That Washington

Liias Hypes Number of Contributors

By Josh Feit October 7, 2011

We've been giving US congressional candidate, state Rep. Marko Liias (D-21, Edmonds) a hard time for lagging behind his fellow state-legislators-turned-federal-candidates in endorsements from their respective Olympia colleagues. But as the latest fundraising reports are due—the deadline is October 17—Liias announced some promising news yesterday: He has more than 1,000 donors after eight weeks in the race for the seat currently held by US Rep. Jay Inslee

Liias doesn't say how much he's raised—one of his opponents, state Sen. Steve Hobbs (D-44, Lake Stevens) just announced he's raised $55,000—but Liias says he'll be "competitive."

But Liias' spin isn't on the dollar figure as much as it is on the sheer number of contributors. Liias says his large set of "low, grassroots" donors—the campaign couldn't give an average dollar figure on donations yet—is telling because in a crowded field when it comes down to "who can continue to raise money  ... you need a large base who can keep giving."

As for the fact that Liias, a leading environmentalist in the legislature, is trailing in endorsements from legislative colleagues, Liias puts that in context. "I voted against the [state] budget. [True.—Eds.] I challenged leadership on that. I thought we needed revenue. I got a lot of flack for that and endorsements can be seen in that context."

Liias also notes that he's got a long list of endorsements from elected officials outside the legislature—at the local council and school board level.

The pack going for US Rep. Jay Inslee's seat (Inslee is running for governor) includes two other state legislators—moderate state Sen. Hobbs and drug reform advocate Rep. Roger Goodman (D-45, Kirkland). Former state legislator Laura Ruderman and Darshan Rauniyar, a Bothell small business entrepreneur who is active in Democratic Party politics, are also officially in the race.

Ruderman and Rauniayar have reported big fundraising numbers; Ruderman was at $101,000 at the last reporting period and Rauniyar says he'll be at $110,000 this time. Goodman was at $85,000 after the last reporting deadline.
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