West Hawaii Today - The campaign money game: Two legislative challengers out-raise incumbents

The campaign money game: Two legislative challengers out-raise incumbents

HILO — Two Big Island legislative incumbents are raising less money than their challengers, while most are socking away solid funding advantages over those running against them.

That’s according to a West Hawaii Today analysis of June 30 reports local candidates filed last week with the state Campaign Spending Commission. The analysis looked at total money raised for the election cycle, amount remaining June 30 and how much money came in increments of $100 or less compared to larger contributions.


In what last election was one of the closest nail-biters, the House District 7 Democratic primary race, David Tarnas, who is again challenging incumbent Rep. Cindy Evans, has raised $38,585 to Evans’ $17,883. More of Evans’ money has come from donations of $100 or less, while all of Tarnas’ big contributions of over $1,000 came from the district he wants to represent.

“I think the fact that I have raised significantly more than she has demonstrates that the level of support I have in the community is greater than hers,” Tarnas said Monday.

Tarnas, who came within 176 votes of beating Evans in 2016, also has more money left to work with, just less than a month before the Aug. 11 primary. The winner faces Tom Belekanich, a virtually unknown Republican, in the general election.