Gov. Jay Inslee has raised a lot of money for his re-election campaign. But Democratic groups are still spending on his behalf in an effort to defeat GOP challenger Bill Bryant.
OLYMPIA — It’s always good to get a little help from your friends.
Just in case Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s campaign haul wasn’t hefty enough, an independent political committee has dropped nearly $700,000 in TV ads supporting the Democrat’s re-election bid.
The commercials, put up by a group called Our Washington, attack Inslee’s GOP challenger, former Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant.
The media buy started running last weekend, according to Sterling Clifford, spokesman for Our Washington. And, “They’ll be up as long as they need to be up,” said Clifford.
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The ad depicts a cargo ship coming into port and capsizing “under the weight of shipping containers labeled with Bill Bryant’s industry baggage,” according to a transcript of the TV spot.
While it plays, a narrator calls attention to industry and oil-company contributions Bryant has received over the years — a point that Bryant opponents have highlighted before.
The commercial attempts to link some votes Bryant made on port projects and policy to those industry contributions, according to the transcript.
“He’d really be their governor … not yours,” concludes the narrator, according to the transcript.
Jason Roe, spokesman for the Bryant campaign, said some of those votes were about commissioners “taking care of their responsibilities as manager of the port infrastructure.”
Some of the Bryant votes were unanimous votes taken by the commission, according to information included with the transcript.
With ads like this that focus on an elected official’s donor history, Roe said, “You could literally swap out any politician’s name.”
Our Washington gets much of its money from several SEIU union chapters and the Washington Federation of State Employees.
The group has also received $250,000 from the Democratic Governors Association, as well as contributions from Washington Conservation Voters and a pro-civil rights political-action committee, Justice for All.
The ad spending comes as Inslee and Bryant prepare to face each other at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Pasco in their third and final scheduled debate.
Throughout the year, Bryant has trailed Inslee in both fundraising and polling. As of Tuesday, state records show that Bryant has raised about $3.3 million, compared to Inslee’s $8.9 million.