The candidates in the race to succeed retiring incumbent U.S. representative Jim McDermott (D-WA, 7) have reported their latest fundraising results. State senator Pramila Jayapal (D-37, Southeast Seattle) and state representative Brady Walkinshaw (D-43, Capitol Hill) are basically in a dead heat.
Federal Elections Commission reports show that Walkinshaw, a gay, Cuban American progressive in the state legislature, is slightly ahead. He has raised $442,703 with $310,375 cash on hand. (Walkinshaw has been raising money longer than Jayapal, of course, having raised about $223,000 of his take in December before Jayapal entered the race; she jumped in in late January.)
Jayapal, an Indian immigrant and also a leading progressive in Olympia and the founder of civil rights group OneAmerica, has raised $437,583 with $354,208 cash on hand. Walkinshaw has contributed $6,000 of his own money to his campaign (without that personal contribution, he’d be slightly behind instead of slightly ahead.) Jayapal, for her part, has gotten $47,500 in PAC money; her FEC reports do not break out those contributions, but Jayapal is being backed by progressive PACs such as the United Food and Commercial Workers, NARAL, Emily’s List, and identity politics PACs like the Asian American and Pacific Islanders Victory Fund.
"Union money is all member money given from paychecks for politics," Jayapal says. She also tells me that two of the PACs that have contributed are PACs sponsored by progressive U.S. representatives, California congressman Ami Bera's PAC and Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison's PAC.
Walkinshaw is not taking PAC money
Judging from the FEC’s numbers, both lefty candidates are raising lots of grassroots dollars. Walkinshaw has raised $73,852 in unitemized contributions (those under $200) and Jayapal has raised $68,152 in unitemized contributions.
Both candidates put their spin on those small donor numbers. A press release from Jayapal’s campaign notes that she has 5,500 individual contributors with more than 90 percent of the contributions coming in at less than $100. (I can’t verify that because the FEC doesn’t break out the small contributors.) For his part, Walkinshaw says nearly 75 percent of his more than 2,000 donations are under $100. And he points out, as the FEC reports, that he has more coming in total money from small donations overall than Jayapal; again: $73,852 versus $68,152.
Crunching the itemized contributions, Walkinshaw also calculates that he has more in-state money: 80 percent versus Jayapal’s 54 percent, his campaign estimates. Jayapal’s campaign has their own spin on that, though. Their press release states: “She has the enthusiastic support of organizations like Emily’s List, Democracy for America, MoveOn.org, OneAmerica Votes and many more local and national community organizations and groups that are helping to build the grassroots movement.”
The other major candidate, gay Democratic King County council member Joe McDermott (no relation), has raised $236,000 total; he is not taking PAC money. The FEC reports that he’s raised about $20,000 from small donors. Nearly 87 percent of his itemized contributions are from in-state.
As of this morning, the FEC didn’t break out any of Jayapal's or McDermott’s individual donors. For Walkinshaw’s part, a few notable donors are: Seattle Parks Foundation director Thatcher Bailey ($2,700), civil rights attorney and 43rd District state house candidate Daniel Shih ($1,000), Progress Alliance founder and liberal donor Jabe Blumenthal ($1,000), former Washington Bus leader Thomas Goldstein ($500), and political consultant Roger Nyhus ($500).
Given that Jayapal is widely seen as the frontrunner in this high profile race, Walkinshaw's ability to match her fundraising is a boost to his campaign.
2. In case you missed it: On Friday afternoon, I posted a story about the controversy over the MIA 130th Street light rail station in ST2—and now ST3.