Bozeman City Hall

A look at Bozeman City Hall on Rouse Avenue.

Bozeman city commission candidates are far apart in how they’re building campaign war chests for the November election, according to finance reports filed with the state this week.

The five commission candidates have anywhere from $99 to $17,000 so far to spend in the races for two commission seats.

Sitting Mayor Cyndy Andrus is being challenged by Brian LaMeres, a software application manager with the city who ran a failed campaign for mayor in 2017.

Bozeman’s mayoral terms are a bit different than most Montana towns. The elected person serves as deputy mayor for two years before swearing in to lead the five-person commission.

Andrus was first elected to the commission in 2011 and is more than a year into her term as mayor.

So far, Andrus has raised $2,671 for the race, according to documents filed with the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices. That’s compared to the more than $5,000 she collected in the same period in her first run for the job in 2015.

Andrus contributed $700 to her own campaign and loaned the effort $826. She has spent less than $300.

Challenger LaMeres has $99 logged in the effort so far, money he contributed himself to renew his campaign website.

The three political newcomers vying for the seat being vacated by longtime Commissioner Jeff Krauss are largely tapping into their own bank accounts and out-of-state help. That’s not unheard of in the recent history of Bozeman races.

Candidate Michael Wallner, a head economic researcher at TechLink, has the most money pulled together for the race, most of which came from his own bank account.

Wallner loaned his campaign $9,000 out of the $17,073 tallied for the race so far. Another $2,870 came from out-of state donations.

Wallner is deepest in spending so far, with nearly $7,000 in expenditures. He’s set up a campaign cellphone, paid for prints like door hangers with graphic designs, bought email lists for people in Bozeman, and paid for campaign video and marketing.

Mark Egge, a data scientist at High Street Consulting group, has collected $4,220 so far. Roughly $2,000 of that came from out-of-staters. Egge also loaned his campaign $1,000.

Most of Egge’s early spending has gone toward a campaign logo design, a website and ads for platforms like Facebook and Google.

The third candidate, Zachary Krumm, is close behind Egge with $3,837 collected — $3,000 of which he loaned his campaign. Krumm listed himself as director for Tenants United, a nonprofit focused on affordable housing.

The largest chunk of that money so far went into Krumm’s candidate introduction video, which is set to run on Facebook.

This week’s finance reports are the first of a series that will come out leading up to the election.

Katheryn Houghton can be reached at khoughton@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2628. Follow her on Twitter @K_Hought.

Katheryn Houghton is the city government and health reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

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