Jan 3, 2024 - Politics

Ferguson leads in fundraising in Washington governor's race

Bob Ferguson talks to people before a fundraiser in Seattle in December. Photo: Melissa Santos/Axios

In the race to become Washington's next governor, Democratic Attorney General Bob Ferguson has outraised his closest competitor, Republican Dave Reichert, four times over.

Why it matters: For the first time since 2012, Washington has no incumbent governor running for re-election. But Ferguson's $4.4 million fundraising lead is making the race look less than wide open.

Zoom in: As of this week, Ferguson has raised about $5.6 million for his gubernatorial campaign, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission.

  • Reichert, the former congressman and past King County sheriff, has amassed about $1.2 million in contributions.
  • State Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) has raised about $1 million, while Republican Semi Bird has raised roughly $290,000.

Zoom out: Other statewide races aren't looking quite so lopsided in terms of fundraising.

  • Democrat Nick Brown, the former U.S. attorney for Western Washington, has raised about $565,000 toward his campaign for attorney general, while state Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-Redmond) has raised about $538,000.
  • A Republican candidate, Pete Serrano, announced his candidacy for attorney general this week and hasn't reported any fundraising yet.

Between the lines: Ferguson and Dhingra are both subject to a fundraising freeze for the next two months while the state Legislature is in session.

  • That gives Brown and Reichert additional time to rack up donations — although Reichert's fundraising is unlikely to catch up to Ferguson's in that time frame.

What they're saying: Reichert's campaign didn't respond to a request for comment from Axios on Tuesday.

  • Christian Sinderman, a political consultant whose firm is working for both Dhingra and Ferguson's campaigns, told Axios that outside money from independent PACs could play a big role in this year's governor's contest.
  • "We're preparing for a competitive, close race," Sinderman said.
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