Washington taxpayers spent $800,000 last year to fill a seat in Congress

Washington taxpayers spent $800,000 last year to fill a seat in Congress for less than two months.

That’s what it cost for the special election triggered by Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision to quit Congress early. Here’s my story from today’s edition.

If you recall, Inslee quit to campaign full-time against Republican Rob McKenna, the state’s former attorney general. Former Gov. Chris Gregoire ordered the special election to make sure there was someone in Inslee’s vacated seat for the final weeks of his term when it was anticipated key votes would be taken on tax cuts and an online sales tax.

In a rare occurrence, that special election was conducted on the same ballot as the regularly scheduled contest for a full two-year term in Congress for the district.

Democrat Suzan DelBene of Medina defeated Republican John Koster of Arlington for the short- and full-terms. She was sworn into office Nov. 13 and thus served until her full-term began in early January.

Checks are getting written to King, Snohomish and Kitsap counties to reimburse each for their share expenses related to the primary and general elections conducted in the old boundaries of the 1st Congressional District.

The final tally of costs is $791,339.40. Of the total, King County will get $529,057.02, Snohomish County will receive $106,576.13 and Kitsap County will collect $55,706.21, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. The amounts are tied to each county’s share of registered voters in the district at the time of the contest.

The state’s total also includes $100,000 into a voter education campaign on the special election.

Jerry Cornfield is the Olympia bureau chief of the Herald in Everett. He blogs at the Petri Dish.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

Teaser
King County approves emergency grant after U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Washington is expecting an influx of people seeking abortions from out of state.

Fedor Osipov, 15, flips into Steel Lake in Federal Way during last year's heatwave on June 28, 2021. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Heatwave expected to hit King County

Temperatures will likely reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, June 26, and Monday, June 27.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII: Examining Auburn police officer’s grim tattoos

Episode 5 in special podcast series that explores Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

t
Des Moines Police arrest murder suspect in Kent | Update

Medical examiner identifies body found June 20 in Duwamish River

Photo courtesy of King County.
Officials urge caution when swimming this summer

Cold spring temperatures and larger than normal snowpack have created dangerous conditions

File photo
Fireworks ban takes effect this year in unincorporated King County

The new law does not extend to cities, which each have their own regulations around fireworks.

A semiautomatic handgun with a safety cable lock that prevents loading ammunition. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Large-capacity ammo magazine sales ban starts soon in Washington

Starting July 1, a 10-round capacity becomes the limit for sales. Meanwhile, “there is a rush on magazine purchasing.”

At Dash Point on June 16, 2022. Henry Stewart-Wood/Sound Publishing
All that the tides reveal: Puget Sound’s hidden intertidal world

Exploring King County beaches during the lowest tide in the last 13 years.

Most Read