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Big bucks rolling into Tacoma’s mayor race

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on Oct. 8, 2009 at 2:08 pm with 12 Comments »
October 8, 2009 2:37 pm

With still three-and-a-half weeks to go until Election Day, City of Tacoma mayoral candidate Marilyn Strickland has broken the $100,000 mark in campaign contributions, and her opponent, Jim Merritt, is likely to soon follow.MarilynStricklandLargeWebMerritt

According to the latest figures from the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, Strickland has amassed $103,476.11 in contributions (nearly $88,000 in cash). Meanwhile, Merritt has raised contributions totaling $99,305.27 (about $80,000 in cash).

While those contribution totals are comparatively high for Tacoma municipal elections — and by far the highest totals in this year’s city races — they still have a long way to go before setting any records.

In the city’s last competitive mayor’s race in 2001, Bill Baarsma raised nearly $142,000 en route to defeating Harold Moss, who garnered more than $116,000 that year, PDC records show. Campaign contribution records going farther back than the 2000 elections are not readily available online.

In the current mayor’s race, what may be even more telling is how much each candidate has so far spent. Strickland is sitting pretty, having spent just over $40,000 (or under 40 percent of total $ raised), while Merritt has spent more than $71,000 (or more than 70 percent of his total $ raised).

Strickland’s campaign has been helped largely by big donations from the local labor unions, including the firefighters’ PAC and Tacoma Police Union. She’s also received big donations from local businesswoman and former Korean Women’s Association president Lea Armstrong, former Mayor Brian Ebersole and former Pierce County Executive chief-of-staff Lyle Quasim, among others.

Merritt’s run has received substantial help from local builders and contractors, including the PAC, Builders United In Legislative Development. He’s also received help from such individuals as attorney Jack Connelly, civic activist Dawn Lucien and Dome District construction owner/activist Keith Stone.

Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. PolarBear53 says:

    “Mayor office for sale” extra extra read all about it.

    “big donations from the local labor unions”

    Hey scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours! wink wink..,…

  2. slarssen says:

    Strickland looks fiscally responsible, given the spending discipline she has demonstrated.

  3. Vote for Jim, can you think of ONE thing Marilyn has accomplished since she has been on city council, I can’t, she does not pay home taxes, and we do not need this city represented by her, she is a waste

  4. fatuous says:

    I wasn’t impressed with Marilyn when I dealt with her at the Tacoma Public library foundation. I came a way feeling she just didn’t care.

  5. slarssen says:

    Can we please stick to the story? I have heard many things about Mr. Merritt that I could share (from former employees, colleagues supporting Strickland etc.. that are unflattering), but the story is about fundraising. She has more money on hand, has managed it better, and has not put $10,000 of her own money into the campaign (see the personal loan section on the PDC).

    Stay on task, my friends.

  6. It’s pretty scary that Miss Strickland owes so much back to so many large organizations. She must owe some people back a lot of favors.

    She has enough to spend like 10k each week until the election. WOW!

    Mr.Meritt seems to have mostly just people giving him $$

    At least he won’t owe people stuff. Miss Strickland has really turned into a real political person. Too bad.

    My vote is for Mr.Meritt.

  7. jmasterflex says:

    Gogirl and others

    JUST PEOPLE. you do realize that the organizations that are backing Mr. Meritt are just that “organizations”

    all politics are a “who can give the most money” game. One side gets it from a certain group and the other gets it from another. I am astonished at the level of un-education that is exhibited by these comments.

    NO records are being set here as of now. AND to be honest i was surprised at the actual amounts in this article. i was expecting way more. Considering for congress a House Candidate will spend nearly 500,000 every two years!

  8. kenrabbitmiller says:

    Jim Merritt has spent $71,000 of his $80,000 in cash; most of his other income was “in kind” and spent on non-cash items. So cash-to-cash he’s spent 88%.

    Using the same math, Marilyn Strickland has spent about 45%

    It’s neither good nor bad, just math.

  9. jmasterflex:
    I had the honor to meet Mrs.Dawn Lucien once at a party. She is not an organization, just a person. She believes in Mr. Meritt. I herd her speaking about him.
    I go to the same church as Jack Conelly and he is just a person.
    I think you have person and organization mixed up.
    Unions, so many, master builders, they are all the same.
    I want a man who wont owe anyone anything except us, people.

  10. slarssen says:

    Ronnie – I mean GoGirl:

    All candidates try to get the same endorsements. She succeeded, he did not.

  11. kenrabbitmiller says:

    slarssen, are you suggesting gogirl is Merritt’s campaign manager, Ronnie Bush? I’ve worked with her on other campaigns and issues. We don’t always agree but she certainly has the courage of her convictions. I think you’re wrong on this one.

  12. pegsterdtown says:

    I am appalled at the mudslinging tatics by the Merritt campaign. In my opinion Strickland has and will continue to take the high road. We saw what happened with the presidential campaign. The republicans were slinging so much filth and Obama took the high road. I am hoping this election turns out the same way.

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