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Politics Northwest

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

September 5, 2014 at 7:29 PM

Realtors group backs state Sen. Andy Hill with $80,000 ad effort

The National Association of Realtors has joined the battle for control of the Washington State Senate with an $80,000 independent expenditure on behalf of state Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond.

The money — one of the first big independent expenditures of the general election season — is buying TV ads that praise Hill, the chief Senate budget writer, for crafting a budget that added $1 billion for education without raising taxes.

A spokeswoman for the national association said its expenditure was made at the urging of Washington REALTORS, a statewide organization. Nathan Gorton, government affairs director for Washington REALTORS, confirmed that. In addition to Hill’s budget work, Gorton praised Hill for opposing efforts to extend a temporary surcharge in the state business and occupation tax.

Hill is one of the top targets for Democrats in the fight for majority control of the state Senate, which was run this year by a Republican dominated coalition that also included two renegade Democrats.

With donations from many state business interests, Hill has raised more than $522,000 for his re-election campaign in the 45th Legislative District. That’s more than any other legislative candidate in the state. Matt Isenhower, the Democrat challenging Hill, has raised more than $230,000.

In an emailed statement, Isenhower said money from the national Realtor group is payback for Hill’s work protecting special-interest tax loopholes. “The fact that the Realtors are spending such a huge sum on top of the record amount of special interest money raised is an indication of where Andy’s priorities lie,” he said.

Comments | More in 2014 elections, Politics Northwest, State legislative races | Topics: Matt Isenhower, Realtors, State Sen. Andy Hill

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