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Money raising for Lauderdale's county commissioner campaign off to a brisk start

Robert "Jeff" Lauderdale's campaign is off to a running start — in fundraising, at least.

Lauderdale officially announced his race for the District 1 seat on the Island County Board of Commissioners on Aug. 13.

Lauderdale, a Republican who lives near Coupeville and the only declared candidate in the race, has raised $7,470 in the two weeks since the launch of his campaign.

Most of the donations — all but $500 from a kick-off contribution in July and a $500 loan that Lauderdale put in his war chest for the primary — were given Aug. 13 or later.

Records on file with the Public Disclosure Commission, the state agency that serves as a watchdog on campaign financing, show that most of the donations are coming from the South End.

Thirteen donations have been made by people who live in Greenbank, Freeland, Langley and Clinton, and just seven have been made from Coupeville and Oak Harbor residents. One donation came from out-of-state.

Donations from the South End totaled $4,950 through Monday, Aug. 29. North Whidbey contributions totaled $1,810.

County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson, the Democratic incumbent in District 1, has not declared if she will seek a second term.

District 1 spans much of Whidbey Island; it starts near the southern end of the greater Oak Harbor area and includes Central Whidbey and the entire South End.

The amount raised by Lauderdale so far is small potatoes compared with what was raised and spent when the seat was last up for grabs in 2008.

With four candidates in the 2008 race — Price Johnson, incumbent Phil Bakke, Curt Gordon and Reece Rose — the total amount raised by the candidates topped $190,000.

Price Johnson, the eventual winner, raised $89,535 and spent $88,768, while Bakke raised $63,567 and spent $59,727.

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