Sen. Patty Murray has raised twice as much money and has three times as much cash on hand as her leading Republican rival, Rep. Linda Smith, in their 1998 Senate race.
Murray, D-Wash., raised more than $822,000 in the last six months of 1997 to bring her total to more than $2.27 million for the campaign, campaign manager Rick Desimone said Tuesday.
That puts her on a pace to break the record $5 million Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., spent to win re-election in 1994.
Smith, R-Wash., nearly matched Murray from July 1 through Dec. 31, 1997, raising $795,000 during that period for contributions totaling $1.1 million on the year, said her campaign spokesman, Scott Hildebrand.
She entered 1998 with about $375,500 cash on hand, compared with Murray’s $1.15 million.
The only other announced Republican candidate, Pierce County Executive Doug Sutherland, did not immediately return telephone messages at his campaign office on Tuesday.
Smith has led efforts in the House to reform campaign finance laws. She advocates a ban on contributions from political action committees and says she won’t accept any money from PACs in her bid to deny Murray a second term.
She said she expects to be outspent by Murray but is encouraged by her own campaign war chest to date.
Desimone said Murray raised less than 17 percent of her money since July 1 from PACs. More than 80 percent of her money during that period came from individuals and 64 percent from individuals contributing $100 or less, Desimone said.