Dahlstrom’s campaign account gets a boost from allies of U.S. House speaker

A blonde woman in a blazer smiles at the camera.
Lieutenant Governor Nancy Dahlstrom on December 9, 2022. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)

Alaska Lt. Gov. Nancy Dahlstrom is reaping the benefit of having the U.S. House speaker on her side as she runs for Congress.

Dahlstrom raised $200,000 in a little more than six weeks. She announced in November that she’s challenging Democratic Congresswoman Mary Peltola. Then groups affiliated with House Speaker Mike Johnson began fundraising for her. Nearly all of her total comes from political action committees linked to Johnson and other Republicans in the U.S. House. Only 15% of Dahlstrom’s total came from individuals.

That’s an unusual fundraising profile to find in the first campaign finance report of a challenger like Dahlstrom. The support of so many high-level Republican PACs is significant because they have deep pockets and hold sway over a larger Republican fundraising network. 

a man stands outside holding a sign that says Nick Begich for Congress
Nick Begich III on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022. He finished third in the four-way race. (Mizelle Mayo/Alaska Public Media)

Dahlstrom’s report covers a short period — from when Dahlstrom launched her campaign in mid-November through the end of the year.

The House speaker selected Dahlstrom over the other Republican in the race, Nick Begich III. Begich has been in the race since July. His report for the last three months of the year shows he raised $126,000. That’s about $48,000 less than he spent that quarter. Many of his donations are in small amounts from people all over the country who use a Republican payment processing company called WinRed. Begich also ran for Alaska’s sole U.S. House seat in 2022, largely using his own funds.

A woman holds a "Mary Peltola for Congress" sign outside
Mary Peltola on Election Day 2022. Peltola won the August special election and and the contest for a full two-year term. (Mizelle Mayo/Alaska Public Media)

Peltola raised more than a million dollars in the last quarter of 2023. Her third-quarter report reflects the advantages of incumbency and that Democrats want to invest in the race. Her total includes thousands of small donations from around the country made through Actblue, the Democratic version of WinRed. Peltola also got contributions from Political Action Committees associated with unions, industries, abortion-rights groups and others hoping to win back a Democratic House majority.

Liz Ruskin is the Washington, D.C., correspondent at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at lruskin@alaskapublic.org. Read more about Liz here.

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