The state senate Republicans donated hundreds and thousands of dollars yesterday in independent expenditures to help the roster of GOP candidates in the party's effort to win back the senate—$142,000 to be exact. And $75,000 the day before. Grand total in the last 48 hours: $217,000. 

There are six key races in the battle over the senate between the Democrats and the Republicans. (The Democrats currently hold a 27-22 advantage, but are certain to lose the 25th Legislative District (Puyallup) senate seat, which puts the margin at at 26-23).

The state senate Republicans donated hundreds and thousands of dollars yesterday in independent expenditures to help the roster of GOP candidates in the party's effort to win back the senate. Grand total in the last 48 hours: $217,000.The contested races in the balance are: the 2nd Legislative District (Pierce County) where Republican incumbent Randi Becker (R-2, Eatonville) is facing a strong challenge from Bruce Lachney; the 41st Legislative District (Mercer Island) where Republican state Sen. Steve Litzow is facing a challenge from Maureen Judge; the 10th Legislative District (Island County), where Democratic incumbent Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen is facing a strong challenge from Republican candidate Barbara Bailey; in the 5th (Issaquah), where Democrat Mark Mullet is threatening to pick up the open seat in traditionally Republican turf against Republican hopeful Brad Toft; in the 17th (Vancouver) where Democratic state Rep. Tim Probst is threatening the incumbent, Republican Sen. Don Benton; and in the 1st (Northeast King County and South Snohomish) where a strong Republican challenger, Dawn McCravey, is taking on incumbent Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe.

Yesterday's GOP cash download went to IEs against Democrats Haugen, Lachney, Probst, and Judge. (And as we reported this morning, the state party itself has kicked in nearly $30,000 to Judge's opponent Litzow in the past week as well.)

The biggest spend in the last 48 hours from the senate Republicans was against Probst for $75,000.

Have the Democrats been matching the Republicans? Not this week.

But over the last month, the Democratic senate caucus committees have contributed more than $300,000, all of it going to help Haugen, Mullett, and Probst.

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