Key Washington state Senate race is drawing big money

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A competitive Washington state Senate election that will determine the balance of power in Olympia is already drawing big money.

The Seattle Times reports ( candidates and outside political groups have raised or spent more than $2.2 million for a special election in the district that includes the Seattle suburbs of Woodinville, Kirkland and Redmond.

Voters will choose a replacement for Republican Sen. Andy Hill, who died last year.

The front-runners are Democrat Manka Dhingra, a senior deputy prosecuting attorney in King County, and Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund, who has worked as a staffer for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers.

The candidates have raised a combined $1.2 million. Independent groups backed by GOP and Democratic funding sources have spent roughly another $1 million.

Independent candidate Parker Harris is also on the Aug. 1 primary ballot that will determine which two candidates advance to the Nov. 7 election.

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