OLYMPIA -- Washington's nascent gubernatorial race between Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna and Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee pulled in more than $1 million in its first official month.
Both Inslee and McKenna formally announced their campaigns and started collecting campaign money in June. Candidates must report last month's contributions this week, and the first tally in the gubernatorial race shows McKenna ahead for total dollars collected, but Inslee ahead for cash-on-hand.
Public Disclosure Commission reports show McKenna with almost $668,000 in contributions, about $26,000 of it moved over from money collected by his re-election campaign for state attorney general. He's spent about
$190,000, with more than $110,000 going for direct mail advertising or contribution requests.
Inslee has raised about $513,000, and paid out about $21,000 in expenses, most of it wages for campaign staff. But his PDC reports also list bills for about $42,500 for consulting, legal and accounting services the campaign owes but had not been paid at the time the reports were filed.
How did they get so much, so fast? In part by getting the maximum amount the law allows -- $3,200 total for the primary and general elections -- from big donors. Inslee and McKenna each have 32 donors who have already maxxed out with $1,600 for the primary and $1,600 for the general.
As for incumbent Chris Gregoire, who announced last month she would not run for a third term, her campaign fund is essentially empty after returning about $26,000 of the $367,000 she'd raised. The rest had been spent on pre-campaign expenses like consultants and mailings.