HELENA – U.S. Rep.-elect Ryan Zinke raised and spent more than twice as much money than his Democratic opponent, John Lewis, in the race for Montana’s open House seat this year.
Federal Election Commission reports show that that Zinke, a Republican, raised $4.28 million and spent $4.37 million through Nov. 24.
Lewis, in contrast, raised $1.71 million and spent $1.67 million in the race.
Zinke had $95,239 left in the bank, while Lewis had $40,696 remaining.
However, the reports showed Zinke owed slightly more than $300,000 in debts and obligations, while Lewis had none.
Zinke’s campaign owes him $42,000 for a personal loan to the campaign and more than $19,000 for him personally paying for some campaign advertising, a media buy and travel expenses.
Other debts owed by the Zinke campaign are “win bonuses” to his campaign staff and consultants, including $15,000 to Will Selph of Billings: $70,000 to Robert Kearley of Whitefish; $15,000 to R Vogel Consulting Inc., the firm of Zinke’s political director Randy Vogel, of Billings; $50,000 to Strategic Perceptions Inc. of Hollywood, California; $59,060 to KMac of Vancouver, Washington; and $30,000 to Alpine Research LLC of St. Ignatius, the consulting firm run by Alan Mikkelsen, Zinke’s campaign manager.
The reports showed Zinke garnered $2.35 million in itemized individual donations and $1.55 million in unitemized individual donations.
He received nearly $410,000 in donations from political action committees and about $9,500 from political party committees.
Lewis collected more than $953,000 in itemized individual donations and slightly more than $405,000 in unitemized individual donations.
He received more than $340,000 from political action committees and about $15,000 from party committees.
Zinke, a former state senator from Whitefish, won the election with 55 percent of the vote, while Lewis had 40 percent and Libertarian Mike Fellows took the rest.