National groups helping fund independent campaigns supporting the candidates for Washington governor put another $2 million-plus into the race last week, according to campaign finance reports.
The Republican Governor’s Association, which is supporting Rob McKenna, donated an additional $1.25 million, bringing the group’s total contribution to more than $8.5 million.
The Democratic Governor’s Association, which is supporting Jay Inslee, put in $500,000, while other pro-Inslee national and state labor groups kicked in another $675,000. The coalition of Democratic groups, called Our Washington, has raised $7.9 million overall, according to the documents.
The money, significantly more than either side spent on independent campaigns in the state’s last governor’s race, should help fuel more TV ads attacking McKenna and Inslee as the race enters the home stretch.
Inslee, a former congressman from Bainbridge Island, and McKenna, the state’s attorney general are locked in a tight race that’s being watched nationally.
By law, the independent groups are not allowed to coordinate with the Inslee and McKenna campaigns, which each has raised nearly $10 million. Both independent groups have been using their money to attack the opponent of their preferred candidate.
During the state’s last gubernatorial race, in 2008, the RGA raised $5.5 million while a Democrat-leaning group, Evergreen Progress, raised $6.3 million.
The RGA and DGA are each funded by individual donors and companies across the country.