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Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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October 31, 2007 2:26 PM

Burgess & his money set new city campaign record

Posted by David Postman

City hall reporter Bob Young sends this report:

Tim Burgess has set a new record for City Council fundraising, according to Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission records.

Burgess, who is challenging incumbent David Della, has raised $279,810. The previous high of $273,885 was set by incumbent Richard Conlin in 2005, who broke former Councilwoman Heidi Wills' 2003 record of $256,617.

There is one important distinction between Burgess' and Conlin's record amounts. Conlin did not sink any of his own money into his re-election bid. Burgess has plowed $67,865 of his own money into his campaign so far, according to commission records.

Burgess' opponent, Della, has raised $242,307, including $10,000 of his own.

The previous best for a challenger was $251,458 raised by Tom Rasmussen in his 2003 campaign against incumbent Margaret Pageler. Rasmussen contributed $81,695 to his own effort that year.

Despite the record-breaking surge by Burgess, who once chaired the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, the total amount raised by council candidates this year may fall short of the last two elections.

Through Oct. 22 of this year, all council candidates (primary and general elections) had raised a total of $1.7 million. In 2005, the council candidates' cumulative total was $1.84 million, and in 2003 it was $1.93 million.

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