The floodgates have opened on negative campaign spending in Washington state. Just since Oct. 1, more than $800,000 has been spent — mostly to defeat candidates for the state legislature.

The stakes are significant with control of both the Washington state House and Senate up for grabs. While the candidates may try to keep it positive, outside groups are doing the proverbial dirty work.

In legislative races, the negative campaigns are largely funded by political action committees tied to the House and Senate Democratic and Republican legislative caucuses.

Take for example the Mainstream Voters of Washington PAC. It’s funded by Democratic interests and just put $105,000 into a campaign against Republican Chad Magendanz who’s trying to get elected to the Washington Senate.

Meanwhile his opponent, Democrat Mark Mullet, is the target of the Republican-backed Working Families PAC. It just dropped $66,000 into a campaign against him.

What does this mean for voters? If you live in Issaquah or another hotly contested district, you’re going to be getting lots of mailers depicting candidates in unflattering light.