DelBene's advertising onslaught eclipsed the other efforts, and she has outspent the Democratic field nearly two-to-one, but DelBene has also taken more hits than the other candidates, which could limit her. Burner is thought to have a more solid grip on the liberal wing of the primary electorate while the other candidates, including centrist Democratic state Rep. Steve Hobbs, compete more in the middle. Washington's all-party primary will help those candidates even as they hurt themselves by splitting the vote. Almost all of the candidates are also competing in a separate, special primary to fill the last two months of Inslee's term. Since the district lines have changed, that primary is taking place in the old seat, but almost all of the candidates are the same. Hobbs declined to compete, winning media plaudits, but the other candidates all filed for the special election, which allows them to essentially raise double the funds from the same donors. Ultimately, that contest matters less for the winners it produces than for the fundraising it has enabled.
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