OLYMPIA – With less than four months to go before Election Day, Republican Rob McKenna holds a $900,000 cash advantage in Washington’s race for governor.
New campaign finance reports filed this week show that McKenna has $3.7 million available to spend while Democratic opponent Jay Inslee has $2.8 million. Inslee burned through a large chunk of his cash in recent weeks with a television ad blitz that he used to introduce himself to voters.
Both candidates have raised a little under $7 million, with McKenna holding a slight advantage there. Inslee has benefited from more than $1 million in contributions from the state Democratic Party.
Inslee has also been aided by money that he’d previously raised from his federal account during his years in Congress. State officials have allowed him to directly transfer some federal contributions to his state account, but he must first get the permission of the donor – and that money counts against the donor’s contribution maximum.
The Democrat, however, has also transferred large chunks of his federal money directly to the state Democratic party, which has in turn been helping fund his state campaign. His latest campaign finance reports show he conducted $195,000 in new transfers to the state party, bringing the total to $350,000.
Inslee still has about $180,000 left in his federal account.
Most ballots for the August primary will be mailed to voters later this week. Seven other gubernatorial candidates are on the ballot, with the next largest fundraiser being GOP hopeful Shahram Hadian, who has raised $82,000.