1st District race between Koster, DelBene heats up

Democrat Suzan DelBene has infused her bid for Congress with another $500,000 of her own money, according to federal campaign finance reports filed Thursday.

“As I said before, I think it’s important for me to do my part” before asking others to invest, she said Thursday. “We want to make sure we have the resources to run a strong campaign.”

With the deposit, DelBene has now put $2.8 million into her bid for the open seat in the 1st Congressional District. Coupled with nearly $1.4 million in contributions, she’s hauled in a total of $4.2 million since launching her campaign earlier this year.

Her Republican opponent, John Koster, blasted the latest bout of personal spending by the Medina multi-millionaire.

“It should be obvious to people that she’s trying to buy the seat and she’s not middle-class,” said Koster, an Arlington resident and Snohomish County councilman. “There are not a lot of middle-class people I know who can put $2.8 million into a congressional race.”

Koster has collected $1,019,000 since he started campaigning last year. He took in just under $100,000 from Oct. 1-17, the latest period covered in the campaign reports.

In that same period, DelBene received $232,000 in contributions in addition to her $500,000 commitment of which half is in cash and half is a loan which could be repaid later.

Though DelBene outraised Koster, she also outspent him in early October and he actually had slightly more cash on hand in the reports, $158,499 to $150,635.

Meanwhile, DelBene continues to benefit from spending by outside groups. Through Thursday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority Political Action Committee had spent a combined $1.3 million in television ads targeting Koster.

Both candidates will be trying to pump up their totals with fund raisers in the coming days.

DelBene, a former director of the state Department of Revenue, plans a private event with her former boss, Gov. Chris Gregoire.

Koster has events scheduled in Bellevue and Everett on Sunday featuring U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., the chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee and author of the Republican alternative health care reform bill.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com

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