Nearly $40,000 has been raised between the two candidates for Grays Harbor Commissioner Position 1 this election year, four times the amount raised around this time during the 2016 race between Wes Cormier and Jamie Nichols.
In 2016 it was the Position 2 campaign between Randy Ross and incumbent Frank Gordon that was the big-money race, with more than $26,000 raised between the two candidates. This year, that total, between Ross and challenger Kevin Pine, stands at less than $10,000.
These numbers come from the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, which tracks contributions and expenditures by candidates. Numbers are updated frequently and can be found online at https://www.pdc.wa.gov/.
Position 1: Jill Warne, a Republican, and Democrat Jamie Nichols, Cormier’s challenger in 2016, have been raising money for the seat that will be vacant when Cormier’s term ends — Cormier didn’t file for re-election, choosing rather to run for State Senate, but failing to make the general election after a three-way primary.
Warne recently held about a $1,000 edge over Nichols in fundraising, $14,526-$13,393. The difference between the two candidates in terms of fundraising is the source of most of their contributions. According to Public Disclosure Commission reports, the bulk of Warne’s campaign funds have been donated by individuals, while about half of Nichols’ comes from the Democratic Party, a Political Action Committee, and labor unions.
Warne’s total individual contributions total just under $12,500. Warne has received $1,000 from Grays Harbor Republicans, and individual donations so far have topped out at $500 each, with four contributing that so far. She’s received small contributions from Cormier, Montesano City Councilman Dan Wood, and County Clerk Kym Foster.
Nichols’ contributions include $6,660 from individuals, and $2,000 from the People for Derek Kilmer, $1,500 from the 19th Legislative District Democrats, and $1,000 from the Grays Harbor Democratic Central Committee. Three labor unions have contributed about $1,000 all together. Montesano Mayor Vini Samuel is among Nichols’ top personal contributors, with $900. Other contributors include Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, and Hoquiam City Councilman Steven Puvogel.
Position 2: Recent numbers had Pine at $9,845 in total contributions, $8,640 in individual contributions and $1,000 from Grays Harbor County Republicans. Small contributions of a few hundred dollars have come from a number of individuals, including current Position 1 Commissioner Cormier, Rep. Jim Walsh and Position 1 candidate Warne.
Ross said he has elected the mini reporting option from the Public Disclosure Commission. This option is open only to candidates who will raise and spend less than $5,000 and receive no more than $500 from any one contributor other than themselves. In this type of filing, the Public Disclosure Commission does not report contributions and expenditures.
“I haven’t done a great deal of fundraising until the last month or so,” said Ross. “I already had a supply of signs,” and he had less than $2,000 in funds left over from his last campaign.
Pine’s top contributor is from Grays Harbor County Republicans, $1,000. The Public Disclosure Commission shows eight individual contributions between $700 and $300, and he’s had small cash contributions from Warne, Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, Cormier and Wood.