Dave Earling01.jpg
We'll give you a hint: It's in the birthplace of a man who would most certainly guess correctly.

The answer, if you're not Jeopardy! champion

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Guess Which Washington State 2011 Candidate Has Received the Largest Independent Expenditure of All?

Dave Earling01.jpg
We'll give you a hint: It's in the birthplace of a man who would most certainly guess correctly.

The answer, if you're not Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings, is Dave Earling, Republican mayoral challenger in Edmonds, Wash.

Note: The election is Edmonds is actually nonpartisan, so while the candidates themselves are associated with political parties those affiliations won't be listed on ballots.

That's right, the largest single independent expenditure in this year's election comes from a town with under 40,000 people. It does so by way of the National Association of Realtors, which donated $16,963 to Earling, who's looking to unseat current Edmonds Mayor Mike Cooper.

The reason appears to be a simple case of knowing the right people. In this case Mr. Earling knows NAR because he's a former member. And as Ryan McIrvin, government affairs director of the Snohomish County-Camano Association, tells us, the group takes care of its own.

"Mainly it's because [Earling is] a former member," McIrvin says. "He really embodies what we would want to see in a mayor. Mike Cooper is someone we don't see eye to eye with."

Mike Cooper, Edmonds current mayor and a Democrat, meanwhile, has received a total of zero dollars in independent-expenditure contributions.

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