- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - State Sen. Hollis French held a lead in cash on hand over his Democratic rival for lieutenant governor, Bob Williams.

In filings to the Alaska Public Offices Commission, French reported having nearly $62,000 available as of Feb. 1. Williams had about $54,000, but he also had a $13,000 debt to the state Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign for consulting services and other support.

French filed an amended report Tuesday to include an in-kind contribution of about $1,100 to account for airline miles he said he had used for travel.

Craig Fleener, who plans to run as an independent along with gubernatorial candidate Bill Walker, reported raising more than $18,000 between Oct. 15 and Feb. 1. Fleener ended the period with about $8,000 available. Assuming the ticket qualifies, Fleener and Walker would bypass the August primaries and appear on the November ballot.

In the Democratic race, French reported raising nearly $53,000 between Oct. 30 and Feb. 1, with several legislators among his donors. He also brought into the campaign more than $22,000, from when he was considering another run for governor.

French, who lost the Democratic nomination for governor to Ethan Berkowitz in 2010, announced in mid-October that he would support Byron Mallott for governor and instead run for lieutenant governor.

Mallott donated $500 each to French and Williams. Mallott has said he would await the results of the primary process to select his running mate.

Williams, a Palmer math teacher, reported raising about $63,000 between June 5 and Feb. 1. Among his donors are teachers and others with ties to education. Williams also contributed about $4,800 in cash and in-kind contributions to his campaign.

Williams said he is focused on doing everything he can to make the other half of the Democratic ticket as strong as possible this fall.

French said one can always raise more money, but he felt good about his totals.

Williams and French each donated $500 to the other’s campaign in August, though that was before French joined the lieutenant governor’s race.

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