Incumbents dominate fundraising in Washington, Idaho congressional races

WASHINGTON — Fundraising in the races for Congress in Washington and Idaho has so far been dominated by incumbents, campaign finance disclosures filed Friday show, with few competitive races attracting the major outside spending seen in other parts of the country.

Reports filed with the Federal Election Commission covering fundraising and campaign spending in the first quarter of 2022 reflect a campaign map with few competitive races in either state. Only Washington’s 8th District – which stretches from the Cascades of Wenatchee and Ellensburg to the suburbs of Tacoma, Seattle and Everett – appears winnable by either side. Meanwhile, two Republican incumbents face challengers within their own party backed by former President Donald Trump.

In the race for Eastern Washington’s solidly red 5th District, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, had raised nearly $3.6 million and had about $2.7 million left after spending just under $2 million. Nearly $1.4 million of his fundraising came from individual contributions, which are capped at $2,900 for each primary and general election. About $1.8 million came from Political Action Committees, or PACs, and about $413,000 from its joint fundraising committee, the Win the Future Fund.

His two Democratic challengers, Ann Marie Danimus and Natasha Hill, both trailed McMorris Rodgers by a wide margin in fundraising and spending. Danimus had raised nearly $110,000 and spent around $100,000, while Hill had raised over $77,000 and spent nearly $52,000.

In Central Washington’s 4th District, Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, had raised about $1.2 million, more than his six opponents combined, and was down to about $928,000 after spending more than $574,000. dollars in the first three months of the year. About half of its fundraising came from individual donors and the other half from political action committees, with several agricultural industry PACs contributing the maximum contribution of $5,000.

Loren Culp, the former Republic police chief who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2020, is one of five Republicans aiming to replace Newhouse after the four-term congressman was ousted. one of 10 GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. . While Culp received Trump’s endorsement in February, his fundraising has so far lagged fellow Republican former NASCAR driver Jerrod Sessler and Yakima businessman Doug White. the only Democrat in the race.

Culp said he raised more than $191,000 — virtually all from individual donors — and spent nearly $168,000, with about $23,000 on hand. Most of his fundraising has taken the form of contributions of $500 or less, while a few donors have given the maximum of $2,900, including billionaire Peter Thiel.

Sessler has largely self-funded his run so far, with most of the $444,000 he has raised coming from a $351,000 loan he gave to his own campaign. He had about $147,000 on hand after spending over $302,000.

Almost all of the approximately $231,000 raised by White comes from individual donations, most of which are under $500. The rest, about $6,000, came from the campaign accounts of Democrats Doug McKinley, who lost to Newhouse in 2020, and Lisa Brown, the Washington State Commerce Department director who ran unsuccessfully. against McMorris Rodgers in 2018.

Three other Newhouse-challenging GOP candidates are far behind in fundraising. State Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, had raised about $23,000 and spent more than $18,000. Corey Gibson, who lives in Selah and runs a marketing business, had spent almost all of the $36,000 he raised. Benancio Garcia III, an Army veteran from Sunnyside, reported no fundraising or spending.

Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Republican who has represented Southwestern Washington’s 3rd District since 2011, also attracted a Trump-endorsed challenger – former Green Beret Joe Kent – after voting to impeach the president of the time in January 2021. Herrera Beutler reported raising over $2.8 million and spending over $936,000, with just over $2 million available. Individual contributions accounted for more than $1.6 million of its fundraising, including approximately $1.2 million from PACs.

By the end of the first quarter of 2022, Kent had raised over $1.8 million, including nearly $1.5 million from individual donors. He had also made loans of $205,000 to his own campaign and received about $120,000 from PACs.

Heidi St. John, an author and motivational speaker who is also a Republican, had raised about $808,000 and was left with nearly $283,000 after spending about $525,000. Democrats Brent Hennrich and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez had raised about $77,000 and $67,000, respectively. Republican Leslie French had raised about $70,000 and four other candidates all had less than $5,000 on hand.

In Washington’s 8th District, the only congressional district in Washington or Idaho that doesn’t lean heavily in favor of either party, Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Sammamish, had raised nearly $4.2 million to fend off five challengers. Schrier reported more than $3.4 million in individual donations as well as approximately $645,000 from PACs.

His three main challengers, all Republicans, were neck and neck in fundraising at the end of the first quarter. Jesse Jensen, an Army Ranger who ran unsuccessfully against Schrier in 2020, had raised around $816,000 and spent $401,000. Matt Larkin, a lawyer who lost the 2020 run for Washington attorney general, had raised nearly $630,000 and spent $275,000. King County Councilman Reagan Dunn had raised more than $605,000 and spent $139,000.

With Schrier likely to pass the Aug. 2 primary, in which the top two go to the general election, the top Republican is sure to get an infusion of funds from the national GOP before November.

The two senators up for re-election this year, Democrat Patty Murray of Washington and Republican Mike Crapo of Idaho, easily outspent their opponents. Unlike Crapo, however, Murray faces an opponent backed by major party figures, top Republican candidate Tiffany Smiley.

Murray said he raised more than $11.6 million and spent about $7.5 million, with nearly $7.9 million remaining. The bulk of the veteran senator’s fundraising — more than $8.7 million — came from individual donors, including about $2.8 million from PACs.

Smiley, a former Pasco nurse and veterans advocate, had received more than $4.2 million, almost all from individual contributions. She said she spent over $1.7 million with over $2.4 million on hand. Of the eight other candidates vying against Murray, all said they had less than $1,000 in hand.

In Idaho, Crapo had raised more than $5.7 million and had nearly $6 million on hand after spending about $2.6 million. None of his nine challengers had raised more than $40,000, and the senator looked set to land a fifth term.

In Idaho’s 1st District, which includes northern Idaho, GOP Rep. Russ Fulcher also appears to be heading for re-election. He reported raising around $302,000 and spending $207,000 with $198,000 in hand, while his four opponents reported no cash in hand.

The race for Idaho’s 2nd District, which covers most of Boise and the eastern half of the state, could be more competitive. Rep. Mike Simpson, a Republican who has held the position since 1999, said he raised just over $1 million and spent $591,000 with about $625,000 on hand. His challenger, attorney Bryan Smith, had raised about $640,000 and spent $311,000 with nearly $329,000 in hand. Neither of the two Democrats in the race said they raised or spent the money.

Washington’s first two primaries will be on August 2, while the Idaho primaries will be on May 17. Election day is November 8.

About Ethel Partin

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