Wylie, Riley keep pace in early fundraising for 49th

Democrat raises $14,500, while Republican brings in $12,600 so far

By Kathie Durbin, Columbian staff writer

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They’re off and running.

Democrat Sharon Wylie and Republican Craig Riley are competitive in early fundraising in their campaigns to represent the 49th Legislative District in 2012. They’ll face each other in the Nov. 8 general election, which will decide which candidate fills the second year of former Rep. Jim Jacks’ term.

Jacks, a Vancouver Democrat, resigned from the House in March. In April, Clark County commissioners chose Wylie from a field of three Democrats to fill his seat through the end of this year.

Riley and Wylie were the only candidates to file for the job this month.

Washington Public Disclosure Commission filings show Wylie, the appointed incumbent, had raised about $14,500 as of Tuesday, while Riley, the challenger, had raised about $12,600. Wylie has spent $2,282 to date; Riley has spent $5,917.

Both candidates received early boosts from their respective party organizations. Wylie reported a $3,500 contribution from the House Democratic Caucus Campaign Committee, while Riley got two contributions totaling $5,000 from the House Republican Organizational Committee.

Wylie also received $800 from the Harry Truman Fund in Seattle, $800 from the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington in Seattle, and two $800 contributions from the Southwest Washington Electricians Local 48 Political Action Committee in Battle Ground. The union PAC is a major contributor to Democratic candidates in Clark County.

Riley, who ran an unsuccessful 2010 campaign to unseat state Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, received two $500 contributions from The Reagan Fund in Olympia.

Under state campaign rules, Wylie, a former Olympia lobbyist and former Oregon legislator, was not permitted to raise money toward her campaign during the recently completed regular and special legislative sessions. She kicked off her campaign June 14 with an event at the Atrium Lounge in downtown Vancouver.

Riley, a Vancouver insurance and investment adviser, will hold his formal campaign kickoff at an 8:30 a.m. breakfast June 28 at Club Green Meadow. U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, and several Republican state legislators will be on hand. Tickets to the breakfast are $50. For an additional $150, attendees can attend a special 8 a.m. VIP session with Herrera Beutler and state legislators, including a photo opportunity and “personal chat time.”

Riley’s campaign website: vote4craigriley.com.

Wylie’s campaign website: sharonfor49th.com.