11,000. But once the legislative session ended in mid-March, he hit the fundraising circuit. By May 1, Gilliam had pulled in total contributions of $179,173 from more than 40 different Oregon sources, many located within his district, according to data from the Secretary of States office.
Also by May 1, Gilliam had spent $44,136.63, leaving him with a cash balance of $146,106.09.
Gilliams main contributors include: Nike with $11,000; the Oregon Farm Bureau with $5,000; Coalition for a Healthy Oregon with $3,000; Oregon State Firefighters with $1,500; Doctors for Healthy Communities with $2,000; Oregon Bankers PAC with $5,000; PacifiCorp Pacific Power with $10,000; Northwest Grocery Association with $3,500; Oregon Restaurants PAC with $2,000; IBEU Electricians with $1,500; Oregon Business Association PAC with $3,000; PGE with $5,000; Standard Insurance with $5,000; ORLAPAC with $5,000; ACI Prosperity with $5,000 and Oregon Health Care with $5,000.
Loren Parks, Darnells chief contributor with $75,000, is best known in Oregon as the main financial backer for Bill Sizemore, who has been the focus of lawsuits in Oregon courts for racketeering and money laundering for several years.
In March of this year, the American Federation of Teachers-Oregon won a big-money settlement in a case against Sizemore and Parks. According to the Secretary of States office, Parks paid the $592,753.65 settlement amount by check on March 25.
In that case, the unions accused Sizemore of setting up a "sham charitable organization" used to funnel Parks' money into four initiative campaigns on the 2008 ballot. The unions were seeking $25 million from Parks and Sizemore, Parks medical equipment supply company and two of Parks' foundations.