Up to this point, Democrat Suzan DelBene has far outstripped her rivals in fundraising for the primary race for the 1st District seat in the U.S. Congress, thanks to the more than $1 million she has contributed to her own campaign.
DelBene, a former director of the Washington Department of Revenue, earned her personal fortune partly as an executive at Microsoft.
But it's worth noting that even with her own cash subtracted, DelBene still has a small fundraising edge over her Democratic rivals as of the end of June 2012.
In addition to her personal contribution, she has amassed nearly a half-million in contributions from other individuals, according to the most current information on the Federal Election Commission website that totals fundraising through the end of June 2012.
She also has received about $52,000 in contributions from political action committees.
Among DelBene's other contributors are Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, who gave $5,000 apiece. So did Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and former Costco CEO James Sinegal.
The second-best funded Democrat in the race is Laura Ruderman, with $491,000. That sum doesn't include another $200,000 that Ruderman's mother, Margaret Rothschild, used to set up an independent political action committee to produce its own ads attacking DelBene. Independent committees are not bound by the $5,000 contribution limit that federal law imposes on committees that donate cash directly to campaigns.
Rothschild issued a statement saying she was trying to overcome DelBene's financial edge over her daughter. A Ruderman campaign spokesman told the Seattle Times that Ruderman was surprised to find out what her mother had done.
Darcy Burner's $485,000 in contributions has been bolstered by large numbers of individual contributions from outside the state. Burner is a favorite with some national liberal and progressive organizations, and her candidacy has been touted on the Daily Kos blog. The FEC lists 407 individual contributions to the Burner campaign, and 40 percent of those list out-of-state addresses,
The other two Democrats, Steve Hobbs and Darshan Rauniyar, are well behind DelBene, Ruderman and Burner in raising cash.
Hobbs, elected to a State Senate seat in 2006, reports about $269,000. His campaign contributors include a number of individuals who list their occupations as "lobbyist" or "government affairs." Among others, Hobbs got $1,000 from William Stauffacher, who represents traffic camera firm American Traffic Solutions, BNSF Railway Co., and the Building Industry Association of Washington; $1,000 from Charles Brown, who represents Cascade Natural Gas, Fred Meyer, the Bethel School District and Washington Asparagus Commission; $1,000 from Dan Coyne, who represents Alaska Airlines, Centurytel, Phillips 66, Washington State University and several agricultural groups; $1,000 from Carrie Tellefson, who represents Regence Blue Cross, distillers, and the Valley School District.
Hobbs also gets financial support from the Aerospace Futures Alliance, several Boeing executives, and the Tulalip, Muckleshoot and Puyallup Indian tribes.
Rauniyar reports $215,332 through the end of June. The Nepalese-born candidate appears to be getting hundreds of contributions from other Nepalese and south Asian people around the country.
Meanwhile, the lone Republican candidate, John Koster, has raised $453,000. That includes 46 contributions from Whatcom County.
Larry Ishmael, the former Republican running as an independent, reports no contributions so far.
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