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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Fundraisers Galore As Washington Campaigns Kick Into High Gear

Colin Fogarty
Northwest News Network files

The 2014 election is about six weeks away. That means campaigns are kicking into high gear and asking their funders to help them cross the finish line.

If you’re a lobbyist or regular campaign contributor this is the time of year your email in-box fills with invitations. There are cocktail hours, receptions, dinners, and even something called a “Stache Bash.” That particular invite featured Speaker of the House Frank Chopp sporting his famous moustache.

This year all Washington House members and about half of state Senators are running. Senate Democrats are hosting a “Take Back the Senate” fundraiser in Tacoma. A Senate Republican candidate is inviting guests to the horse tracks for a “Sprint to the Finish” breakfast.

Sometimes the food is the draw -- Democrats and Republicans have both hosted salmon bakes this year. Sometimes it’s a famous person like travel guru Rick Steves.

This year in Washington no statewide offices are up. But Governor Jay Inslee is already looking ahead to 2016. He’s hosting a “nearing the halfway point” fundraiser.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."