Evan Smith: Incumbent legislators start campaigns with big financial advantage

Monday, June 15, 2020

Evan Smith
Politics reporter

By Evan Smith

The four incumbent state legislators in the 32nd and 46th legislative districts have started their re-election campaign with big financial advantages over their challengers.

Each of the four Democratic incumbents has raised at least $20,000, according to Public Disclosure Commission reports, while only one of their six challengers has raised any money.

The leading fundraiser is incumbent 46th District Democratic State Rep. Javier Valdez. Valdez has reported raising $30,333 on top of $15,665 carried over from previous campaigns for a total of $45,998. He has reported spending $3,078.

His largest contributions have come from the Puyallup Indians, The Puget Sound Pilots Political Action Committee and The Washington Education Association. He will be opposed in both the Aug. 4 primary and Nov. 3 general election by Republican Beth Daranciang, a former public health researcher. Daranciang has reported no fundraising or campaign spending.

The other incumbent 46th District Democrat, State Rep. Gerry Pollet, has raised $20,283, with the biggest contribution coming from the Washington Education Association Political Action Committee. That goes with a campaign starting balance of $5,289 for a total of $25,572. He has spent $2,560. His Republican challenger, Eric J. Brown has reported raising $2,074 in contributions to his own campaign; that goes with loans to himself of $1,074, for a total of $3,148. He reports expenditures of $1,074. Both names will appear on the ballot in both the August primary and the November general election.

Partisan contests appear on the primary ballot even when there are only one or two candidates.

In the 32nd Legislative District, Democratic incumbent State Rep. Cindy Ryu has reported raising $20,500 to go with a $10,123 starting balance for a total of $30,623. She has spent $10,602. Ryu has contributions from several insurance companies, several labor unions and from several Indian tribes and casinos. She faces two fellow Democrats; neither has raised or spent any campaign money. One is Keith Smith, a member of the Snohomish County Children's Commission and Council on Aging, who used a “Centrist” party preference when he lost to Ryu and a Republican in the 2018 primary. The other is former Lynnwood City Councilwoman Shirley Sutton.

The other 32nd Legislative District incumbent, Democratic State Rep. Lauren Davis, has raised $20,894 to go with a carry-over balance of $24,764 for a total of $45,658. She has reported campaign expenditures of $31,391. Davis’ biggest donors are the Puyallup Tribe, the Washington Education Association PAC and the Service Employees International Union Local 775 Quality Care Committee. Her two challengers are Democrat Gray Petersen, the 32nd Legislative District delegate to the Snohomish County Democratic Central Committee, and non-partisan candidate Tamra Smilanich. Each reports no fundraising or campaign expenditures.

The 32nd Legislative District includes Shoreline, part of northwest Seattle, Woodway, south Edmonds and nearby unincorporated areas of south Snohomish County, the city of Lynnwood and a small part of Mountlake Terrace.

The 46th District includes Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and northeast Seattle.

The top two candidates for each position in the primary qualify for the general-election ballot regardless of party preference.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.



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