Big agribusiness likes one Republican, Puget Sound Republicans like another and labor is giving big to the leading Democrat in the race to succeed Doc Hastings.
These are some of the themes to take away from the newly released donor lists filed by six of the 12 candidates in the 4th Congressional District race with the Federal Elections Commission through June 30.
Former Department of Agriculture director and state representative Dan Newhouse has received more money from political action committees than any other candidate, and among them are many of the same names that opposed an initiative last year to label genetically engineered food products.
Newhouse, who appeared in political ads opposing the initiative, has taken $8,500 from groups that gave directly to the Facts About 522 campaign, including Monsanto, Dow Chemical, DuPont and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
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Newhouse took another $5,000 from PACs representing members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, including Pepsico, General Mills, ConAgra and Land O’Lakes. All told, Newhouse has raised $28,000 from political action committees, the most of any candidate in the 4th District.
Tea party Republican and former NFL tight end Clint Didier has relied heavily on funding from Tri-Cities supporters for a total filing of $219,174. His individual donor list showed $9,000 from three PACs.
The National Association for Gun Rights PAC gave Didier $5,000, while $2,500 came from the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons PAC. Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s Liberty PAC gave Didier $1,500.
Didier said on social media last week that Newhouse was raking in cash from Puget Sound Republicans, but no candidate has more west side donors than state Sen. Janéa Holmquist, R-Moses Lake, who has a long list of contributors from Olympia, Bellevue and Seattle.
That list includes a $2,600 donation from Bellevue businessman Kemper Freeman, who was Didier’s campaign finance chairman during his unsuccessful 2010 bid for the U.S. Senate.
Of the $171,537 she’s raised, Holmquist reported $9,000 in contributions from political action committees. Those include $5,000 from the Bethesda, Md.-based Electrical Contractors PAC, $1,500 from the Sheet Metal & Air Conditioner Contractors PAC and $2,500 from ACA International, a trade association that represents debt collectors.
Yakima Democrat Estakio Beltran has taken $12,500 from labor union political action committees, including $10,000 total from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Most of his $62,554 raised through the end of June came from donors in Yakima and the Tri-Cities, with several out of state and Seattle area donors as well.
Republican George Cicotte has relied on his own financing and donors from the Tri-Cities. Of his $220,606 total raised, more than $155,000 of that came from campaign loans by the candidate himself.
Cicotte took $250 from one political action committee: The Court Reporters PAC based in Vienna, Va.
Among the four leading Republicans, Newhouse has dominated fundraising in Yakima County, the second-most populated area in the district outside of the Tri-Cities, with dozens of donors. Cicotte, Didier and Holmquist have 14 donors combined from Yakima County.
Newhouse, of Sunnyside, is the only Yakima County Republican in the race. Newhouse leads all candidate fundraising with $358,014.
Ephrata Republican Gavin Seim is the only other candidate of the 12 to report any fundraising with the Federal Election Commission. He raised $13,357 through June 30, almost half of which came in the form of small donations that were not required to be itemized under FEC regulations.
The other candidates are Democrat Tony Sandoval, a small business owner from Yakima; independents Josh Ramirez, a Hanford project controls analyst living in Pasco, and Richard Wright, a retired physical therapist from Kennewick; and Republicans Kevin Midbust, a retail shift supervisor from Richland; Glen Stockwell, a Ritzville business owner; and Gordon Pross, an Ellensburg resident who has run for the seat eight times.
Ballots for the Top Two primary already have been mailed to voters. The deadline to return ballots is 8 p.m. Aug. 5.