Lingenfelter attracting the most NDP leadership cash

If money determines who'll be the next leader of the Saskatchewan NDP, Dwain Lingenfelter would appear to be in good shape.

If money determines who'll be the next leader of the Saskatchewan NDP, Dwain Lingenfelter would appear to be in good shape.

The former Saskatchewan deputy premier and former Alberta oil company executive has raised $56,250, according a tally of all candidate donations over $250. That's almost twice as much as the other three candidates combined have raised.

The figures, along with corresponding numbers for candidates Deb Higgins, Ryan Meili and Yens Pedersen, have been put on the Saskatchewan NDP's website.

The figures don't include donations that have come in since April 9 or donations of $250 or less.

It shows that Lingenfelter, considered by some political observers to be the frontrunner in the race to replace Lorne Calvert, is getting money from individuals, companies and labour groups.

Lingenfelter's biggest donors were the Saskatchewan Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council and the Saskatchewan Provincial Trades Association. Each gave $5,000.

In second place is Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA Deb Higgins, the only woman and only sitting MLA who's in the running to replace Calvert.

She's raised $14,000 in donations over $250. Among her financial supporters are MLAs Pat Atkinson, Cam Broten, Warren McCall and Frank Quennell. She also received money from two former NDP MLAs: Andrew Thomson and Louise Simard, who is an ex-wife of Lingenfelter.

Ryan Meili has raised $13,700, with donations from 12 individuals.

Yens Pedersen's campaign raised $3,100, with four contributions from individuals and one from a law  firm.

New Democrats choose a new leader on June 6.

The party said Wednesday that party membership has tripled in recent months as a result of interest in the race. Membership now stands at 14,169.