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Eye On Olympia

Tue., Aug. 19, 2008, 8:50 p.m.

Goldmark/Sutherland: Very close

Democrat Peter Goldmark, who's led incumbent Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Sutherland in campaign fundraising for months, is neck and neck with Sutherland: 49 percent to Sutherland's 50 percent. (It's closer than it sounds, due to my rounding of these percentages.)

As expected, urbanites seem to like the Okanogan rancher with a message of sustainable land management. Goldmark is far outpolling Sutherland in King County, and beating him in Spokane and Snohomish counties as well. But Sutherland, a moderate Republican and former Pierce County official, is far ahead in much of rural Washington, as well as Pierce and Clark counties.

As with the attorney general's race below, both these candidates are guaranteed a spot on November's ballot, which will feature the top two candidates in partisan races. But the temptation is strong to view this primary as an indicator of statewide support -- which is why the Rossi and Gregoire campaigns were making hard 11th-hour pushes in the governor's race. Good numbers help fundraising in the final 2 1/2 month stretch.




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