The race for the 26th District state Senate seat is looking like a campaign for Congress with more than $2.5 million flowing into the contest.
It’s a record for a state Senate seat, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission.
Both parties view the seat, representing parts of Pierce and Kitsap counties, as a linchpin for control of the state Senate going into the 2014 elections.
State Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, who was first elected in 2008, has raised $624,000. Her Democratic opponent, state Sen. Nathan Schlicher, an emergency-room physician from Gig Harbor, has raised $472,000. Schlicher was appointed to the seat after Derek Kilmer was elected to Congress last year
But the real money in the race is found in the independent-expenditure campaigns.
A political action committee funded by a coalition of groups, including Fuse and Washington Conservation Voters, has raised around $1 million in cash and in-kind contributions. The She’s Changed PAC was created for the sole purpose of backing Schlicher.
Much of the PAC’s money came from California billionaire Thomas Steyer, founder of Farallon Capital Management.
Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action Committee has contributed $250,000 directly to the PAC and another $275,000 to Washington Conservation Voters, which turned around and put $150,000 into She’s Changed.
On the other side, the Good Government Leadership Council PAC has raised more than $500,000. State records indicated its expenditures have gone to back Angel. The group has gotten almost all of its money from a state Senate Republican caucus political action committee, state records show.
A business-funded PAC, People For Jobs Enterprise Washington, also is running an independent expenditure campaign backing Angel.