District candidates garner copious campaign contributions

Campaigns for seats in the Washington state 45th and 48th district House of Representatives and Senate are in full swing, but where are the candidates getting the money from?

The Public Disclosure Commission requires candidates to file campaign contributions, which can be accessed online.

Starting out on the smaller side, so far, of the elections, is the 48th District, where incumbents Sen. Patty Kuderer and Rep. Vandana Slatter haven’t recorded much in the way of donations.

Kuderer has reported around $13,000 and Slatter only around $4,300. A state budget was only passed at the end of June after multiple special sessions, so the candidates likely haven’t had time to throw themselves into their campaign just yet.

Libertarian Michelle Darnell is running for Kuderer’s seat in the district and has raised nearly $2,500 from donors.

Independent Democrat Richard Knierim has reported around $13,000 in donations so far.

Ciaran Dougherty hadn’t filed a contributions report on the state’s Public Disclosure Commission as of July 13.

The real money, however, is in the 45th District, where Democrat Manka Dhingra is running against Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund and Independent Parker Harris.

The contested Senate seat formerly belonged to Republican Andy Hill, who died last year and saw fellow Republican Dino Rossi appointed to the position.

Rossi will not be campaigning for re-election.

The state senate is currently split evenly, with 24 Democrats and 24 Republicans and one independent Democrat, Tim Sheldon, who has regularly voted with Republicans.

The current 48th District Senate race could swing the balance of power in the Senate decisively.

Harris has raised just over $3,000, far less than his competition.

Both Englund and Dhingra have surpassed the half-million dollar mark, with Dhingra bringing in more than $568,500 and Englund garnering more than $547,400 in campaign contributions.

Englund received three large cash-dumps from Republican organizations, totaling $130,000.

The Senate Republican Campaign Committee contributed $80,000 along with $40,000 from the King County Republican Party and $10,000 from the House Republican Organizational Committee.

Of the donors who made donations at the $1,000 level, Englund has received strong support from insurance companies, contractor associations and industry, which generally donate around $2,000, often broken into two $1,000 donations.

These include the Associated Builders and Contractors of Washington Build Political Action Committee (PAC), Calportland, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. PAC, Professional Insurance Agents of Washington PAC and the Trucking Action Committee, among others.

She also received $2,000 from both Centralia Republican John Braun and Rossi.

The Gun Owners Action League of Washington and the Hunters Heritage Council PAC also spent $1,000 supporting Englund.

Of the donors who spent at least $1,000, 134 were located in the state and 15 were from out-of-state donors.

Englund has received roughly 23,900 line-item contributions.

Dhingra has received roughly 40,350 line-item donations. Of those who donated $1,000 or more, 109 were from in-state contributors and 59 were from out-of-state, many of which were from individuals.

Dhingra’s largest donors were at the $1,000 level, with many groups or individuals donating at least twice. She is heavily supported by organized labor.

The Aerospace Machinists Lodge 751, the Renton Fire Fighters Local 864 each donated $2,000 and the Iron Workers Local 86 and Laborers Locals 242 and 440 donated $1,000 each.

The Campaign for Tribal Self Reliance, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, IUPAT Political Action Together, the Washington State Council of County and City Employees and Washington State Committee on Political Education all donated $2,000 to her campaign.

She also received donations from the Alliance for Gun Responsibility and the Suquamish Indian Tribe.

People for Kerek Kilmer and People for Patty Murray also donated $2,000 each.

The campaign for the 45th District seat will likely intensify leading up to the November election as partisan politics across the state and country continue to heat up.

The primary election is scheduled for Aug. 1 and ballots were mailed out on July 14.

The contributions for this story were complete as of July 14.

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