By Mike Baker Associated Press
OLYMPIA — National money is now flowing into Washington’s race for governor, with Democratic officials committing $1.25 million and Republicans reserving ad time for the November election.
GOP hopeful Rob McKenna, meanwhile, is going to television with his first ad of the season.
Campaign finance reports filed this week show the Democratic Governors Association made a $1 million donation to a Washington political group earlier this month. The Our Washington political action committee has also raised large chunks of money from unions, bringing its total to $2.3 million.
Our Washington has already reserved some $2 million in ad time for the November election and plans to use that time to support Democratic candidate Jay Inslee and question McKenna’s policies.
The Republican Governors Association has also reserved air time closer to the election, with Democrats who track ads estimating that the total purchase is about $1.9 million.
Inslee first went on the air with a campaign ad in recent weeks that he used to discuss his background and introduce himself to voters. On Friday, McKenna unveiled his first ad — a 30-second spot features him talking with his family members about proposals on government efficiency, education and lower costs for businesses.
The ad is set to begin airing on television stations in Seattle, Yakima and Spokane next week. His campaign declined to discuss the size of the ad buy.
In direct campaign contributions, both McKenna and Inslee have raised a little under $7 million, though Inslee has been buoyed by $1 million in donations from the state Democratic Party. McKenna has more cash on hand, with $900,000 available.
The Washington governor’s race is widely viewed as one of the most competitive in the nation.