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Eye On Olympia

State Treasurer’s race: where the cash is coming from…

The race for state treasurer is the classic case of a race that’s fun for Olympia insiders and yawn-inducing for anyone not in the shadow of the capitol dome.

For one thing, it’s a rare open seat in state government. Incumbent Democrat Mike Murphy is stepping down, crossing party lines to endorse his longtime deputy, Republican Alan Martin.

State Rep. Jim McIntire (D-Seattle), meanwhile, who used to be so fond of mentioning that he was an economist that it became an inside joke among lawmakers, is running against one of the state’s top economists: ChangMook Sohn. Sohn — also a Democrat — is the longtime economic weather forecaster for the Legislature.

So far, Sohn has raised the most campaign money ($61,000), with Martin ($53,000) not far behind.

As a lawmaker, McIntire was barred by election law from soliciting donations during the legislative session. He’s raised $24,000 so far. (Numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand.)

Interestingly, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission, both Martin and Sohn are tapping largely individual donors (90 percent and 82 percent, respectively). McIntire, who has long fundraising experience and contacts as a lawmaker, has raised nearly 40 percent of his cash from PACs, parties, unions and other groups.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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