Published October 16, 2012
Denny Heck collects more than Dick Muri so far in race for 10th Congressional DistrictBY BRAD SHANNON and JORDAN SCHRADER
Democrat Denny Hecks well-funded campaign for Washingtons new 10th Congressional District has padded his massive wealth-edge over Republican Dick Muri. Heck reported he collected about $494,000 in the third quarter to bring his total raised to $1.835 million.Heck, who reported spending almost $1.1 million in the quarter and $1.5 million in the overall campaign, already has been running a humorous television ad on Seattle and Tacoma-area stations that shows him shouting at the congressional tug-of-war combatants and saying, Hey!!! Enough!By contrast, Muri reported a gain of $54,529 in the quarter to give him $222,907 for the entire campaign. The Steilacoom Republican, who serves on the Pierce County Council and is retired from the Air Force, has been scraping to put out what he expects will be a single mailer to undecided voters in the district, which has a lot of military veterans.The 10th district, created this year to accommodate the states population gains in the last Census, is centered between Olympia and Lakewood and includes almost all of Thurston County, Shelton in Mason County and Pierce County communities University Place and Puyallup.Heck's latest report showed about $452,830 since his last report on July 18, which brought receipts to nearly $500,000 for the three-month period ending Sept. 30. To get there, Hecks campaign had numerous individual donations at the $5,000 limit, but his spokesman Phil Gardner said: The most important number in this report is 3,456. That's the total number of donors who believe in Denny enough to contribute financially. More than 1,000 of those donors (contributed) $25 or less. In all, there have been nearly 6,000 contributions to Denny's campaign.Muri said in an email last week that fundraising is satisfactory from my view point. But compared to Denny Heck, we will be vastly outspent.We try and counter his enormous fundraising advantage by keeping paid staff to a minimum and we rely on lots of volunteers, Muri said. Extensive use of free social media, sign waving and door belling are also ways to make up the fundraising disadvantage. We will concentrate on mailers to those voters we have identified as undecided. National groups appear to be staying out of the race in the Democrat-leaning district, and in a possible indication of Hecks confidence his reports show he transferred $25,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that is helping candidates across the country.Candidates reports disclosing their fundraising and spending from July 19 to Sept. 30 were due Monday. While fundraising totals in other congressional contests around the region are also lopsided, one remains close.Weyerhaeuser descendant and real-estate investment-firm executive Bill Driscoll has roughly doubled his personal stake in his campaign for the 6th district, loaning just more than $1 million of his own money.The Tacoma Republicans latest $500,000 loan kept him on pace with his Democratic opponent, Gig Harbor state Sen. Derek Kilmer, with both raising just more than $1.5 million total. Driscoll's campaign said it shows potential donors that Driscoll means business. But Kilmers campaign pounced on Driscolls switch from his original plan to fund the rest of his campaign with individual donations after an upfront $500,000 investment.There are 253 millionaires in our Congress, and he would like your vote to make him No. 254, Kilmer told a business crowd at a debate Monday in Port Angeles. Driscolls campaign estimates his and his wifes net worth at $55 million.Driscoll says he decided to put more money in to keep up with Kilmer. Essentially all Im doing is matching where hes going to be, to make sure weve got a relatively even match, Driscoll said after the debate.His campaign consultant, Alex Hays, said the loan will help ensure the campaign is taken seriously by political action committees and the national Republican Party, which like the Democratic Party has yet to send money to the 6th District so far.Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Adam Smith of Tacoma has $272,000 in cash after raising more than $1 million, including more than $120,000 in the latest period. GOP challenger Jim Postma has loaned his campaign $150,000 but isnt raising much money in contributions, and has $50,000 in cash. Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert of Auburn raised more than $220,000 between July 19 and Sept. 30, passing $1.5 million in total fundraising. He has more than $675,000 in cash, dwarfing the $20,000 for his challenger, Democrat Karen Porterfield. She has loaned her campaign $82,000 of the $117,000 she has raised.