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Buying Time 2016 – Washington

This page features campaign advertisements from Washington’s 2016 state supreme court elections.

Published: May 31, 2017

Three seats on the Washington Supreme Court were up for election on November 8, 2016. In Washington, candidates run in nonpartisan elections and serve for 6 year terms. Each of the incumbents, Justice Barbara Madsen, Justice Mary Yu, and Justice Charlie Wiggins, faced challengers. On November 8th, all three incumbents were reelected. Justice Yu defeated law professor David DeWolf, Justice Madsen defeated attorney Greg Zempel, and Justice Wiggins defeated Municipal Court Judge David Larson. 

The Brennan Center used multiple sources for spending information, which showed the following: 

Kantar Media/CMAG: Estimated Total Spending: $237,690*

  • Estimated Spending by Judicial Integrity Washington PAC: $24,150
  • Estimated Spending by the Washington State Republican Party: $69,110
  • Estimated Spending by Citizens for Working Courts Enterprise WA PAC: $144,430

*Spending estimates last updated on May 30, 2017

FCC Contracts: Recorded TV Contracts: $474,945*

  • Television ad buys recorded for Judicial Integrity Washington PAC: $138,990
  • Television ad buys recorded for the Washington State Republican Party: $228,925
  • Television ad buys recorded for Citizens for Working Courts Enterprise WA PAC:$107,030

*Recorded ad buys last updated on November 2, 2016

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October 26 – Seattle Times Endorsement

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This ad praises David Larson for his “professional excellence and ethical standards.”

Sponsor: Citizens for Working Courts Enterprise WA PAC

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $144,430

October 21 – Unrestrained in It’s Authority

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This ad says the “justices are playing politics” and highlights their opponents. 

Sponsor: Washington State Republican Party

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $69,110

October 20 – Can’t Be Trusted

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad says Wiggins “has a history of letting dangerous people do dangerous things.”

Sponsor: Judicial Integrity Washington PAC

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $24,150


Data on ad airings and spending on ads are calculated and prepared by Kantar Media/CMAG, which captures satellite data in the nation’s largest media markets. CMAG’s estimates do not reflect ad agency commissions or the costs of producing advertisements, nor do they reflect the cost of ad buys on local cable channels. Cost estimates are revised by Kantar Media/CMAG when it receives updated data, resulting in some fluctuations in the reported ad spending.

Data on spending on ads was also compiled from ad purchase contracts posted by the FCC and from state disclosure databases when available.