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A Look At Washington's Crowded, Money-Fueled Primary

Ted S. Warren
Gus Clark deposits his vote-by-mail ballot in a collection box, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, at Seattle Central College.

There are some very crowded races in the Washington primary and a lot of "independent spending" by political action committees, says KNKX's Olympia reporter Austin Jenkins. He spoke with KNKX's Morning Edition host, Kirsten Kendrick, this week about Tuesday's primary election.

Jenkins says this "independent spending" is money spent by PACs that are not allowed to coordinate with the candidates and their campaign. "Usually, these are the groups that are running the negative ads and sending attack mailers," says Jenkins. And often, this independent money dwarfs what the candidates themselves are spending. 

Jenkins also told KNKX that Democrats are feeling bullish about this primary but he also doesn't see any indication that Republicans are backing down in any way. 

Washington's primary is a top-two system. That means regardless of party affiliation, the top two vote getters that emerge from the primary will move on to the general election.

Ballots can be mailed this year without a stamp or can be dropped in a ballot box. The deadline is August 7th.

More information on the primary can be found at theWashington Secretary of State's website.  

Before accepting the position of News Director in 1996, she spent five years as knkx's All Things Considered Host and filed news stories for knkx and NPR. Erin is a native of Spokane and a graduate of the University of Washington and London's City University - Center for Journalism Studies. Erin worked in the film industry and as a print journalist in London and New York before returning to Seattle to work in broadcast news.