Following the money in local politics

Aside from a desire to serve and a group of supporters, the major element in most elections is money. 

With slightly more than a month left before voters choose their next elected leaders, Keizertimes took a look at local candidates’ campaign finance activity to see which ones are leading in the money race.

All campaign financial statements are available to the public at, but we limited our effort to candidates running to represent the residents of Keizer. 

State Representative

Ramiro (RJ) Navarro

RJ Navarro is a first time candidate, running against Rep. Bill Post with total contributions of roughly $5,000. Only $3,500 was in cash, the remainder was in in-kind services. 

Navarro’s largest expense thus far is $750 for a statement in the Oregon Voter’s Pamphlet. 

Rep. Bill Post

(Running for fourth term)

Post started 2020 with a substantial war chest of almost $44,000 held over from previous campaigns. Since the beginning of the year he’s amassed almost $80,000 in cash support. The campaign has spent roughly $118,000 this year to date. 

His largest contribution thus far was $10,000 from a Dallas business owner. Post’s campaign also received $3,000 in support from the Oregon Realtors Political Action Committee and $2,000 from the Oregon Firearms Federation. 

Post has contributed to the campaigns of Keizer city council candidates Kyle Juran, Ross Day and Laura Reid as well as Marion County Commission candidate Danielle Bethell. Post’s major expenditures since the beginning of 2020 have been supporting the campaigns of other candidates. 

Marion County Commissioner

Danielle Bethell

Bethell, Keizer’s representative on the Salem-Keizer School Board, had a small balance on her account left over from the school board run in 2018, but she’s pulled in a whopping $64,000 since the beginning of the year. Bethell, a Republican, is running for a seat on the Marion County Board of Commissioners being vacated by Sam Brentano. 

After approximately $40,000 in expenditures, she still has cash reserves of nearly $28,000. 

Bethell’s largest donor is Freres Timber Inc with a $10,000 cash contribution. Freres Lumber Co., Inc., kicked in another $2,500 in cash. The Oregon Right to Life Political Action Committee (PAC) gave $7,500 to Bethell’s campaign. The Jobs Political Action Committee, which is funded locally by Mountain West Investments and nationally by Anheuser Busch and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhARMA), contributed $2,500 to Bethell’s campaign. 

Bethell’s largest expenditure has been consulting fees for Salem-based New Media Northwest.

Ashley Carson Cottingham

Carson Cottingham is the Democrat challenger to Bethell. Her campaign has raised nearly $46,000 in cash since the beginning of 2020 and had $33,000 of it in reserve as the final month of campaigning approaches. 

Carson Cottingham’s major donors include the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 555, the Citizen Action for Political Education PAC each of which gave $2,500 to the campaign. The Citizen Action for Political Education Committee is largely funded by the Service Employees International Union Local 503. 

Her largest expenditure was $2,500 for consulting fees with PAC/West Communications.

City Council – Position 1

Mike De Blasi

A longtime volunteer with city advisory committees, Mike De Blasi is making a second run for the Keizer City Council and challenging incumbent Laura Reid. De Blasi’s campaign finance activity showed a deficit of about $400 at press time. His largest expense was for sign printing. 

Laura Reid

Reid is seeking a second term on the Keizer City Council after being elected in 2016. Reid had a roughly $300 on hand according to Orestar filings, no expenditures were yet listed. 

City Council – Position 2

Ross Day

Keizer attorney Ross Day is seeking to replace Kim Freeman the current holder of Position 2 on the council. 

Day had cash reserves of $6,400 at press time, that tally included a $3,000 loan from PECO Processing Service Inc, a Keizer-based corporation with Day listed as the president and agent. He had no substantial expenditures at press time. 

Dylan Juran

Dylan Juran’s campaign finance committee is still in nascent stages and had no contributions or expenditures listed. 

City Council – Position 3

Kyle Juran

Kyle Juran is running against Michele Roland-Schwartz to replace outgoing City Councilor Marlene Parsons. 

Juran had roughly $1,600 in cash reserves heading into the final month of the campaign. His largest campaign expense is signage, which total about $500 at press time. 

Michele Roland-Schwartz 

Roland-Schwartz also had $1,600 in cash leading into the final month. Her largest expense was also for signage, about $460 at press time.