Money talks: Well-known donors give their money to Seattle mayoral campaigns

Jul 14, 2021, 5:36 AM
democracy voucher, democracy vouchers program, donors...
A Seattle democracy voucher. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Seattle’s mayoral campaign has already seen hundreds of thousands of dollars for a variety of candidates. But who are some of the region’s more well-known donors throwing their money behind? We dug through balance sheets for five of the leading fundraisers to find out.

Andrew Grant Houston

Houston has led a strong fundraising effort since the start of his campaign, eventually becoming the first candidate to get their $400,000 spending cap for the primary lifted. As of July 11, he’s brought in nearly $409,000 from 5,449 contributors. While lacking in big-name donors, he leads all candidates in Democracy Vouchers and total contributions.

Significant donors: 

  • Former mayoral candidate Cary Moon, $100 individual contribution, $25 in Democracy Vouchers
  • Texas State Rep. James Talarico, $550 individual contribution

Colleen Echohawk

Echohawk has run neck-and-neck with Houston in fundraising for months now, having also been released from the mayoral campaign spending cap. In total, she’s brought in over $408,000 across 5,708 donors.

Significant donors:

  • Seattle School Board Director Zachary DeWolf, $200 individual contribution, $50 in Democracy Vouchers
  • Former Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, $350 individual contribution, $100 in Democracy Vouchers
  • Public Defender Association Executive Director Lisa Daugaard, $400 individual contribution

Bruce Harrell

A later entry to the mayoral race, Harrell quickly closed the fundraising gap on the strength of support from prominent members of local law enforcement and real estate executives. That’s seen him raise roughly $399,000 from over 3,000 donors.

Although candidates are not permitted to be directly involved with independent expenditure committees (IEC), a group bearing his name — “Harrell for Seattle’s Future” — has raised an additional $207,000 in support of his candidacy.

Significant donors: 

  • Former Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, $550 individual contribution
  • Former King County Sheriff John Urquhart, $150 individual contribution
  • Seattle real estate CEO Martin Selig, $550 individual contribution

Lorena Gonzalez

Gonzalez has garnered broad support from local unions, as well as from her Seattle City Council colleagues. In total, she’s raised over $377,000 from 5,255 contributors. An IEC registered as “Essential Workers for Lorena” has also raised an additional $450,000 from four labor groups.

Significant donors: 

  • Seattle Councilmember Lisa Herbold, $50 individual contribution, $50 in Democracy Vouchers
  • Seattle Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, $150 individual contribution
  • Washington State Rep. Rebecca Saldana, $100 individual contribution, $25 in Democracy Vouchers

Jessyn Farrell

Herself a former state lawmaker, Farrell has garnered contributions and endorsements from several of her former colleagues in Olympia. Over the course of her campaign, she’s raised $224,000 across nearly 2,600 contributors.

Significant donors: 

  • Washington State Rep. Marcus Riccelli, $250 individual contribution
  • King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, $50 individual contribution
  • Local investor and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer, $450 individual contribution

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Money talks: Well-known donors give their money to Seattle mayoral campaigns