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Incumbents claim big lead in Fifth District funding race
If campaign contributions translate into success at the polls, then Fifth District incumbents can expect a big lead come election night.
State Representatives Jay Rodne and Glenn Anderson have war chests more than double the size of their two opponents, according to Public Disclosure Commission figures.
Rodne, a North Bend Republican who holds the district’s position 1 seat, raised $78,600 in funding as of last week. He has spent $42,000 in the campaign while recording no debt. Anderson, Rodne’s Fall City party mate in position 2, has raised $64,400 and spent $42,200, also without going into debt.
By contrast, Rodne’s opponent, Democratic candidate Greg Hoover of North Bend, had raised $36,075 and spent $33,287. He claimed about $6,600 in debt.
Facing Anderson, North Bend resident and Democratic hopeful David Spring raised $6,082 from nine different contributors amd spent about $5,900 of the total. Spring claimed $1,000 in campaign debt.
Dean Willard, the Sammamish technology consultant who fell to Spring in the August 17 primary, managed to raise and spend more money than any other Fifth District candidate. Willard raised $97,895 during his campaign and spent $70,300, with debt of about $15,000.
Paying for views
Lawmakers may raise funds for about half the year, but are barred from fundraising during session. Most campaign contributions come in during late summer and early fall of election years, with more money coming in during general elections.
Contributors can make separate donations for primary and general elections. Several of local candidates’ biggest donators made dual donations this summer and fall.
Candidates told the Record that donations do not mean they are bought and paid for.
“When people contribute to someone, they think their point of view is more closely aligned,” Anderson said. “They’re investing in my point of view.”
Anderson said he rarely agrees completely with a contributor’s viewpoint, adding that most donators understand that.
“Some people have stronger feelings: ‘Unless you’re with us 100 percent, we’re not going to give you any money.’ That’s unrealistic,” he said. “They try to intimidate you, withhold money from you.” Anderson said he tells potential backers who try to strongarm him to take a hike.
Candidates said that money doesn’t mean everything, and elections can bring surprises. Hoover pointed to the disparity between Spring and Willard’s dollar totals and election turnouts. Spring took 25 percent of the vote, while Willard managed 17 percent, despite raising 16 times as much in donations overall.
“Money is something you need, but it all comes down to doorbelling,” said Hoover. “You need to be out meeting the people.”
Congressional and initiative campaigns are claiming most dollars in the final days before the election.
“At the end, with all the initiatives, the well’s dried up,” Hoover said. “I’ve made phone calls every other night. A lot of it is going to either for or against 1098, 1053, 1082.”
Anderson said most campaign donations are already accounted for, and in his race, mostly spent. He sent out two mailers, spent money on fliers and a voters’ guide, but did not buy signs this campaign.
“It’s plastic littering,” he said.
A typical district-wide mailer can cost as much as $30,000.
If money were no object, Anderson would pursue more links with voters.
“The more we can communicate good information to voters, the better off we are,” he said. “A republic is about voters being educated and informed to make a good judgement.”
Fifth District funds
The following are the top campaign contributors in the 5th Legislative races:
1: Fifth District Democrats, $4,500 in three total donations
2: Fawn Hoover of Sammamish, $1,600
3: ATU Legislative Council, $800
4: East King County Lawyers for Justice, $800
5: Puget Sound Citizens for Political Responsibility, $800
6: Washington Education Association Political Association PAC, $800
7: Patricia Atkinson of Woodinville, $500
8: Frank Chen of Katy, Tex., $500
9: McQuaid and Co. of Seattle, $500
10: UA Local 32 of Renton, $500
Hoover received $24,749 in cash, $7,000 in in-kind donations.
1: Liberty Mutual Group, $2,400 in three donations
2: Phillip Morris USA, $1,600
3: Physicians Eye PAC, $1,600
4: WA State Dental PAC, $1,600
5: WashBank PAC, $1,600
6: Washington State Troopers, $1,600
7: WHCA PAC, $1,600
8: Affordable Housing Council of Bellevue, $1,600
9: Amgen USA of Thousand Oaks, Calif., $1,600
10: Anhaeuser-Busch Companies of St. Louis, Mo., $1,600
11: BioPAC of Seattle, $1,600
12: Campaign for Tribal Self-Reliance WIGA, Olympia, $1,600
Rodne reported all of his donations as cash.
1: Affordable Housing Council of Bellevue, $1,600.
2: Philip Morris USA, Inc. of Richmond, Va., $1,600
3: Physicians Insurance Company, $1,600
4: Puget Sound Energy, $1,600
5: Washington State Dental PAC, $1,600
6: Washington Restaurant Association PAC, $1,600
7: Fifth District Republican Political Committee, $1,000
8: AT&T of Redmond, $800
9: Avista Corp. of Spokane, $800
10: Biopac of Seattle, $800
Anderson listed $48,700 in campaign contributions and $7,500 in miscellaneous donations.
1: Darlene Jensen of North Bend, $1,300
2: Thomas Cramer of Redmond, $700
3: John Bunn of Maple Valley, $200
4: Kathy Golic of North Bend, $200
5: Catherine Swadley of Issaquah, $200
6: NARAL of Seattle, $150
7: Washington Machinists’ Council, $100
8: Peggy Kirk of Carnation, $100
9: Roeder Konrad of North Bend, $50
10: Austin Pam, $400 in clothing donations
Spring received $2,800 in cash, $400 in in-kind donations.