Hey, big spenders

U.S. SEN. MARIA CANTWELL became Seattle's most celebrated self-funded candidate when her RealNetworks wealth allowed her to pump some $9.2 million into her successful $11.5 million campaign to dump incumbent Slade Gorton. While Seattle city races haven't seen the likes of Cantwell or presidential self-funders Ross Perot and Steve Forbes (who threw away $63 million and $37.4 million, respectively, on their ego-driven presidential campaigns), there are a few would-be local politicians who know how to write a check. According to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, donations from candidates to their own campaigns made up about 9 percent of city-race war chests in 1997 and about 9.3 percent in 1999. The following candidates are the top self-funders in city races since 1995 (with campaigns raising less than $20,000 exempted).

James Bush

jbush@seattleweekly.com

Candidate (year)

Total raised

Candidate donation

(% of total)

Dian Ferguson (1997)

$23,238

$10,371 (44.6 percent)

Jane Noland (1997 mayoral)

$229,769

$87,826 (38.2 percent)

Pat Strosahl (1995)

$104,520

$33,132 (31.7 percent)

*Tina Podlodowski (1995)

$249,931

$77,978 (31.2 percent)

Thomas Whittemore (1999)

$23,811

$7,235 (30.4 percent)

*Jim Compton (1999)

$155,657

$45,083 (29 percent)

*Margaret Pageler (1999)

$92,010

$21,959 (24 percent)

Sherry Harris (1995)

$134,779

$24,664 (18.3 percent)

Curt Firestone (1999)

$61,266

$10,420 (17 percent)

Alec Fisken (1999)

$71,910

$10,167 (14.1 percent)

*Sue Donaldson (1995)

$57,490

$5,576 (9.7 percent)

Thomas Goldstein (1997)

$97,051

$9,311 (9.6 percent)

Dawn Mason (1999)

$106,385

$9,516 (8.9 percent)

*Richard McIver (1997)

$97,402

$5,536 (5.7 percent)

Bob Rohan (1996)

$178,355

$9,604 (5.3 percent)

Aaron Ostrom (1999)

$112,738

$5,695 (5.1 percent)

* won election

 
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