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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

August 2, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Inslee spends more than $1 million on TV ads ahead of primary; McKenna at $800,000

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee is outspending Republican rival Rob McKenna on TV ads in the run-up to Tuesday’s deadline for mailing in primary-election ballots.

Inslee has spent more than $1 million on TV spots already, according to reports filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission. That compares with about $800,000 for McKenna.

Both candidates have used their first ads to introduce themselves in a positive light.

McKenna’s first spot showed him rapid-fire chatting with his family about his plans for the state. Inslee’s first two ads prominently feature him sitting atop a bulldozer, referencing a job he had in college, as he talks up his job-creation goals.

McKenna, the two-term Attorney General, leads in fundraising, having pulled in more than $7.4 million. Inslee, the former Congressman, has raised about $7.1 million (including about $1 million from the state Democratic Party.)

McKenna is in a good spot to add to his fundraising edge this week, as he traveled to Colorado Wednesday for a big-time GOP gathering where he can hobnob with some of the party’s top national donors.

The Republican Governors Association (RGA) event at a luxury Aspen resort is drawing presidential candidate Mitt Romney in addition to Republican governors and top prospects like McKenna.

According to POLITICO, the guest list for the RGA retreat “reads like a who’s who of the most influential players in GOP politics,” including Karl Rove and Kevin Gentry, a top aide to billionaire businessmen Charles and David Koch. The events, POLITICO notes, typically feature panel talks on policy mixed with dinners that allow top donors to mingle with the GOP governors.

Charles McCray, a McKenna campaign spokesman, confirmed McKenna was at the event in part to attend a fundraiser organized for him by Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. He said McKenna will return Friday.

Comments | More in Governor, homepage | Topics: Charles Koch, David Koch, Governor

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