Democratic Senate nominee Shannon Souza

Democratic nominee for Senate District 1 Shannon Souza speaks to precinct committee members at a convention in Bandon on Saturday.

When it comes to campaign fundraising, the Republican candidates for state Senate District 1 and House District 2 are ahead of their Democratic challengers.

Sen. Dallas Heard, R-Winston, and Rep. Gary Leif, R-Roseburg, are both holding their posts as interim legislators, and will carry an incumbent advantage into the general election, both having been nominated by the Republican Party. Their districts, which both include Roseburg, have heavily Republican electorates.

Leif, a longtime photographer and former county commissioner, is running against county commissioner candidate Jeremy Salter’s wife, Megan Salter, a former preschool teacher and stay-at-home mom who is the Democratic nominee. Megan Salter has so far this year raised $2,947 compared with Leif’s $7,153.

Leif’s contributions this year include $1,000 from the Douglas County Physicians PAC, $528 from the Committee to Elect Roger Hartman Assessor, $750 from Richard Sohn, $500 from Sweetwater, $1,000 from Ireland LLC, $500 from Karen Gibbons, $2,000 from Dallas Heard’s father Dick Heard, $250 from Don Whitaker Logging & Hauling, and $250 from Brian Heinze.

Megan Salter’s contributions this year so far include $1,000 from Guadalupe Preciado-McAlister, $500 from Sara Byers, $200 from Stacey Hawks, $200 from Heather Faldalen and $250 from Kristen McFall.

Heard’s competitor is Coos Bay businesswoman Shannon Souza, the Democratic nominee for House District 1 on the Southern Oregon Coast. She has raised $11,086 to Heard’s $20,871.

Heard is the former state representative for House District 2, who stepped up to the senate after former senator Jeff Kruse resigned. He runs a local landscaping business. Souza is an engineer, environmental consultant and the owner of Sol Coast Consulting and Design, a Coos Bay company that specializes in solar energy, sustainable construction, weatherization and environmentally compliant engineering.

Heard has some out-of-state business backing, including $1,000 from Koch Industries, $1,000 from PhRMA Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and $500 from Kroger. He’s also received $500 from Jordan Cove, which is part of a natural gas pipeline project that’s been controversial in his senate district.

Other Heard campaign donors included Douglas County Physician’s PAC at $1,000, Sprinter Trailer at $2,500, and the Oregon Council of NECA Chapters (an electrical contractors’ association) at $1,000. The Heard campaign also received $500 each from the Osteopathic PAC, Iron Workers District Council of the Pacific Northwest, Coalition for a Healthy Oregon, Building Trades PAC, Portland General Electric Employee Candidate Assistance Fund, PAC/West Communications and Avista Corp. The American Council of Engineering Companies Oregon PAC gave $250.

Individual donors to Heard’s campaign include Robert and Nancy Armstrong, who each donated $1,250, and John Adams, who donated $1,500.

Souza’s campaign contributions this year have been from individuals rather than businesses. They include $250 from state House District 9 Rep. Caddy McKeown, D-Coos Bay; $3,000 from David Basset; $1,000 from Calla Felicity; $250 from Dennis Triglia; $500 each from Gregory McClarren, Erin Santana, Carl King and Jamie Fereday; $200 each from David Ford and David Tilton; and $101 from Nathan Soltz.

Each of the legislative candidates has also collected smaller donations. Campaign donations under $100 aren’t listed by name.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at 541-957-4213 or

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4213 or by email at Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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