April Campaign Finance Update

By Erica C. Barnett May 11, 2011

I spent some time crunching the April campaign-finance numbers in the local races this afternoon. I even made a spreadsheet:

For space-saving purposes, I only included the top two or three candidates, in terms of fundraising, in each race, plus the anti- and pro-tunnel campaigns (Protect Seattle Now and Let's Move Forward).

A few interesting conclusions from these numbers:

• Although challenger Maurice Classen raised less than half of what incumbent Jean Godden raised in April, his cash on hand (the column labeled "O/H") is within striking distance of Godden's: $48,991, compared to the $69,971 Godden has in the bank. Caveat on those numbers below.

• Two challengers raised almost as much as the incumbents they're challenging. Brad Meacham raised $8,935 in April to incumbent Bruce Harrell's $12,221; and Dian Ferguson raised $10,775 to incumbent Sally Clark's $12,100.

• The anti-tunnel campaign's fundraising fell flat in April, with just a handful of contributions totaling $779. April's slim total left Protect Seattle Now with just $359 in the bank. Let's Move Forward, the pro-tunnel campaign, in contrast, raised $17,600, mostly in large contributions from groups like the Downtown Seattle Association and the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

• Tom Rasmussen has raised an astonishing amount of money ($245,867) considering that: 1) Rasmussen's challenger, Sandy Cioffi, has not shown much fundraising prowess so far, raising just $8,715 in April; 2) it isn't even June yet, and Rasmussen will spend most of his money on the November election unless he gets another challenger in the primary; and 3) the lousy economy has dampened campaign contributions this year.

• Both challengers and incumbents are contributing generously to their own campaigns. Maurice Classen's impressive showing against Jean Godden is largely thanks to his total$32,500 contribution to his own campaign; Bruce Harrell has given himself a total of $6,843; Tim Burgess has given himself $8,543; and Dian Ferguson has contributed $3,925 to her campaign.
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