The personal funds of a candidate contributed to his or her own campaign are not subject to any overall contribution limit, but may not exceed the respective $5,000 or $50,000 restriction imposed during the 21 days preceding the general election. Nevertheless, even though there is no limit on the amount a candidate may give his or her own campaign, there is a restriction on how much the candidate may loan the campaign and be repaid.
Contributions to a candidate from his or her spouse are subject to the per election limit on contributions from individuals.
By administrative rule [WAC 390-17-305], the personal funds of a candidate are as follows:
- assets that the candidate has legal access to, or control over, and legal title to at the time he or she becomes a candidate;
- income from employment;
- dividends and proceeds from stocks and other investments;
- income from trusts, if the trusts were established before candidacy;
- income from trusts established from bequests, even if these trusts were established after candidacy;
- customarily received personal gifts;
- proceeds from lotteries and similar games of chance; and
- his or her portion of assets owned jointly with a spouse (and, if the candidate's financial interest is not specified, his or her share is considered to be one half of the value of the asset).
Gifts and loans received by the candidate that are in any way connected to his or her campaign, even remotely, are considered contributions from the original donor and are subject to limit. Exception: a written loan agreement entered into by the candidate with a commercial lending institution that is made in the ordinary course of business on the same terms regularly available to the general public, and that is not guaranteed or co-signed by anyone else. If a candidate's committee repays a commercial loan made to the candidate, that repayment may not exceed $6,000 per election. A commercial loan to a candidate's committee is presumed to be guaranteed by the candidate and repayment by the committee may also not exceed $6,000 per election.