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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."

Lawmakers Adjourn, Campaign Solicitations Immediately Go Out

Jay Inslee for Washington
Screenshot of an email sent by Gov. Jay Inslee's campaign to supporters the day after the Washington Legislature adjourned for the year.

The Washington Legislature has adjourned. And now the campaign season has begun. Within hours of the final gavels falling Tuesday night, fundraising pleas went out.

During the legislative session, there’s a freeze on campaign fundraising. But the moment the legislature adjourns, the freeze lifts. Gov. Jay Inslee’s campaign sent out a morning-after email to supporters with the headline “The fundraising freeze is over!” The email issued a 48-hour challenge “to make up for 109 days of lost fundraising time.”

House Republicans were also quick off the line with an email asking supporters to contribute the maximum $1,000 to the House Republican Organizational Committee.

“It’s time to get to work,” HROC Political Director Kevin Carns said.

He noted that House Republicans are now within two seats of taking the majority for the first time in two decades.

“It is a pretty high stakes year, and I think we’ve got a really, really good shot given our recent history,” Carns said.

In an overnight role reversal, lobbyists are often the audience for these fundraising pitches. For months they’ve been hounding lawmakers to pass or not pass legislation. Now lawmakers will be asking the lobbyists and their clients for campaign cash.

Carns said besides fundraising, his candidates will start knocking on voter doors this weekend.

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."