Knopp Far Outpaces Telfer in $$$ Battle

From BEND, Ore. -- Bend State senate candidate Tim Knopp is no stranger to being outspent in past campaigns. He says what you really need is enough money to get your message out.

Knopp estimates it takes between $150,000 and $200,000 to beat an incumbent.

Right now, with two weeks before ballots are counted, he's on the track to doing just that.

Knopp has been busy going to door to door with his family.

"The only expense there really is the brochures that you are handing out, so that's the small part of the budget," Knopp said.

Most of his campaign money goes to ads on television and radio, or in the newspaper and direct mail, as well as billboards and lawn signs.

Knopp has had enough to do all of it, and the numbers speak for themselves.

According to the secretary of state's website, ORESTAR, Knopp has raised more than $136,000 and already has spent $123,000 of that.

His challenger, Senator Chris Telfer, on the other hand, has raised $48,000 and has spent $44,000.

"I've been in the community a long time and know a lot of people, and I know a lot of organizations ,and they've been just very supportive in the past," Knopp said.

"Tim Knopp has raised a great deal of money in just a very short time," said Laurie Gould, Deschutes County Democrats chairwoman, who has been following the race closely.

"Chris seems to have more of a bankroll than Tim does, it doesn't mean Tim doesn't raise some money at the last minute toward more media buys and getting his message out," Gould said.

According to the Website, Knopp has only $12,000 left to spend, while Telfer, who had a previous balance of $20,000 from last year, has $24,000 to spend in the remaining 12 days.

"It gives you an idea of their different campaign strategies," Gould said. "They look at peoples' voting patterns and who votes early in that two-week period when you have your ballot at home and who's going to vote later."

"The people clearly have responded to my running," Knopp said. "Obviously I hope that translates to people who are going to support me in the election when they vote for me."

Telfer declined to comment for this story.

Gould worked on Democrat Judy Stiegler's successful campaign against Republican incumbent Chuck Burley for the House District 54 seat in 2008. That was considered the most expensive race in Oregon history for an Oregon House seat.

Both sides in that race raised about $500,000 each.