The latest state Public Disclosure Commission reports indicate GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and Democratic candidate Jay Inslee are about even when it comes to campaign spending on television.
Both campaigns have spent more than $1.1 million on media buys and production, according to the reports.
Inslee spent all of that on television ads through the primary. State records show McKenna spent around $1 million during that same time period. However, his campaign said some of the money also went for ads that ran after the primary during the Olympics.
Both candidates have more ads coming.
In terms of campaign funding, both candidates have raised roughly $8.5 million. About 17 percent of Inslee’s funding — $1.5 million – came from the state Democratic party.
PDC records show Inslee with roughly $3.4 million in cash on hand, compared with about $3.6 million for McKenna. However, McKenna lists $2.8 million in loans and debts compared to $129,000 for Inslee.
McKenna’s campaign said their liabilities include $2.63 million in reserved time on television, which they may or may not end up using.
Both campaigns also will get a ton of help from independent expenditure campaigns.
The Republican Governors Association has contributed $5.2 million to its political action committee supporting McKenna and spent $3.8 million so far, with almost of that money going to a media buy. The RGA would not discuss what ads it currently has on the air, or when it plans to run more.
The labor-backed group supporting Inslee, Our Washington, has raised $4.4 million and, likewise, won’t discuss its plans, although the group has reserved large chunks of television air time for the final weeks of the election. Half of the PAC’s money was contributed by the Democratic Governors Association.