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Donations in full swing as local political campaigns begin

Reports with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) show many Islanders running for public office this year — as well as their opponents — have been raising the funds needed for their campaigns.

As a group, Mercer Island candidates have raised around $250,000 so far. Leading the contestants is current City Councilmember Steve Litzow, who is running for the vacant House seat of the 41st Legislative District. Litzow has raised $80,300 as of May 31, according to his June 10 finance report with the PDC. In the month of May, he and his campaign team raised $24,000. Records show that the Councilman has spent a total of $38,000 so far.

An update on his campaign Web site states he has been out campaigning a lot lately. Litzow and supporters have visited about 4,000 homes in the district so far this spring and hope to ring up to 5,000 doorbells by the end of the month, according to his Web site.

Litzow’s opponent, Renton resident and Democrat Marcie Maxwell is right behind her contestant in fundraising. Maxwell has received $69,300 since beginning her campaign, according to her latest filing report on June 8. In May, she raised $19,000. Maxwell, a member of the Renton School Board, was recently awarded the 2008 Community Leadership Award in recognition of her leadership and contributions to the improvement of public education by the Washington Association of School Administrators. Past PDC records show that Maxwell raised $1,500 for her unopposed campaign for the Renton School Board in 2005. She ran unopposed that year. Litzow, who ran unopposed for his second term on the City Council last year, raised $22,800.

In an uncontested race, Island Representative Judy Clibborn has raised about $40,000, according to PDC reports. In the 41st District’s state Senate race, former state Representative Fred Jarrett has an early lead on his opponent. Records show that Jarrett has raised nearly $50,000 while his opponent, Bob Baker, who recently joined the race, has documented his own contribution of $11,000 in his first report with the PDC. Another candidate for that position, Valerie Chan, dropped out of the race two weeks ago.

Island attorney Michael Bond, who is running to become a state Supreme Court Justice, has raised slightly more than $5,000 and spent much more than that. His most recent report with the PDC shows his campaign balance is negative. While Bond has received several small contributions from fellow attorneys, Islanders and some Seattle residents, his contributions are a small fraction of his opponent’s, Mary Fairhurst. Seeking her second six-year term. Fairhurst has raised $105,000 so far, according to PDC records.

Another Islander also running for the state Supreme Court, Frank Vulliet, has not yet filed any contributions with the PDC while his opponent, Charles Johnson, has raised $13,750. The other justice seeking re-election, Debra Stevens, has raised about $80,000.

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