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Primary ELECTION: August 2, 2016

The Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Vote in every race on your ballot! It's our right and our responsibility. Please share this guide with your friends and family.

This guide only contains races that will be on your August 2 Primary Ballot. We will update the guide for the general election.
We do not have any information on races in your jurisdiction for the August 2 election. Pick another location here, or sign up to receive future guides below.


U.S. Senator

Patty Murray

Patty Murray photo
Since Patty Murray was first elected in 1992, the "Mom in Tennis Shoes" has been an incredible champion for women, working people, veterans, and an economy that works for everyone. The fourth-ranking Democrat in the Senate, she has earned the respect of Democrats and Republicans alike by forging agreements on the budget, education, women's health, and other critical issues, all while continuing to fight for working people across our state.

Her main opponent is former Washington State Republican Party Chair Chris Vance. Vance, a partisan operative who championed George W. Bush for president, has led a lackluster campaign and does not bring new ideas to the table. Also in this race are 15 other candidates who are not serious contenders: Democrats Phil Cornell, Thor Amundson, and Mohammad Said; Independents Ted Cummings, Pano Kroko Churchill, Zach Haller, Alex Tsimerman, Jeremy Teuton, and Chuck Jackson; Sam Wright of the Human Rights Party, Libertarian Mike Luke, Donna Lands of the Conservative Party, and three Republicans. Murray's leadership, experience, and progressive values make her the clear choice in this race.

Campaign Information


Depending on where you live, you will have one of the below candidates on your ballot.

U.S. Representative, 1st Congressional District

Suzan DelBene

Suzan DelBene  photo
Rep. Suzan DelBene won a tough race in 2012 to represent the 1st Congressional District, which reaches from Kirkland to the Canadian border. DelBene is a former executive at Microsoft who has used her technology background to become a leader in protecting privacy rights against government surveillance. She has also been a strong advocate for job development, economic fairness, women’s health, and immigration reform. She faces four opponents: Independent Alex Storms, a Bernie Sanders supporter, Libertarian Scott Stafne, far right Tea Party candidate Robert Sutherland, and Republican John Orlinski.

DelBene’s experience and strong track record make her the clear choice in this race.

U.S. Representative, 2nd Congressional District

Rick Larsen

Rick Larsen photo
Rep. Rick Larsen is a moderate, pragmatic Democrat who has been a strong advocate for jobs, transportation, and infrastructure projects in the 2nd District. Larsen has also led efforts to protect voting rights, fought to reform student loans, and has been a champion of Wall Street reform. Before serving in Congress he served on the Snohomish County Council and worked on economic development for the City of Everett. Unfortunately, Larsen angered many progressives with his support of the new contract that eliminated hard-earned pension benefits for Boeing machinists.

Larsen faces progressive Mike LaPointe, an advocate for fighting climate change and supporting working people who does not have the breadth of support to win a congressional race. Also in the race is Republican Marc Hennemann, who is a cookie cutter Republican, as well as Libertarian Brian Luke and Independent Kari Ilonummi. Larsen is the best choice in this race.

Campaign Information

U.S. Representative, 3rd Congressional District

Jim Moeller

Jim Moeller photo
Democrat Jim Moeller has risen to become Speaker Pro Tempore of the state House through his hard work and leadership. Moeller has developed a stellar reputation for bipartisanship through his work on health care and job creation. He has also been a strong advocate for fully funding schools, ensuring families have a safe place to sleep, and solving our state's mental health crisis.

Moeller faces a tough race against incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler. Herrera Beutler is an extremely conservative Republican who has consistently sided with the Tea Party on issues like health care, environmental protection, immigration reform, and economic fairness. Also in this race is progressive Angie Marx, who wants to close tax loopholes for fossil fuel companies, pass paid family leave, and fight institutional racism; Democrats David McDevitt and Kathleen "Grandma Warrior" Arthur; and Independent L.A. (Worthy) Worthington. Moeller is the best choice in this race

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Vancouver Firefighters

Campaign Information

U.S. Representative, 4th Congressional District

Doug McKinley

Doug McKinley photo
Democrat Doug McKinley is an intellectual property lawyer who faces an uphill battle against Republican incumbent Dan Newhouse. McKinley is running to ensure people who work full time are not living in poverty, to lower the cost of college, and to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Newhouse has frequently aligned with the far-right members of his party in Congress to obstruct progress, including his vote against the bipartisan budget act in 2015 that increased military and domestic spending. Also in this race is Clint Didier, who is an extreme right-wing Tea Party activist and failed candidate for state Commissioner of Public Lands, Republican Glenn Jakeman, and Democrat John Malan, a Marine Corps veteran who is not running a competitive campaign. McKinley's values are more in line with our state and he deserves your vote.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Yakima County Democrats

Campaign Information

U.S. Representative, 5th Congressional District

Joe Pakootas

Joe Pakootas photo
Joe Pakootas is a community and business leader credited with turning around the Colville Tribe’s business enterprises during his time as CEO. He is passionate about addressing income inequality, protecting the environment, and protecting women’s access to health care. He is challenging conservative Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who is a top member of the Republican leadership in the House. She helped lead the House Republicans' extremely conservative agenda, including blocking emergency benefits for the unemployed, cutting $40 billion from food stamps, and opposing laws to end pay discrimination against women.

Also running in the race is Independent Dave Wilson, who promises not to take PAC money, Libertarian Krystol McGee, and Republican Tom Home, who are not running effective campaigns. Pakootas would be a refreshing change of leadership for the 5th Congressional District.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest Indians

U.S. Representative, 6th Congressional District

Derek Kilmer

Derek Kilmer photo
Derek Kilmer is a moderate Democrat who is a reliable supporter of creating jobs and improving infrastructure. He has been a leader on small business development and protecting Puget Sound during his first two terms in Congress. A former state senator, he worked as a business consultant and economic development official before becoming a legislator.

Kilmer faces Independent Mike Coverdale, a developer who stood up for the environment, Green Party activist Tyler Myles Vega, a Bernie Sanders supporter, as well as Democrat Paul Nuchims, Republican Todd Bloom, and Tea Party Activist Stephan Brodhead, who are not running effective campaigns. Kilmer deserves your vote.

Campaign Information

U.S. Representative, 7th Congressional District

There are three strong progressive leaders in the 7th District: Pramila Jayapal, Brady Walkinshaw, and Joe McDermott. The Progressive Voters Guide recommends Jayapal as the best of several good choices because of her long track record of outstanding leadership. She also has the broadest support from our Progressive Voters Guide partners.

Pramila Jayapal

Pramila Jayapal photo
State Senator Pramila Jayapal has a long history of effective civic leadership on immigration reform, economic fairness, civil liberties, and women’s issues. She founded OneAmerica (formerly Hate Free Zone) in 2001 and built it into the largest immigrant rights organization in the state and a national model. She also played a key role on the Mayoral Advisory Committee that negotiated Seattle’s $15 minimum wage. As a state senator, she has been tireless and effective speaking out for racial equity, voting access, and a more progressive budget. We recommend Pramila in this crowded field of progressives running to replace Rep. Jim McDermott.

Brady Walkinshaw

Brady Walkinshaw photo
State Rep. Brady Walkinshaw has served in the House since December 2013. Walkinshaw was previously a Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation working on sustainable agriculture and also serves on the board of the Trust for Public Land. In Olympia, he has been a very effective legislator who has prioritized environmental sustainability and equal opportunity for seniors, renters, and those leaving the criminal justice system. He's prioritizing climate change and economic justice in his campaign for Congress.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

LGBT Equality PAC, Aerospace Machinists District 751, United Farm Workers

Campaign Information

Joe McDermott

Joe McDermott photo
King County Councilmember and former legislator Joe McDermott is also running for this seat. McDermott, who has no relation to retiring Rep. Jim McDermott, has been a strong advocate for transit, marriage equality, gun violence prevention, and other issues. He has pledged to reject any independent expenditure money in his campaign and says he is running to end the special interest dominance in politics.

Also in this race are Democrats Arun Jhaveri and Don Rivers, Independents Leslie Regier and Carl Cooper, and Republican Scott Sutherland.

The voters of the 7th Congressional District are lucky to have a strong slate of progressive candidates to choose from. We recommend Jayapal in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

LGBT Equality PAC

Campaign Information

U.S. Representative, 8th Congressional District

There are two progressives challenging longtime incumbent Republican Dave Reichert in the 8th District, Santiago Ramos and Alida Skold. Tony Ventrella will appear on your ballot, but has dropped out of the race.

While in Congress, incumbent Republican Dave Reichert voted for the government shutdown that cost taxpayers $24 billion, voted to defund Planned Parenthood, and has joined with the far right members of his party to waste time voting again and again to overturn Obamacare. Either of the progressive challengers would be a welcome change for the 8th District.

Alida Skold

Alida Skold photo
Democrat Alida Skold is the president of a business-consulting firm.

Also in this race is independent Keith Arnold, a perennial candidate who supports many progressive platforms except for abortion access, as well as Independent Margaret Walsh, who is not running a competitive campaign.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Pierce County Democrats, Kittitas County Democrats, various Democratic district organizations

Santiago Ramos

Santiago Ramos photo
Progressive Kirkland small business owner Santiago Ramos is running to pass comprehensive immigration reform, reverse the economic disparity in our country, rebuild our crumbling infrastructure, and protect our environment.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

King County Democrats, Pierce Counmty Democrats, various district Democratic organizations

U.S. Representative, 9th Congressional District

Adam Smith

Adam Smith photo
Representative Adam Smith is a moderate Democrat who has been a reliable vote on progressive taxation and immigration reform. Smith has worked hard to connect with and represent his new constituents after the 9th CD became one of the most racially diverse districts in the state during the redistricting process. He continues to be an advocate for greater equality, and fought House Republicans' efforts to slash food stamps in the most recent farm bill.

A good candidate facing Smith is Jesse Wineberry, a former state representative endorsed by the United Black Clergy of Washington who was inspired to run by Bernie Sanders. Also in this race is Democrat Daniel Smith, another "Berniecrat," Doug Basler, an unknown Republican from Kent, and Independent Jeary Flener. Smith has received the majority of our partner endorsements and deserves your vote.

U.S. Representative, 10th Congressional District

Denny Heck

Denny Heck photo
Rep. Denny Heck has had a long career in both the private and public sectors, most notably as a state representative, state House majority leader, chief of staff to former Gov. Booth Gardner, and TVW co-founder. As a member of Congress, he has fought to make college more affordable and worked to lower health care costs, ensure veterans get the benefits they deserve, and create middle class jobs.

Heck is being challenged by conservative Democrat Jennifer Ferguson, who ran and lost against Heck in 2012, Independent Richard Boyce, and perennial Republican challenger Jim Postma. Heck’s track record, experience, and values make him the best choice in this race.

Campaign Information

Statewide Offices


Jay Inslee

Jay Inslee photo
Governor Jay Inslee has been a strong, principled leader on the important challenges facing Washington, including tackling transportation problems, increasing the minimum wage, and fighting global warming. He has also worked to fund schools by closing unjust tax loopholes and fought to close the gender pay gap. Before he was elected Governor in 2012, Inslee represented both sides of the Cascades in Congress, opposed the Iraq war, and worked to increase accountability and oversight for Wall Street banks.

In contrast, Republican Bill Bryant opposes the Washington Voting Rights Act, is opposed to many public transportation projects, and is an obstacle to closing unjust tax loopholes. Also in this race are Democrats James Deal, Johnathon Dodds, and Patrick O'Rourke; Republicans Goodspaceguy and Bill Hirt; Mary Martin of the Socialist Workers Party; Independent Steve Rubenstein; David Blomstrom of the Fifth Republic Party; and Christian Pierre Joubert of the Holistic Party, none of whom are running competitive campaigns. While Inslee has his work cut out for him in his second term, we believe his strong moral compass and vision for improving our state make him the best choice in this race.

Campaign Information

Lt. Governor

Sen. Cyrus Habib is the best choice in this crowded field for Lt. Governor.

Cyrus Habib

Cyrus Habib photo
Sen. Cyrus Habib has been an effective champion for public education, transit solutions, and gun safety. Habib authored a successful jobs bill to connect entrepreneurs with additional funding options, and has been named one of 12 legislators to watch in the country by Governing Magazine. He is an impressive legislator who has received the most support from our Progressive Voters Guide partner organizations.

Karen Fraser

Karen Fraser photo
Longtime senator Karen Fraser is another good candidate in this race. Fraser has been a strong advocate for parks and Puget Sound, as well as women's health care and economic justice. Fraser would also be Washington's first female Lieutenant Governor.

Also running in this race is conservative Democrat Steve Hobbs. He has consistently been an obstacle to progress on a wide range of issues, and is known for his opposition to closing tax loopholes and fixing our state's broken tax system. He has also been endorsed by a number of Republicans. Also in this race are Republicans Marty McClendon, Javier Figueroa, Bill Penor, and Phillip Yin; Libertarian Paul Adidas, Mark Greene of the Citizens Party, Democrat Karen Wallace, and no party preference candidate Daniel B Davies. Habib is your best choice in this busy primary field.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Emily's List

Secretary of State

Tina Podlodowski

Tina Podlodowski  photo
Tina Podlodowski is running for Secretary of State to increase voter participation and turnout as the state’s chief elections officer. She is a former Microsoft executive who also served on the Seattle City Council and has strong track record of non-profit leadership.

Podlodowski is challenging incumbent Republican Kim Wyman for failing to improve declining voter participation. Wyman has opposed the Washington Voting Rights Act and has refused to support common-sense measures to increase voter participation such as Election Day voter registration and pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds. Timothy Turner, a Libertarian who is not a credible candidate, is also in this race. Podlodowski deserves your vote.

Campaign Information

State Treasurer

There are several progressive candidates for this position, which became open when state Treasurer Jim McIntire announced his retirement: State Senator Marko Liias, former Seattle Port Commissioner Alec Fisken, and consultant John Paul Comerford.

Marko Liias

Marko Liias photo
State senator Marko Liias has received the most endorsements from our Progressive Voters Guide partners in this race. Liias has been a leader on transportation, conservation, and LGBTQ equality in the Legislature, although his support for efforts to weaken some consumer protections from predatory payday lenders has been frustrating.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Spokane County and Grays Harbor Democrats

Campaign Information

Alec Fisken

Alec Fisken photo
Alec Fisken is an accomplished economist with a background in the public sector. He served as the City of Seattle’s Financial Advisor and as a Seattle Port Commissioner.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Spokane County Democrats

John Paul Comerford

John Paul Comerford photo
Financial professional and pension consultant John Paul Comerford has received the endorsement of many local Democratic organizations.

Liias, Fisken, and Comerford face two conservative opponents, Duane Davidson, a cookie cutter anti-tax Republican, and Michael Waite, an investment professional focused on debt issues.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

King, Pierce, Spokane, Skagit, Cowlitz, Yakima, Kittitas, Klickitas, and Kitsap County Democrats

Campaign Information

State Auditor

Jeff Sprung

Jeff Sprung photo
Jeff Sprung is a lawyer and former Planned Parenthood Votes board member who is running to increase transparency and accountability in state government. He previously worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney investigating and prosecuting corruption in low-income housing programs. He supports increasing whistleblower protections to better identify fraud and potential inefficiencies in government. Sprung is running the strongest campaign and has received the most support from our progressive partners.

Former Pierce County Auditor and current Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy is another good candidate in this race. She is running to use her experience managing large budgets and agencies to improve efficiency and transparency.

Their opponent is the socially-conservative Republican Senator Mark Miloscia, who earned dual endorsements along with Sprung from our labor partners at SEIU 925, SEIU 775, and the Washington Federation of State Employees. Miloscia also earned a sole endorsement from the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters. Unfortunately, Miloscia supports allowing employers to deny coverage for birth control and co-sponsored a bill that could ban many forms of birth control. We're concerned that if elected, Miloscia could use his office to launch politically-fueled investigations of Planned Parenthood and other women's health groups.

Also in this race is Independent Mark Wilson and No Party Preference candidate David Golden. Sprung is the best choice in this race.

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Bob Ferguson photo
Attorney General Bob Ferguson's accomplishments in four years are impressive. From delivering millions of dollars back to consumers who were wronged by fraudulent corporations and his ongoing battle with the federal government to clean up the Hanford nuclear waste site to successfully fighting two Tim Eyman initiatives, Ferguson has been a strong and effective advocate for people in Washington. Ferguson faces Libertarian Josh Trumbull, who is not running a competitive campaign. Ferguson deserves your vote.

Commissioner of Public Lands

There are two good candidates in this race: Hilary Franz and Dave Upthegrove.

Hilary Franz

Hilary Franz photo
Hilary Franz is the Executive Director of Futurewise and former Bainbridge Island Councilmember who brings 20 years of experience working at the state and local level protecting working families and communities that rely on forestry, farmland, and waterways. Franz is a former Washington Environmental Council and Conservation Northwest board member, she sat on the Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council, and was appointed by Governor Gregoire to the Washington State Climate Action Team. She will prioritize restoring forest health, preventing wildfires, and creating clean energy on our public lands.

Dave Upthegrove

Dave Upthegrove photo
King County Councilmember and former state Rep. Dave Upthegrove is also running for Lands Commissioner. Upthegrove is the former chair of the House Environment committee in Olympia who has been a strong environmental champion throughout his career. As a King County Councilmember, he prioritized environmental issues including restoring salmon habitat on the Green River and cleanup for the Duwamish. Upthegrove has received the support of most labor unions that have endorsed in this race.

Other Candidates

Commissioner of Public Lands
Other (Commissioner for Public Lands) photo
Also in the race are Democrats Karen Porterfield, who vows to create real change on wildfire, landslide, and deforestation issues, Mary Verner, the former mayor of Spokane who oversaw the wildfire efforts during the last few years, and John Stillings; Libertarian Steven Nielsen; and Republican Steve McLaughlin. Franz or Upthegrove are good choices in this race.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

There are two good candidates in this non-partisan race for Superintendent of Public Instruction: Chris Reykdal and Erin Jones. Reykdal has received the most support from our progressive partners.

Erin Jones

Erin Jones photo
Erin Jones is a celebrated teacher of foreign languages and African American studies who has won multiple awards for her innovative work to make learning more accessible for students of color. Jones most recently worked at Tacoma Public Schools and previously served as Assistant Superintendent of Student Achievement for the state of Washington, where she worked on policy and instruction practices to make school a vibrant learning place for all students. Jones' three kids attended Washington public schools and her husband is also a public school teacher.

Chris Reykdal

Chris Reykdal photo
Rep. Chris Reykdal is a progressive legislator from Thurston County who has been an outspoken advocate for education funding and income inequality issues. As a former teacher and former school board member, Reykdal has seen the struggle schools are facing to get their job done. He supports reforming our state's broken tax system to ensure our public schools have the funding they need to provide a quality education for every student. Reykdal currently has two children in Washington's public schools.

Robin Fleming is another progressive candidate committed to funding our kids' schools. Other candidates include John Patterson Blair, Ron Higgins, Grazyna Prouty, Al Runte, KumRoon (Mr. Mak) Maksirisombat, and David Spring. We recommend Reykdal or Jones in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Washington Education Association

Campaign Information


Insurance Commissioner

Mike Kreidler

Mike Kreidler photo
As the state Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler has brought a range of experience to the position and defended the interests of Washington residents against big insurance companies. Kreidler cut insurance rates, required that contraceptives be included in prescription drug coverage for women, and helped increase the transparency of the health insurance market. If re-elected, Kreidler will work on expanding health care access, limiting insurance company exploitation, and eliminating credit scoring as a determinant of insurance rates. Kreidler faces Libertarian Justin Murta and Republican Richard Schrock, neither of whom is running a credible campaign.

Campaign Information

State Supreme Court

State Supreme Court Justice, Position #5

Barbara Madsen

Barbara Madsen photo
Chief Justice Barbara Madsen has led our state Supreme Court in a fair and impartial manner through a series of high profile cases. First elected in 1992, Madsen was only the third woman to ever serve on our highest court. She has won numerous awards for her service, especially for her work creating opportunities for young female lawyers and judges. Despite Republican efforts to politicize our court over rulings about education funding and several Tim Eyman initiatives, Madsen has maintained a steadfast commitment to upholding equal justice under law.

Madsen is opposed by Greg Zempel, a Republican prosecutor from Kittitas County. Zempel has said he is running because he disagrees with some recent decisions. Also in the race is "Zamboni" John Scannell, a perennial candidate who is not running a credible campaign. Madsen is by far the best-qualified candidate in this race.

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