Wylie holds big fundraising edge over Riley

Pair vying to fill 49th District seat for rest of current term




Democratic state Rep. Sharon Wylie continues to hold a big fundraising lead over Craig Riley, her Republican opponent, as the campaign to fill a 49th Legislative District seat for the remainder of the current term moves into the homestretch.

As of Thursday, Wylie had raised $139,415 and spent $102,995 in her bid to hold onto the seat to which she was appointed last spring after Democratic Rep. Jim Jacks resigned the position.

Riley, an investment and health care consultant, had raised $52,519 and spent $38,455 as of Thursday. Riley also is reaping the benefits of a $40,000 cable television ad buy bankrolled by a Republican political group based in Arlington, Va. The Republican State Leadership Committee, which focuses on electing conservative Republicans to state legislatures and statewide offices, established a Washington state political action committee to make independent expenditures on Riley’s behalf.

The ad campaign portrays Wylie, a former Oregon legislator and a former legislative lobbyist for Clark County, as a big-spending liberal. Wylie has denounced the campaign as misleading.

Independent expenditures on Wylie’s behalf include $2,800 from Planned Parenthood and $219 from Equal Rights Washington Political Action Committee.

Both candidates have received hefty contributions from their respective political parties.

Riley has received $19,500 from Republican Party organizations, primarily the House Republican Organizational Committee. Several health insurance and health provider PACs also have contributed to his campaign.

Wylie has received $41,500 from county, state and legislative Democratic organizations. Her major contributors also include labor union PACs, among them several representing public employees, pro-choice PACs and Indian tribes.

Kathie Durbin: 360-735-4523; http://www.twitter.com/col_politics; kathie.durbin@columbian.com.