2nd Legislative District

2nd Legislative District

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Return Ballots by Tuesday, November 3, 2020

The Fuse Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information that allows you to make informed decisions about the races on your ballot, based on your values. Return your ballot by mail or to a dropbox by November 3, then share this guide with your family and friends!

Statewide Ballot Measures

Referendum #90

  • VOTE APPROVED
    Vote YES on Referendum 90
  • Young people deserve accurate information to help them make good decisions, to protect themselves, and to protect their futures. But today, too many students don’t receive high-quality, inclusive, medically accurate education about sex and healthy relationships, putting them at risk of sexual assault, unintended pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections. In particular, students of color are more likely to receive incomplete or incorrect sex education. 

    Voting to approve Referendum 90 will uphold the new Washington law (ESSB 5395) that requires all public schools to offer age-appropriate, inclusive, comprehensive sex education. Washington’s Legislature passed the law to expand access to sex education to all students. Unfortunately, the state Republican Party alongside anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-choice groups have put sex education up for another vote by placing Referendum 90 on the ballot. 

    Referendum 90 has been endorsed by a diverse group of more than 100 medical, education, and sexual assault prevention groups. Sex education serves as both prevention and intervention for sexual assault and rape. Children who are being sexually abused often don’t understand what is happening until someone provides them the tools and language to communicate about it with trusted adults.  

    This referendum means teaching students in grades K-3 self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills. Parents retain ultimate control under Referendum 90 because the law gives parents at least one-month advance notice to review all materials, and parents may opt their children out of sex education classes. 

    Parents, teachers, and pediatricians know that in states with quality sex education, teens are talking about consent, waiting longer to have sex, avoiding unintended pregnancies, and keeping themselves safe. Vote to "Approve" Referendum 90.

    Referendum 90

    Young people deserve accurate information to help them make good decisions, to protect themselves, and to protect their futures. But today, too many students don’t receive high-quality, inclusive, medically accurate education about sex and healthy relationships, putting them at risk of sexual assault, unintended pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections. In particular, students of color are more likely to receive incomplete or incorrect sex education. 

Advisory Vote #32

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote MAINTAINED on Advisory Vote 32
  • Legislators passed ESSB 5323 this year, which prohibits the use of thin plastic bags at all retail establishments beginning on January 1, 2021. Thirty-eight municipalities throughout the state have already banned the use of thin bags in stores; bags for damp grocery items and produce bags are exempt from the ban. Paper and thick plastic bags would still be allowed but customers would be subject to an $.08 pass-through charge. People using benefits such as the State Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and other programs will not be subject to this charge.

    This legislation will have tremendous and long-lasting benefits for community, economic, and environmental health. Washington residents use an estimated 2 billion single-use plastic bags every year, which are a huge source of pollution in rivers and oceans, and end up ingested by scores of marine wildlife. Plastic bags also cause significant mechanical and contamination issues at recycling and compost facilities.

    Washington will become the eighth state in the nation to take this step to protect our health and ecosystems. Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 32.

    Advisory Vote 32

    Legislators passed ESSB 5323 this year, which prohibits the use of thin plastic bags at all retail establishments beginning on January 1, 2021. Thirty-eight municipalities throughout the state have already banned the use of thin bags in stores; bags for damp grocery items and produce bags are exempt from the ban. Paper and thick plastic bags would still be allowed but customers would be subject to an $.08 pass-through charge.

Advisory Vote #33

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote MAINTAINED on Advisory Vote 33
  • Advisory Vote 33 references SSB 5628, which passed this year. This legislation provides a property tax exemption to heavy equipment rental property when owned by a heavy equipment rental property dealer. Such property includes, but is not limited to, equipment such as earthmovers, dump trucks, and jackhammers. Additionally, beginning on January 1, 2022, a 1.25% heavy equipment rental tax will be levied on heavy equipment rental, to be distributed evenly between the multimodal transportation account and the motor vehicle fund created by the legislation. The bill passed the Senate unanimously and through the House with a mixed majority, 53 to 44. Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 33.

    Advisory Vote 33

    Advisory Vote 33 references SSB 5628, which passed this year. This legislation provides a property tax exemption to heavy equipment rental property when owned by a heavy equipment rental property dealer. Such property includes, but is not limited to, equipment such as earthmovers, dump trucks, and jackhammers. Additionally, beginning on January 1, 2022, a 1.25% heavy equipment rental tax will be levied on heavy equipment rental, to be distributed evenly between the multimodal transportation account and the motor vehicle fund created by the legislation.

Advisory Vote #34

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote MAINTAINED on Advisory Vote 34
  • Advisory Vote 34 references ESSB 6492, which establishes the Workforce Education Investment Accountability and Oversight Board, as well as the Workforce Education Investment Account. In 2019, the Legislature made a historic promise to make public colleges more affordable across the state, instituting a business and occupation tax to significantly reduce costs for Washington's students.

    Senate Bill 6492 builds on the 2019 legislation by establishing the seventeen-member board, which will be filled by business leaders, students, labor leaders, and others to provide guidance to the Legislature on which workforce education priorities should be paid for by the fund. The bill also clarifies the complex 2019 legislation to make clear which businesses will be taxed, exempting more than 70,000 small businesses and setting a rate of 1.75% for businesses grossing more than $1 million annually.

    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 34.

    Advisory Vote 34

    Advisory Vote 34 references ESSB 6492, which establishes the Workforce Education Investment Accountability and Oversight Board, as well as the Workforce Education Investment Account. In 2019, the Legislature made a historic promise to make public colleges more affordable across the state, instituting a business and occupation tax to significantly reduce costs for Washington's students.

Advisory Vote #35

  • VOTE MAINTAINED
    Vote MAINTAINED on Advisory Vote 35
  • ESB 6690, the bill that Advisory Vote 35 references, seeks to bring the state's business and occupation (B&O) tax rate on the aerospace industry in line with the World Trade Organization's ruling. The Legislature originally passed this controversial tax break to incentivize Boeing to keep jobs in the state, though some progressives have since said they regret their vote.

    However, the current B&O tax rate of 0.2904% violates the World Trade Organization's rules. With the support of the aerospace industry, the Legislature repealed the preferential B&O tax for the aerospace industry and brought it back to the regular rate of 0.357%. This change should bring the state and the nation into compliance, and reduces the threat of retaliatory tariffs against Washington industries such as fish, wine, and intellectual property.

    Vote "Maintained" on Advisory Vote 35.

    Advisory Vote 35

    ESB 6690, the bill that Advisory Vote 35 references, seeks to bring the state's business and occupation (B&O) tax rate on the aerospace industry in line with the World Trade Organization's ruling. The Legislature originally passed this controversial tax break to incentivize Boeing to keep jobs in the state, though some progressives have since said they regret their vote.

Constitutional Amendment #8212

  • VOTE APPROVED
    Vote APPROVED for Long-Term Care Investments
  • Nearly 70% of adults over the age of 65 will need some level of long-term care, yet 90% are not insured for it. That’s why the Legislature established the Long-Term Care Trust Act in 2019 to address Washington’s long-term care crisis, reducing the burdensome cost of long-term care for hundreds of thousands of Washington families.

    This year, the state House and Senate approved Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution 8212 with overwhelming bipartisan votes of 96-1 and 45-3, respectively. If approved by voters this November, ESJR 8212 would give the Washington State Investment Board more options to responsibly manage Washington's Long-Term Care Trust Fund in order to ensure every elderly Washingtonian can rely on and afford the long-term care services they need, when they need them. 

    By giving the state Investment Board the ability to invest the trust fund, more families in Washington will be able to receive funding for care, with a benefit of up to $36,500 indexed to inflation. The state already invests pensions for frontline workers like teachers, police, and firefighters in this manner, allowing the funds to responsibly grow in value over time. The Long-Term Care Trust is overseen by a trusted, independent commission and will begin paying out benefits in 2025, offering seniors in Washington the care they need.

    Vote to "Approve" ESJR 8212 to make a smart investment in the health of Washingtonians!

    ESJR 8212 Constitutional Amendment

    Nearly 70% of adults over the age of 65 will need some level of long-term care, yet 90% are not insured for it. That’s why the Legislature established the Long-Term Care Trust Act in 2019 to address Washington’s long-term care crisis, reducing the burdensome cost of long-term care for hundreds of thousands of Washington families.

Federal

President

  • Democrat
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden has a long track record of public service. He represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009 and then served as President Barack Obama's vice president from 2009 to 2017. His personal history, including losing his eldest son to brain cancer, influenced his agenda and led him to become an advocate for the Affordable Care Act, the signature policy of the Obama administration. 

    After facing numerous progressive challenges in the presidential primary, Biden has shifted his platform to the left for the general election. Some of the hallmark policies of Biden's 2020 platform include supporting a public health care option and raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, as well as making huge investments in low-income housing assistance and public transit and making community college free. Biden has worked hard with progressive leaders like Sen. Bernie Sanders to unite the Democratic party under what is likely the most progressive party platform in history, though we need to continue pushing him to support bolder proposals like the Green New Deal.

    California Senator Kamala Harris is Biden's vice-presidential running mate on the Democratic ticket. Harris was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016 and served as California's attorney general before that. She ran her own campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination this election cycle before ultimately being selected as Biden's running mate in August. Harris made history as both the first Black woman and the first South Asian woman to be nominated for vice president by a major party. As California's first woman attorney general, Harris earned a reputation as a staunch advocate for victims and worked to pass marriage equality as well as protect the Affordable Care Act. In the Senate, Harris has sponsored progressive bills this year such as the Climate Equity Act of 2020, the COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities Task Force Act of 2020, and the RELIEF Act. Harris also gained notice for her willingness to hold former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to account during Senate proceedings.

    Biden's opponent is President Donald Trump, a man whose corrupt, lawless, and destructive track record speaks for itself. The damage that Trump and his administration have done to the public and to our democratic systems will take decades to reverse. Some of the worst moments of his presidency include a catastrophic national coronavirus response, separating thousands of children from parents and locking them in cages, eliminating critical environmental protections on our air and water, stripping healthcare protections for millions, and ramming through a dangerous, conservative Supreme Court nominee to rig the nation's highest court in his favor. 

    While there are legitimate concerns about some aspects of Biden's track record, there is no comparison to Trump's attacks on democratic institutions and the rule of law, his dishonesty, his constant assaults on people of color and religious minorities, and his open embrace of white supremacy. Biden is the clear choice for President of the United States.

    Joe Biden

    Former Vice President Joe Biden has a long track record of public service. He represented Delaware in the U.S. Senate from 1973 to 2009 and then served as President Barack Obama's vice president from 2009 to 2017.

Congress

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below congressional districts on your ballot.

8th Congressional District

U.S. Representative

  • Democrat
  • Rep. Kim Schrier was elected to represent Washington's 8th Congressional District in 2018. Schrier serves on the Education & Labor and Agriculture committees and prioritized gun violence prevention, health care (including reducing the cost of prescription drugs), and reproductive justice in her first term. Prior to running for office, she worked as a pediatrician in Issaquah for two decades. She is the first Democrat to hold this seat.

    Rep. Schrier's strong re-election platform includes encouraging sustainable agriculture, addressing the climate crisis, safeguarding our elections, and protecting endangered species and lands. She is the only woman doctor in Congress and her perspective is incredibly valuable, especially during this unprecedented pandemic. Schrier has worked hard to listen to her constituents in her first term, including holding more than 50 town hall forums. 

    Schrier's opponent is Republican Jesse Jensen, a manager at Amazon and a former Army captain who was recruited by Republicans to run in this district. Jensen has expressed his opposition to a $15 minimum wage while supporting Trump's trillion-dollar tax giveaway to corporations and the wealthy. In addition, he refuses to support investments in Black and brown communities, opposes holding big polluters accountable, and doesn't have a meaningful plan to expand health care access. 

    Rep. Schrier is the clear choice in this race and deserves your vote.

    Kim Schrier

    Rep. Kim Schrier was elected to represent Washington's 8th Congressional District in 2018.

10th Congressional District

U.S. Representative

  • Democrat
  • Progressive champion and current state Rep. Beth Doglio is running for the 10th Congressional District seat vacated by the retirement of Rep. Denny Heck. Prior to running for office, Doglio worked as the Climate Solutions Campaign Director and was the founding executive director of Washington Conservation Voters. While in the Legislature, Doglio advocated for numerous climate and environmental bills, as well as legislation to protect sexual assault survivors and increase funding for affordable housing.

    Doglio is running for Congress on a platform of climate justice, supporting working families, and gun safety. In her Fuse interview, she said she wants to work to pass progressive reforms like a Green New Deal and Medicare for All. Overall, Doglio laid out a very progressive policy agenda and has earned the sole endorsement of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

    Her opponent in this race is former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, who is running as a moderate Democrat focused on the COVID-19 response and economic rebuilding. Her pandemic response plan focuses on producing medical equipment, helping people get back to work, and massive investments in infrastructure. If elected, Strickland would be the first Black person to represent Washington state in Congress and the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress from any state.

    We are concerned with several parts of Strickland's record that skew in favor of corporations over working families. As mayor of Tacoma, Strickland was an obstacle to progressive efforts to improve workers' sick leave and raise the minimum wage. In addition, she pushed for a controversial methanol plant at the Port of Tacoma opposed by environmental advocates that would have contributed to climate change and dangerously increased air pollution in the community. As the head of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Strickland worked last fall to help their PAC spend millions of dollars backing a slate of more conservative, business-friendly candidates. Thankfully, progressives were able to defeat nearly all of their candidates.

    Doglio's background in organizing and fighting for solutions to climate change would be a valuable addition to our congressional delegation.

    Beth Doglio

    Progressive champion and current state Rep. Beth Doglio is running for the 10th Congressional District seat vacated by the retirement of Rep. Denny Heck.

Statewide

Governor

  • Democrat
  • Governor Jay Inslee has been a strong, principled leader on the important challenges facing Washington. Before he was elected as 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.

    Inslee has established himself as a national leader on fighting climate change. He has invested more than $170 million into clean energy and energy efficiency projects, implemented the Clean Air Rule, and pushed for legislation that reduces pollution in Washington. In his 2020 bid for the presidency, Inslee brought a focus on climate to the race. Outside of his work on climate, Inslee has signed into law Washington's public option for health care, paid family leave, and the Equal Pay Opportunity Act.

    Recently, Inslee has been a national leader in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. His proactive, decisive, science-driven efforts have saved countless Washingtonians from getting sick. Unfortunately, we've seen the flip side recently where states with governors who were slow or failed to act have seen dramatic increases in cases.

    Inslee's opponent is Republican Loren Culp, the sole police officer of the town of Republic and one of the farthest right of Inslee's main primary challengers. Culp came to national fame for refusing to enforce the voter-approved Initiative 1639, which placed restrictions on semi-automatic firearm sales. Much of Culp's primary and early general election campaign has centered on opposing public health measures like wearing masks. 

    Culp's policy track record is disturbing, especially related to the environment. He recently questioned whether the wildfires that have ravaged the region are climate-related. He's compared gun rights to the Holocaust and likened the governor's stay-home policies to the horrors of Japanese internment during WWII. He faces a lawsuit for failing to investigate a child sex abuse case and for intimidating the victim in a case that was swiftly prosecuted after the county stepped in and took over. 

    As the coronavirus crisis continues and the gap in the state budget persists, we need real, experienced leadership at the helm of the state. Inslee is the clear choice for governor.

    Jay Inslee

    Governor Jay Inslee has been a strong, principled leader on the important challenges facing Washington.

Lt. Governor

  • Democrat
  • Rep. Denny Heck is retiring from Congress and running for Lt. Governor. Heck has had a long, effective career in both the private and public sectors, most notably as a five-term state representative, House majority leader, chief of staff to former Gov. Booth Gardner, and TVW co-founder.

    In Congress, Heck has fought to make college more affordable, lower health care costs, ensure veterans get the benefits they deserve, and create middle-class jobs. He supports immigration policies that create a path to citizenship and worked to help prevent health care premium increases due to Trump's policies. Heck was elected to represent the 10th Congressional District after it was created in 2012 and decided to retire after the impeachment hearings in December 2019.

    His top priorities as Lt. Governor would be reforming our regressive tax system, investing in infrastructure like safe roads and bridges to bolster our economy, and helping people "skill up." In his Fuse interview, he expressed support for police reform and wants to expand on the Electeds For Justice pledge to eliminate qualified immunity for police officers. In addition, Heck said he wants to use the office and his extensive experience to lobby moderate senators on progressive issues.

    Denny Heck

    Rep. Denny Heck is retiring from Congress and running for Lt. Governor. Heck has had a long, effective career in both the private and public sectors, most notably as a five-term state representative, House majority leader, chief of staff to former Gov. Booth Gardner, and TVW co-founder.

Secretary of State

  • Former Port Commissioner and progressive state Rep. Gael Tarleton is now running for Secretary of State to serve as the state's chief elections officer, among other roles. First elected to the Legislature in 2012, Tarleton has been a strong advocate for environmental causes such as Governor Jay Inslee's initiative to reduce carbon pollution. She sponsored bills during her first term in the House to strengthen the maritime industry, improve access to health care, and ensure gender pay equity.

    Tarleton is running for Secretary of State to expand access to voting in Washington while safeguarding our elections against "foreign and domestic" attacks. She wants to improve digital security and increase funding for county auditors to protect local elections from hacking attempts in the wake of the 2016 election. She would also expand audits of the state and local systems to identify any weaknesses that could be exploited.

    Tarleton is challenging incumbent Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who has faced a bumpy road during her time in office. Last year, Wyman's office released a new $9.5 million voter registration database that was riddled with errors and led to a backlog of tens of thousands of registrations. King County elections director Julie Wise described the release as "irresponsible" and "not even functioning." In addition, Wyman was slow to support the Washington Voting Rights Act, same-day voter registration, and postage-paid ballots.

    We need a progressive leader in the Secretary of State's office who is fully committed to protecting our elections and removing every barrier to participation in our democracy. Tarleton is the clear progressive choice in this race.

    Gael Tarleton

    Former Port Commissioner and progressive state Rep. Gael Tarleton is now running for Secretary of State to serve as the state's chief elections officer, among other roles.

State Treasurer

State Auditor

  • Washington Auditor Pat McCarthy has been a consistent advocate for government transparency and accountability during her first term in office. Previously, she served as Pierce County executive and Pierce County auditor, where she was honored as the 2006 Washington State Auditor of the Year.

    McCarthy announced that her office has opened two independent audits of the Employment Security Department. The first will investigate the delay in unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second audit will look into how criminals stole hundreds of millions of dollars through a sophisticated fraud scheme.

    McCarthy is facing a challenge from Republican Chris Leyba, a detective with limited audit experience related to this role. Leyba has expressed some very conservative viewpoints during the campaign, including opposition to stronger campaign finance laws, disagreeing with basic law enforcement reforms, and supporting Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic response.   

    McCarthy's experience and commitment to oversight will be valuable as the state works to emerge from the pandemic and the recession. McCarthy is the best choice in this race.

    Pat McCarthy

    Washington Auditor Pat McCarthy has been a consistent advocate for government transparency and accountability during her first term in office. Previously, she served as Pierce County executive and Pierce County auditor, where she was honored as the 2006 Washington State Auditor of the Year.

Attorney General

Commissioner of Public Lands

Superintendent of Public Instruction

  • Non-Partisan
  • Chris Reykdal is running for re-election to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to continue his leadership of our state's public schools through this challenging time. Previously, Reykdal spent 14 years serving on local school boards and in leadership positions at community and technical colleges, as well as serving 6 years in the Legislature. In the state House, Reykdal had a strong progressive voting record and was a consistent champion for public schools.

    In his first term as superintendent, Reykdal has pushed the Legislature to fully fund K-12 education, increase teacher pay, and close the opportunity gap for students of color. More recently, Reykdal has worked closely with Gov. Inslee to help Washington schools navigate the pandemic. He made the tough decision early to close schools for the year in order to keep kids and families safe and to slow the spread of COVID-19. If re-elected, Reykdal will continue to advocate for these priorities and work with schools across the state as they make the transition back to in-person education.

    Reykdal is facing former Republican legislative candidate Maia Espinoza. Espinoza is a school music teacher and a former legislative liaison to the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs. She was motivated to run by her opposition to comprehensive sexual health education and gained attention by publishing a false and inflammatory voters' pamphlet statement attacking Reykdal. In addition, an Associated Press investigation found that Espinoza provided false or misleading descriptions of her own education and the organization she leads. As of mid-September, Espinoza is also dangerously pushing for classrooms to re-open fully for in-person learning, despite mass outbreaks at schools and universities across the country.

    Reykdal is the clear choice for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

    Chris Reykdal

    Chris Reykdal is running for re-election to the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to continue his leadership of our state's public schools through this challenging time.

Insurance Commissioner

  • Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has spent his entire career serving the people of Washington. Prior to running for statewide office, Kreidler was a doctor of optometry, a state legislator, and a member of Congress.

    As insurance commissioner, Kreidler has been a consistent advocate for consumers and patients in overseeing insurance companies in Washington. Kreidler set up one of the first and most effective Affordable Care Act exchanges in the country, helping expand access to health care for hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians. More recently, Kreidler moved quickly to issue an emergency order requiring insurance companies to waive copays, coinsurance, and deductibles for COVID-19 testing and office visits. In addition, he forced insurance companies to allow consumers to access other health providers if they did not have an in-network option for testing.

    Kreidler is opposed by Republican Chirayu Avinash Patel, an insurance agent and biochemistry student at the University of Washington. He states that he wants to model the office of the insurance commissioner based on a hybrid of the Ronald Reagan and Thomas Jefferson administrations. Patel has no campaign website and does not appear to be running a credible bid for office.

    Kreidler has earned your vote for re-election to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

    Mike Kreidler

    Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has spent his entire career serving the people of Washington. Prior to running for statewide office, Kreidler was a doctor of optometry, a state legislator, and a member of Congress.

2nd Legislative District

State Senator

No Good Choices

There are no optimal choices in this race.

After leading a primary crowded with Republicans, Democrat Rick Payne is still in the race for state Senator. Payne is a former vice president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters as well as a current precinct committee officer. His official voter's guide statement declares that he will work on balancing the state's upside-down tax code and protect funding for local schools, but Payne has little concrete policy information or endorsements available. His official voter's guide writeup for his 2014 run under the "Marijuana Party" label was unserious. Since Payne's success in the primary, he has been notably quiet on his policy priorities.

Payne is running against former House representative Jim McCune, who currently serves as a Pierce County Council member. McCune states that he's running to tackle the state's "bloated bureaucracy" as a "pro-Make America Great" candidate. Even with the national conversation around police reform and accountability, McCune states that it's a priority to fund more officers to try and arrest the district's way out of addiction and encampment issues. As a former state representative, McCune notably voted against the 2012 bill that legalized same-sex marriage in Washington state. McCune recently used his taxpayer-funded council newsletter to promote President Trump's hydroxychloroquine cocktail as a viable treatment for coronavirus, contradicting federal infectious disease advice and upsetting local health officials.

In this highly conservative district, voters should pick Payne or write in a candidate of their choice.


State Representative, Position #1

No Good Choices

There are no good choices in this race. Andrew Barkis is running unopposed for re-election to the 2nd Legislative District, House Position 2. Barkis is a party-line Republican who was appointed to this seat in 2016 and can be expected to move forward the party's conservative agenda. Since January, Barkis has voted against legislation restricting firearms in childcare facilities and opposed a bill to prohibit discrimination on the basis of immigration status. More recently, Barkis joined three other Republican lawmakers in suing Governor Inslee for "executive overreach" in his COVID-19 policy response, "Safe Start." Barkis is clearly more interested in partisan politics than the health of his constituents.

For this race, write in a candidate of your choice.


State Representative, Position #2

  • Veronica Whitcher Rockett is running to bring a progressive voice to Olympia as a House representative for Legislative District 2. Whitcher Rockett has served as a precinct committee officer for the Thurston County Democrats, chair of the Thurston County Young Democrats, and is currently vice chair of the Thurston County Democratic Women.

    Through her work with her children's PTA, two of whom have special needs, Whitcher Rockett states that she wants to improve special education programs and ensure that schools are truly fully funded. She is advocating for rural broadband to connect her district with work and education opportunities online, which is more important than ever during the pandemic. Whitcher Rocket is also committed to affordable housing, accessible healthcare, a greener economy, and police accountability, stating in July that she supports banning law enforcement's use of tear gas and chokeholds.

    Whitcher Rockett is running against Republican incumbent JT Wilcox. Wilcox regularly and actively blocks progress in the Legislature and prides himself on being a conservative figurehead. In recent years, he has voted against progressive reforms including net neutrality protections for internet users, equal pay for women, and equitable access to Washington's Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Despite contracting COVID-19 himself this summer, Wilcox stated that his legislative priorities were focused on economic recovery, offering no public health policy.

    Whitcher Rockett is the clear progressive choice for the 2nd Legislative District.

    Veronica Whitcher Rockett

    Veronica Whitcher Rockett is running to bring a progressive voice to Olympia as a House representative for Legislative District 2.

Pierce County

Pierce County Executive

  • Navy veteran and former state Rep. Larry Seaquist served eight years in Olympia, where he chaired the House Higher Education Committee and served on the Budget, Health Care, and Education committees. He has continued to work in the community through a homelessness prevention project with the Tacoma-Pierce County League of Women Voters and is currently a member of the Gig Harbor Chamber of Commerce. If elected to the county executive position, Seaquist's top priority is implementing local standards of coronavirus contact tracing and testing to rein in the virus. He will also prioritize creating family-wage jobs, providing more affordable housing, and addressing systemic racism in the community.

    Seaquist is running against incumbent Bruce Dammeier, who is a former member of state Senate Republican leadership. In Olympia, Dammeier opposed efforts to raise the minimum wage, ensure equal pay for women, and close tax loopholes to fund schools. He has continued to advance a conservative agenda as county executive, including pushing back on efforts to reduce vehicle pollution through cleaner fuels.

    In September, Dammeier fell into a controversy of his own making with his handling of the firing of a member of his executive team. Former Senior Justice Council Carol Mitchell, the only Black woman on Dammeier's team, was fired while her whistleblower case was open. Dammeier then took to his campaign and private social media to attack and discredit the staffer in a statement both unethical and unbecoming of a true leader of the county.

    Pierce County deserves better, both in terms of progressive policy and stable leadership. Seaquist is by far the better choice in this race.

    Larry Seaquist

    Navy veteran and former state Rep. Larry Seaquist served eight years in Olympia, where he chaired the House Higher Education Committee and served on the Budget, Health Care, and Education committees.

Pierce County Sheriff

No Recommendation

With the retirement of Sheriff Paul Pastor, Pierce County is electing its first new sheriff in 20 years. With the exception of a newly-emerged write-in candidate, we are disappointed that we are unable to recommend either of the candidates on the ballot in this race. Neither candidate is progressive, and our research has raised serious concerns about both of them. No one in this race has outlined a plan for reforming the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. Especially following the killing of Manuel Ellis by law enforcement officers, we believe much stronger action is needed to restrict the use of deadly force, increase independent oversight, and redirect funding to community-based alternatives as outlined in the Electeds For Justice platform.

Ed Troyer has served as the high-profile spokesperson for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department for 19 years. In addition to his work with the sheriff's department, Troyer has served as the executive director of CrimeStoppers for 17 years. He has a long track record of defending police violence and has been criticized for his role in the department's lack of transparency and failure to comply with I-940 after Ellis' killing. Troyer says that if he becomes sheriff he will encourage the department to use body cameras and push for hiring more non-white officers.

Lieutenant Cyndie Fajardo is a 32-year veteran of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department who manages the search and rescue program. From 1999 through 2003, Fajardo served as the interim chief for the Steilacoom Public Safety Department, which encompasses police, fire, and emergency medical services. Unfortunately, a drug unit Fajardo supervised was recently disbanded and is under investigation for misconduct, including falsifying records. As a result, the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office added Fajardo to their “potential impeachment list” of staff who have been found to be dishonest. This list must be shared with defense attorneys because it can undermine the credibility of law enforcement officials involved in cases. In light of the police protests, she says that she too will prioritize recruiting more officers of color.

Also in this race is social worker Janice Bridges, who is running a write-in campaign in support of police reform. She is running to re-envision the role of law enforcement in the community, which includes the expansion of mental health professionals that respond to crisis situations and the creation of a community safety council. While it's too late in the election cycle for Bridges to obtain endorsements, she is likely a much better choice than the current candidates.

Write in Bridges or a candidate of your choice for Pierce County Sheriff.


Pierce County Council

Pierce County Council, District #2

  • Small business owner Sarah Rumbaugh is running for Pierce County Council's open District 2 seat, which was vacated by Pam Roach. Rumbaugh is active in the community; she serves on the Tacoma Human Rights Commission and previously served on the Board of Governors for Evergreen State College. Rumbaugh is running to reset the local economy, which has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. She wants to use this moment to create more family-wage jobs, build more affordable housing, and improve access to health care. In addition, Rumbaugh supports the creation of an Office of Equity and Race within Pierce County and wants the Pierce County Council to be more active on environmental issues, particularly when it comes to oversight of the Port of Tacoma.

    Rumbaugh is running against Republican Sen. Hans Zeiger. First elected in 2010, Zeiger has been a party-line Republican in Olympia in opposing a host of commonsense reforms. He voted against raising the minimum wage, closing tax loopholes to fund education, and ensuring equal pay for women. In addition, he opposed marriage equality, voted to continue the abuse of children through the use of conversion therapy, and famously called the Girl Scouts of America a “pro-abortion, feminist training corps” and a recruitment ground for lesbians. Based on his 10-year voting record, Zeiger would be an obstacle to progress on the Pierce County Council.

    Rumbaugh is the clear choice for the Pierce County Council, District 2 seat.

    Sarah Rumbaugh

    Small business owner Sarah Rumbaugh is running for Pierce County Council's open District 2 seat, which was vacated by Pam Roach.

Pierce County Council, District #3

No Good Choices

There are no good choices in this race. Republican Amy Cruver is a former Pierce County Charter Review Commissioner and a former assistant to Republican state Rep. Jim McCune. She's running on a thoroughly conservative platform that points Pierce County away from a progressive future. Her appalling statements on public safety rely heavily on utilizing law enforcement, imprisonment, and reducing public safety nets while letting private organizations pick up the slack. By drawing direct comparisons between the houseless and people with addiction problems and stating that "justice must be metered out to criminals," she criminalizes poverty and promotes the idea that cities can arrest their way out of the housing crisis and public health issues. Cruver states that she will reduce regulations at all levels for infrastructure, including reducing environmental restrictions like buffer zones. Paradoxically, she says that removing such regulations will help the county invest in roads and bridges, but also wants to reduce taxes and state spending, which directly pay for these projects.

She is running against Joe Zaichkin, a self-described conservative Republican who worked as a commercial truck driver for over 30 years. His available platform is thin. With his statement that "every job is essential and it's time to get people back to work" without any allusion to improving public health and our medical system, Zaichkin places a greater emphasis on the economy than the health of his potential constituents. His Facebook includes pro-Trump articles and posts decrying the coronavirus and mask-wearing as overblown.

Write in a candidate of your choice for Pierce County Council District 3.


Pierce County Council, District #4

  • Democrat
  • Former Tacoma City Council President Ryan Mello is an environmental champion who helped produce Tacoma's plan for addressing climate change. Currently, he's the executive director of the Pierce Conservation District where he works to protect our local clean air and water. Mello was the first openly gay man to serve on the Tacoma City Council.

    Mello is running for Pierce County Council to improve housing affordability, address the behavioral health crisis, and fight for environmental justice. In his Fuse interview, Mello committed to working to reduce inequities in the criminal justice system by investing in community courts and other alternatives to jail. He also pledges to increase oversight of the county executive's office to ensure that taxpayer funds are being used to help working families.

    Mello is running against real estate broker Javier H. Figueroa. Figueroa is a member of the University Place City Council who ran an unsuccessful Republican campaign for lieutenant governor in 2016. Although he's running as an Independent in this race, he has been endorsed by Republican leaders like Dino Rossi, Rob McKenna, and Steve O'Ban. 

    Mello's excellent track record on the Tacoma City Council and strong support from our Progressive Voters Guide partners make him the best choice in this race.

    Ryan Mello

    Former Tacoma City Council President Ryan Mello is an environmental champion who helped produce Tacoma's plan for addressing climate change.

Pierce County Council, District #6

  • Democrat Jani Hitchen is a high school science teacher running for Pierce County Council in the 6th Council District. Hitchen is running to create a dedicated revenue stream to fund mental health care, as well as reduce sprawl in rural areas. She wants to break partisan gridlock on the council and focus on improving the quality of life of Pierce County residents. In her Fuse interview, Hitchen said she will prioritize preventing homelessness by building a safety net that can help people stay in their homes.

    Hitchen is facing corporate real estate attorney and Lakewood Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen. He's running on a conservative platform that lacks substantive details about how he would help the county recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Whalen's priorities include maintaining funding to county law enforcement and increasing the number of deputies as well as attracting new businesses to the county.

    This race is particularly important because it could determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Pierce County Council. Hitchen is the clear progressive choice for District 6.

    Jani Hitchen

    Democrat Jani Hitchen is a high school science teacher running for Pierce County Council in the 6th Council District. Hitchen is running to create a dedicated revenue stream to fund mental health care, as well as reduce sprawl in rural areas.

Thurston County Commission

Thurston County Commission, District #1

  • Carolina Mejia is a judicial assistant for the Thurston County Superior Court. As an immigrant who moved to the U.S. as a youth, Mejia became interested in law and immigration advocacy from a young age. She has worked with organizations such as One America, El Centro de la Raza, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and Centro Integral Educativo Latino de Olympia. Mejia is also currently the treasurer of the Washington State Democratic Latino Caucus.

    Mejia's top priorities are the county budget, affordable housing, environment, and inclusive government. She wants to support the Housing Trust Fund, which provides homes for low- and moderate-income families as well as seniors, people with disabilities, and others. She would also look to innovative sources of revenue rather than property taxes or levies. Mejia wants to balance the needs of all, including communities of color, Indigenous people, and farmers. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Mejia is pushing for proactive preparedness, stocking medical facilities with the equipment they need, and securing additional funding for medical testing and prevention services. Because she works for the county's judicial system, Mejia cannot put forth her opinion on the courthouse debate, but she emphasizes that she wants to bring transparency and accountability to the budget process.

    Her opponent is C Davis, who ran for Rep. Laurie Dolan's seat on an anti-tax libertarian platform in 2018. He has few concrete campaign details on his website but says in his voter's guide statement that he wants to send the homeless into "labor-based drug treatment or into the legal system" and would roll back protections against sprawl. Davis also states that he does not support a new courthouse because the old courthouse hasn't been maintained, so a new one would not be either.

    In recent weeks, Mejia came under attack from a former county commission candidate in an attempt to discredit her citizenship status, while Davis was accused of registering to run under an address where he does live. As of mid-September, the attack on Mejia was thrown out by the county auditor because she has clear documentation of citizenship, while Davis indeed has been confirmed to have used the wrong address and will need to rectify the issue with the county.

    Mejia is the clear choice in this race.

    Carolina Mejia

    Carolina Mejia is a judicial assistant for the Thurston County Superior Court. As an immigrant who moved to the U.S. as a youth, Mejia became interested in law and immigration advocacy from a young age.

  • Endorsed By: SEIU Healthcare 1199NW , Sierra Club , Thurston Environmental Voters, Alliance for Gun Responsibility Victory Fund

Thurston County Commission, District #2

  • Lacey City Councilmember Michael Steadman is running for Thurston County Commissioner to bring environmental needs, infrastructure, and inclusion to the forefront. Steadman is a veteran and a small business owner who was first elected to the City Council in 2014. His environmental priorities include preserving Rocky Prairie, converting the county to 100% sewer systems, and tackling water quality and algae issues. He's in favor of increasing density in urban areas while protecting forests and rural places, as well as supporting a fare-free bus system through the Intercity Transit Zero Fare project. Steadman believes that the county should expand alternative criminal justice options and improve mental health services.

    Steadman is running against incumbent Commissioner Gary Edwards. Edwards, a former Thurston County sheriff, is running for re-election to reduce regulations on businesses and home builders. Despite running as an Independent, Edwards has entertained far-right interests. Last year, he joined Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza last year in holding a guns-rights meeting, where a discussion was held on a citizen's arrest of Attorney General Bob Ferguson. At that meeting, Edwards threatened "revolution" if Trump could not get the courts stacked his favor. Even in light of the nationwide protests against police violence, Edwards spoke in a counter-rally to support law enforcement.

    Steadman is the best choice in this race.

    Michael Steadman

    Lacey City Councilmember Michael Steadman is running for Thurston County Commissioner to bring environmental needs, infrastructure, and inclusion to the forefront. Steadman is a veteran and a small business owner who was first elected to the City Council in 2014.

  • Endorsed By: Sierra Club , Lacey Professional Firefighters, Thurston County Democrats

State Supreme Court

Position #3

  • Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis is running to retain Position 3 on the Washington State Supreme Court. Montoya-Lewis was originally appointed to the state Supreme Court in December 2019 by Gov. Inslee to replace Justice Mary Fairhurst. As a member of the Pueblo of Isleta tribe and the first Native American justice in Washington - and second in the nation - to serve on a state Supreme Court, Montoya-Lewis believes that representation on the bench matters.

    Previously, Montoya-Lewis served on the Whatcom County Superior Court and as chief judge for a number of Indian tribes. She has spent much of her career on juvenile justice work and as a staunch advocate for communities who have historically been excluded from representation in the judicial system. In her short tenure on the court, Montoya-Lewis has been a thoughtful and engaged member who has earned the support of many respected judicial leaders and other progressive organizations. However, some progressives have expressed concern about a decision she wrote recently where she sided against nurses who had been deprived of guaranteed workplace protections. 

    Also in this race is Judge Dave Larson, a Federal Way Municipal Court judge who also ran for a state Supreme Court seat in 2016. Larson was heavily supported by corporate PACs in his previous campaign and he espouses a conservative judicial philosophy focused on a narrow interpretation of the law.

    Raquel Montoya-Lewis deserves your vote in this race.

    Raquel Montoya-Lewis

    Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis is running to retain Position 3 on the Washington State Supreme Court. Montoya-Lewis was originally appointed to the state Supreme Court in December 2019 by Gov. Inslee to replace Justice Mary Fairhurst.

Position #4

  • Associate Chief Justice Charles W. Johnson is running to retain his seat in Position 4 of the Washington State Supreme Court. As the longest-serving justice on the court, having sat on the bench for nearly three decades, Johnson has proven time and again his judicial integrity, accountability, and impartiality.

    During his time on the state Supreme Court, Johnson has consistently supported civil rights and equitable representation. He co-chaired the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission for 24 years and also served as co-chair for the 2004 Task Force on Civil Equal Justice Funding. On the bench, Johnson has opposed bias in judicial proceedings, joining the rest of the state Supreme Court this June in an open letter vowing to "administer justice and support court rules in a way that brings greater racial justice to our system as a whole."

    Johnson is running unopposed for re-election to Position 4. With a commitment to justice for all Washingtonians, he has earned your vote.

    Charles Johnson

    Associate Chief Justice Charles W. Johnson is running to retain his seat in Position 4 of the Washington State Supreme Court.

Position #6

  • Justice G. Helen Whitener is running to retain her position on Washington's Supreme Court. She was appointed to the Supreme Court this April by Gov. Jay Inslee. Prior to her appointment, she served on the Pierce County Superior Court, the Pierce County District Court a Pro Tem judge, and the City of Tacoma Municipal Court, after working for 14 years as a prosecutor and defense attorney.

    Whitener has been rated as "exceptionally well-qualified" by a wide slate of bar associations and has earned an endorsement from every current Supreme Court Justice as well as several past justices. Notably, she is the first Black woman to sit on the state's Supreme Court, and as an immigrant from Trinidad and an openly gay justice, she brings new perspectives to the state's highest court. While serving on the bench, she has made a point to continue to interact with the community, teaching a civics course at Tacoma's Lincoln High School.

    She is running against Richard S. Serns, a school superintendent who filed for office just weeks after passing the bar exam this spring. While he has no experience as a lawyer or judge, he states that his history of working with public records requests and privacy laws is preparation enough to serve as a justice.

    Whitener is the clear choice for State Supreme Court Justice, Position 6.

    G. Helen Whitener

    Justice G. Helen Whitener is running to retain her position on Washington's Supreme Court. She was appointed to the Supreme Court this April by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Position #7

  • Chief Justice Debra L. Stephens was first appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2008 by Gov. Christine Gregoire after many years of public service and was unanimously elected by her colleagues in 2019 to serve as the 57th Chief Justice of the state's highest court. She spent a decade serving students on the school board and mentored at-risk high school students as well as students at Gonzaga University. Stephens is also the first woman from Eastern Washington to serve on the Supreme Court. She has been rated "exceptionally well-qualified" by numerous legal groups and endorsed by a number of progressives.

    Stephens is running unopposed this year and has earned your vote.

    Debra L. Stephens

    Chief Justice Debra L. Stephens was first appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2008 by Gov.

Court of Appeals, Division Two, District One

Court of Appeals

No Recommendation

Judge Lisa Worswick is running for re-election to Position 2 on the Court of Appeals, Division 2, District 1. Worswick first began serving in this position when she was appointed by Governor Gregoire in 2010. Before that, she had worked as a Pierce County Superior Court judge, a Municipal Court judge, and a District Court commissioner. Worswick also previously practiced as a prosecuting attorney and police legal advisor in Pierce County before becoming a judge. While she is running unopposed, we are not making a recommendation because of her conservative background on issues related to corporations and law enforcement.


Pierce County Superior Court

Pierce County Superior Court Judge, Position #4

  • Judge Bryan Chushcoff is running for re-election to Position 4 on the Pierce County Superior Court, where he has served for the last 23 years. On the bench, Chushcoff has built a respected track record and was the presiding judge from 2009 to 2012. In addition, he has been a Budget and Finance Committee member on the Washington State Board of Judicial Administration and a treasurer for the Superior Court Judges Association of Washington state.

    With more than two decades of experience, Chushcoff is seeking to retain his seat to maintain fair and impartial justice in Pierce County. In 2017, he received the William O. Douglas Award from the Washington State Association for Justice for his work on the Superior Court. Chushcoff has received diverse community support and the endorsement of every other judge on the Pierce County Superior Court.

    Brady Horenstein is challenging Judge Chushcoff to bring a "fresh" perspective to the Superior Court. Horenstein has never sat on a bench but he has previously worked as a law clerk for the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division II, and later as the associate director for legislative and judicial relations with the Washington Administrative Office of the Courts.

    Judge Chushcoff is the best choice for Pierce County Superior Court, Position 4 because of his experience and commitment to equal justice for all.

    Bryan Chushcoff

    Judge Bryan Chushcoff is running for re-election to Position 4 on the Pierce County Superior Court, where he has served for the last 23 years. On the bench, Chushcoff has built a respected track record and was the presiding judge from 2009 to 2012.

Thurston County Superior Court

Thurston County Superior Court Judge, Position #8

  • Sharonda Amamilo is running for Thurston County Superior Court, Position 8. Amamilo is a public defender with more than 15 years of experience representing children and families. Currently, she works for the Thurston County Public Defense office and is a member of the Army Reserves.

    Amamilo has served on the Washington State Criminal Justice Treatment Act Panel and as vice president of the Washington Trafficking Prevention Board. She is ranked as "exceptionally well-qualified" by the Loren Miller Bar Association and "well-qualified" by the Cardozo Society of Washington State. Amamilo is engaged in systems change at the county and national levels and promises to bring "compassionate and courteous deliberation" to the bench.

    Amamilo is facing Scott Ahlf in this race. Ahlf served as an Olympia Municipal Court Judge for 15 years and as a prosecutor and assistant city attorney for the City of Lacey. He has worked on establishing the therapeutic court model which has been shown to reduce recidivism by offering healing services rather than a purely punitive response.

    Amamilo will advocate for equitable justice for all on the bench. She deserves your vote to be the next judge for Thurston County's Superior Court.

    Sharonda Amamilo

    Sharonda Amamilo is running for Thurston County Superior Court, Position 8. Amamilo is a public defender with more than 15 years of experience representing children and families. Currently, she works for the Thurston County Public Defense office and is a member of the Army Reserves.