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Old Rich Guys Continue to Write Big Checks in Hotly Contested Washington County DA’s Race

Phil Knight in for another $75k; Henry Swigert gives $95k; and PAC associated with George Soros, another $100k.

Nike co-founder Phil Knight, 80, has given $75,000 to Kevin Barton, the chief Deputy District Attorney in Washington County, who is running with the support of 15 other county DA's to replace his longtime boss, Bob Hermann, who is retiring.

The new contribution brings Knight's total to $100,000 in the race, which is the latest battleground in a national war between criminal justice reformers, who favor less prison and jail time, and much of the criminal justice establishment, who deny the system is broken.

Barton got another $95,000 contribution from ActionPAC, a politcal action committee funded entirely by Henry Swigert, the 87-year-old scion of the family that started ESCO Corp., a Portland industrial foundry.

Filings with the state's elections division show that Barton has now raised $247,000 and has $123,000 on hand.

His opponent, Max Wall, a former prosecutor now working as a criminal defense lawyer has also continued to record large contributions.

On Monday, Wall disclosed $100,000 from the Oregon Law and Justice PAC, which has now contributed $389,000 to his campaign. That PAC is funded by a Washington D.C. PAC associated with the New York investor George Soros, 87, the leading funder of criminal justice reform DA candidates nationally.

Wall has reported raising $473,000 so far and has $23,000 on hand.