Who’s Raising Money for Next Year’s Statewide Contests


Republican gubernatorial hopeful Dave Reichert edged past centrist Democrat Mark Mullet in campaign cash last month. Both candidates had raised slightly less than $1 million through the end of October, per their filings with the Public Disclosure Commission. Both still trail Attorney General Bob Ferguson by several country miles; the presumptive Democratic frontrunner has raised $4.6 million, including $390K in October.

Reichert pulled in $301K in October, compared to just $80K for Mullet. The former congressman and King County Sheriff hasn’t been in the race for long, so he’s still working the low-hanging fruit among the GOP faithful. Also, his campaign burned through $177K during the month, mostly on various fundraising costs.

Republican Semi Bird, who’s running to Reichert’s right, hadn’t filed a full disclosure to the PDC as of Thursday morning. He’s raised about $230K and spent nearly all of it.

As we’ve noted before, Mullet’s most plausible path to the November election is a weak and divided Republican field primary field that helps advance two Democrats. That’s looking less likely for the moment.

In other funding news…

Elsewhere in campaign cash news, Republican Jamie Herrera Beutler had a big first month in her bid for Commissioner of Public Lands. JHB, who lost a bid to reelection in Southwest Washington’s 3rd Congressional District last year thanks to GOP infighting over her vote to impeach Donald Trump, pulled in $150K, more than twice as much as any of the four Democrats in the race. King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove raked in $56K.

JHB attracted the maximum $9.6K (that’s $2.4K for the primary and another $2.4K for the general election from each spouse) from several name-brand conservative couples, including David and Patrican Nierenberg, Ken and Sherilyn Fisher, and Steve and Melissa Gordon. The Nierenberg and Fisher cash comes from the investment companies of the same name; the Gordon money come from trucking.

Interestingly, we didn’t spot much cash from the wood-products industry, which cares deeply about who runs the Department of Natural Resources. So far, that money is going to Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, the centrist Democrat who chairs the relevant committee in the Legislature.

As expected, state Sen. Emily Randall jumped into the suddenly open race for the 6th Congressional District. Shauna Sowersby has the story over at The News Tribune. That sets up a showdown with Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, who pivoted hard out of the governor’s race last week.

The capital gains tax extracted nearly $900 million from the state’s wealthiest folks in its first year. Jerry Cornfield has the details at the Washington State Standard. Opponents of the tax — which is largely earmarked for education and child care — are currently gathering signatures for an initiative that would give voters the option to repeal the tax next year.

Paul Queary
Paul Queary
Paul Queary, a veteran AP reporter and editor, is founder of The Washington Observer, an independent newsletter on politics, government and the influence thereof in Washington State.


  1. I think the polling and donations tally suggest that there is a hunger for a new face in the governor’s office. Ferguson looks like Inslee 4, and Reichert is also a retread. Can we have a leader for a new agenda?


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