Seattle mayoral candidates released from spending cap as PAC funds continue to flow

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The two Seattle mayoral candidates have officially been released from the general election spending cap, as contributions continue to flow for Bruce Harrell and Lorena Gonzalez.

Another election, another late push for progressive Seattle candidates

Seattle mayoral candidates are typically limited to $ 800,000 in combined spending between primary and general elections, but are allowed to ask the city’s Election and Ethics Commission (SEEC) to lift that cap.

As of September 27, Harrell had raised nearly $ 915,000 in total campaign contributions, while Gonzalez had raised nearly $ 663,000. While Harrell leads total funds, Gonzalez has the edge over democracy vouchers, with $ 642,525 of his contributions in the form of vouchers.

The SEEC accepted petitions from both campaigns this week to lift the spending cap. This means that they can no longer accept democracy vouchers, but can continue to collect individual contributions.

In addition to the money that they themselves have raised, there are Independent Expenditure Committees (IRCs) that support both candidates. IECs function as city-level political action committees, capable of raising and spending large sums of money to support whoever they choose, provided they do not coordinate with the candidates themselves.

An IEC recorded as Bruce Harrell for Seattle’s Future has raised nearly $ 800,000 since the spring, thanks to large donations from local real estate CEO and prominent donor Donald Trump George Petrie, Petrie business partner John Goodman and his wife Alyssa Petrie.

Seattle Conservatives aim for influence behind the scenes

A separate IEC registered as essential workers for Lorena raised nearly $ 828,000, all of its contributions coming from labor groups. This includes a donation of $ 450,000 from Unite Here Tip, a PAC that targets state and city elections across the United States with “contributions and expenses to elect candidates who support workers’ rights and interests.” and their families ”.

Ahead of the August primary elections, Harrell and Gonzalez both defended their support for the CEIs in the face of criticism from other candidates. For Harrell, his campaign said he was “leading a strong grassroots fundraising effort and participating in the Democracy Voucher public fundraising program.”

“More than 1,400 people have donated democracy vouchers in support of Bruce’s positive vision to unite Seattle and make real progress on the challenges we face,” added a spokesperson for the United Nations. Harrell campaign.

Gonzalez made a distinction between the Harrell for Seattle’s Future group and Essential Workers for Lorena IEC.

“Bruce Harrell has supported the executives of large companies who have disproportionate influence at mayor throughout his career,” said Gonzalez campaign manager Alex Koren. “Lorena has always supported essential workers and unions, and she is proud to have their support. “


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