When the Seattle City Council adopted new campaign finance rules in October, it was widely assumed that potential mayoral hopefuls Tim Burgess and Bruce Harrell would transfer surplus money from their 2011 City Council campaigns into the mayor’s race. The new rules prohibited rolling over surplus campaign funds once the law took effect mid-November. Burgess had almost $78,000 and Harrell $64,000.
But citing the spirit of the law, Burgess in November returned almost $44,000 to donors of his 2011 campaign and donated $25,000 to the Washington State Democrats. Harrell transferred his campaign surplus to an account for a council race in 2015. He hasn’t decided yet whether to jump into the 2013 mayor’s race against incumbent Mike McGinn.
Despite starting from scratch, Burgess raised almost $26,000 during the last week of November after announcing he would challenge McGinn. His supporters include two Seattle School Board members, Michael DeBell and Harium Martin-Morris, and developers Martin Smith and Gregory Johnson, an executive with Wright Runstad & Co.
McGinn has raised about $95,000 but spent $57,000. In November, he raised just $7,200, a relatively weak showing for an incumbent. His donors include CleanScapes CEO Chris Martin, Cedar Grove Recycling executive John Banchero III, and more than a dozen of McGinn’s own staff.
Virtual unknown Charlie Staadecker, a commercial real estate broker, raised $18,000 in November to bring his total to $58,000.
State Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, who jumped into the race last week, raised just $1,700 and reported almost $12,000 in campaign debt. Because of state campaign laws, Murray can’t raise money or solicit endorsements while the Legislature is in session.