Does campaign funding guarantee success?

Money has flooded into the race to represent Washington’s 3rd District in Congress yet having the greatest monetary support may not be indicative of a candidate’s success.

Multiple hopefuls vying for the congressional seat exceeded $1 million in campaign fundraising. Although these are impressive achievements, the challenger with $240,000 already secured a position in the November general election while others struggle for the second spot.

Expenditures can be a useful tool in campaigning, as they can provide a candidate more time or resources in their endeavors. Finances cover costs directly related to campaign activities, including but not limited to advertising, equipment and even childcare.

Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez collected a modest amount of funding compared to top Republican candidates, including Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. The congresswoman holds the most total receipts — $3.5 million — and the candidate trailing behind her, Joe Kent of Yacolt, has $2.2 million. Heidi St. John of Battle Ground peaked over $1 million.

Despite the hefty amount of fiscal assistance, primary election results show Herrera Beutler and Kent in a close battle for second place. According to ballot counts from Thursday evening, Perez was in the lead with 31.05 percent of the vote while the incumbent had 23.26 percent versus Kent’s 22.03 percent.

Perez previously told The Columbian that her triumph is rooted “telling people the truth” about how she intends to resolve issues in Southwest Washington. Despite her success, Perez won’t disregard the influence money will have in the general election.

“Constituents, not donors, are the most important thing in a campaign,” she continued, “but it’s also true (that) money is a megaphone.”

Thousands of ballots remain to be counted, so results may teeter between Herrera Beutler and Kent early next week. Results will be certified Aug. 16.

Lauren Ellenbecker

Lauren Ellenbecker

Lauren Ellenbecker is a politics reporter for The Columbian.

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