City of Des Moines

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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. This is a preview version of the guide. We will continue adding recommendations and adding details until ballots are mailed out.

Congress, 9th Congressional District

U.S. Representative

Adam Smith photo
Democrat


Representative Adam Smith has been a reliable vote in Congress on progressive issues from taxation to immigration reform. He represents Washington's first majority-minority district, a community with 30 percent foreign-born residents and large Asian, Hispanic, and African-American communities. Smith is an advocate for greater equality, supports a path to citizenship for immigrants, reforming the tax code, and Medicare for All. Recently, Rep. Smith spoke out against President Trump's call for the military to intervene and stop the "insurrection" of demonstrators protesting police brutality. He supported the $3 trillion coronavirus pandemic relief package and is supporting the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to dramatically increase accountability and transparency.

Also in this race are Libertarian Jorge Besada and Republicans Joshua Campbell and Doug Basler. Campbell believes that all Americans should "pick a side" and unite under one party, while stating that voting for Trump was a good choice. Basler has challenged Rep. Smith before, making it to the general in 2014 and 2016 but losing to Sarah Smith in the primary in 2018. He does not have a strong campaign platform as of mid-June but has always run as a Republican. Besada is running on a platform including making taxes voluntary but does support reforming the criminal justice system.

Rep. Smith is the clear choice in this race and deserves your vote for Congress.



Statewide

Governor

Jay Inslee photo
Democrat


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

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 climate-centered focus to the race.  Outside of his work on climate, Inslee has signed into law Washington's public option for healthcare, paid family leave, and the Equal Pay Opportunity Act.

Recently, Inslee has been a national leader 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 is facing 35 opponents this year, the most prominent of which are Republicans Sen. Phil Fortunato, Tim Eyman, and Bothell mayor Joshua Freed. Fortunato is a social conservative who has abandoned working families while in the office. In past legislative sessions, he voted against protections for LGBTQ school children and against expanding access to reproductive health care for women. Freed believes we should be less cautious about COVID-19 protections and rapidly re-open the state, a faulty strategy in the face of death and difficult recoveries even for previously-healthy coronavirus patients.

Eyman's legal problems range from fraudulently diverting funds from his ill-conceived initiatives into his personal bank accounts to wide-ranging campaign finance violations to stealing a chair from Office Depot. He is the face behind many of Washington's most damaging initiatives that have cut tens of billions of dollars from state transportation projects. Eyman has lately been doubling-down on his cringeworthy antics by comparing Gov. Inslee's COVID policies to George Floyd's murder. Eyman is one of the worst candidates for governor the state has ever seen.

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.



Lt. Governor

Marko Liias photo
Democrat


State Senate Floor Leader Marko Liias was first elected to the Mukilteo City Council in 2005 before being appointed to the state House in 2007 and finally the state Senate in 2014.

In the Legislature, Liias has been a strong progressive advocate for all families. As the Democratic Senate Floor Leader, Liias has led the fight on LGBTQ equality and created a student loan bill of rights. His past legislation includes a ban on the inhumane practice of conversion therapy. This year, Liias sponsored legislation requiring informed consent to perform a pelvic exam and creating a new state financial aid program for undocumented students.

In his interview with Fuse, Liias expressed wanting to use the bully pulpit of the office to connect with voters across the state about progressive issues, including fixing our upside-down tax code. In addition, he laid out a strong set of proposals for how to increase police accountability. If elected, Liias would be the first openly gay statewide official in Washington history.



Denny Heck photo
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, worked to 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 at Lt. Gov would be reforming our regressive tax system, investing in infrastructure to rebuild the economy as well as the roads and bridges, and helping people "skill up". In his Fuse interview, he expressed support for police reform and wants to expand on the #ElectedsForJustice pledge to eliminate qualified immunity for police officers. In addition, Heck said he wants to use the office and his extensive experience to lobby swing senators on progressive issues.



Other Candidates

This open seat has attracted a large number of candidates, including Democrats James Rafferty and Michelle Jasmer, Libertarians Jared Frerichs and Matt Seymour, and Republicans Ann Davison Sattler, Joseph Brumbles, and Marty McClendon.

Neither Rafferty nor Jasmer has a strong campaign presence as of late-June. Frerich's top three campaign priorities are reducing economic barriers, reforming red-flag laws, and decriminalizing sex work. Seymour's main focus is preventing any tax increases but is also not open to options for progressive revenue. Davison Sattler is an attorney who ran for Seattle City Council as a Democrat against Debora Juarez in 2019 with the support of conservative groups like Safe Seattle before officially declaring herself a Republican early this year. Her platform includes turning unused commercial and civic structures into field hospitals, temporary housing, or disaster relief centers. Davison Sattler is endorsed by Republican elected officials and is not progressive. McClendon ran for Lt. Governor in 2016 and claimed then-Senator Cyrus Habib (who is not running for re-election to this position because he decided to enter the Society of Jesus) was not Christian, but "anti-God".

Secretary of State

Gael Tarleton photo
Democrat


Former port commissioner and progressive state Rep. Gael Tarleton is now running for Secretary of State, which serves 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 attacks "foreign and domestic." She wants to improve digital security and increase funding for county auditors to safeguard 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 the incumbent Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman, who has faced a bumpy road during her first term 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 registration. 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 Right Act, same-day voter registration, and postage-paid ballots, and she has failed to condemn the president's relentless attacks on voting by mail.

Also in this race are Independent Ed Minger and Progressive Party candidate Gentry Lange. Minger wants to prohibit candidates from running paid ads, which is blatantly unconstitutional, and Lange wants to end voting by mail in Washington, a particularly confounding position during a pandemic.

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.



State Treasurer

Mike Pellicciotti photo


Mike Pellicciotti has served in the Washington state House representing the 30th Legislative District since 2016 and is now running for Treasurer. Pellicciotti has never accepted corporate campaign donations and led efforts to make the legislature's records open for public view. He also wrote the Corporate Crime Act that increases financial penalties by 100 times and has successfully supported laws reducing property taxes.

Pellicciotti is challenging incumbent Republican Duane Davidson, who supports Trump for President. In 2016, incumbent Jim McIntire retired leaving the seat open. Because of the crowded primary, two Republicans made it through to the general election, giving them control of the Treasurer's office for the first time since 1957. Davidson previously served as the Benton County Treasurer from 2003 to 2016. In his term, he has been a traditional Republican and has referred to the state legislature "raiding" the Rainy Day Fund. He has also only attended 3 of 18 critical pension meetings since fall 2017.

Pellicciotti was a strong legislator and is the best choice in the race for Washington State Treasurer.



State Auditor

Pat McCarthy photo
Democrat


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.

Recently, 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 Democrat Joshua Casey and Republican Chris Leyba. Casey is a CPA who wants to bring his financial expertise to the auditor's office. Leyba is a former police detective who currently runs an animal rescue on his farm. If elected, he would prioritize buying from Washington businesses and saving taxpayer dollars.

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.



Attorney General

Bob Ferguson photo
Democrat


Attorney General Bob Ferguson's accomplishments during his two terms in office 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. He has sued the Trump administration 50 times as of October 2019 and won every completed case (22 by his own count). Some of Ferguson's biggest accomplishments from the past few years include protecting consumer medical data, protecting statewide water quality from Trump's erosive environmental policies, and fighting back against the Trump administration's child detention laws.

Ferguson is running against Republicans Brett Rogers, Mike Vaska, and Matt Larkin. Rogers states that with over 20 years of law enforcement experience, including time with the Seattle Police Department, he would be well-suited to research and set criminal justice policy. A member of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Vaska's priorities include reducing regulations for business and streamlining the permitting process. Larkin states that he's running to prioritize "the homeless situation" that "no one is doing anything about," and promises to empower law enforcement while making Washington more business-friendly.

Ferguson is the clear progressive choice for Attorney General of Washington.



Commissioner of Public Lands

Hilary Franz photo
Democrat


Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz has been a proactive force for protecting our communities from climate change. As the head of the Washington Department of Natural Resources, she has focused on wildfire management and climate action.

This year, Franz released a climate resilience plan for rural Washington that includes expanding wind and solar farms and massive reforestation. Given the statewide threat and impact of wildfires with recent record-setting fire seasons, she has also worked on a 20-year forest health plan and a 10-year fire protection plan.

Franz is running against six other candidates: Frank Wallbrown, Sue Kuehl Pederson, Maryam Abasbarzy, Kelsey Reyes, Steve Sharon, and Cameron Whitney. Wallbrown and Asasbarzy have no campaign details available. Republican Pederson is the former chair of the Grays Harbor Republican Party and says she's running to bring new leadership to the office and balance the state's economy and ecology. Libertarian Reyes works in the restaurant industry and has no concrete campaign details or website available. Finally, Republican Sharon is running to investigate the effects of 5G towers, and Republican Whitney is running to follow Trump's suggestion of raking forests to stop forest fires.

Franz has the experience we need to guide and protect our state from increasingly dangerous fire seasons to the rising threat of climate inaction. Vote Franz for Commissioner of Public Lands.



Superintendent of Public Instruction

Chris Reykdal photo
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's schools navigate the pandemic. He made the tough decision early to close schools for the year to keep kids and families safe and 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 a handful of opponents in this non-partisan race: conservative Ron Higgins, former Republican legislative candidate Maia Espinoza, Dennis Wick, Stan Lippman, and David Spring. Espinoza has garnered attention by publishing a false and inflammatory voters pamphlet statement attacking Reykdal. Lippman is a disbarred lawyer and anti-vaccination advocate, Spring doesn't think we should have closed schools during the pandemic, and Higgins wants to inject religious teachings into public education. Wick is a former member of the Snohomish School District Board of Directors who wants to modernize our school system.

Reykdal is the clear choice for Superintendent of Public Instruction.



Insurance Commissioner

Mike Kreidler photo
Democrat


Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has spent his entire career serving the people of Washington. Prior to running for statewide office, Kreider was a doctor of optometry, state legislator, and 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 Obamacare 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 running against Republican Chirayu Avinash Patel and Libertarian Anthony Welti. Patel wants to model the office of the insurance commissioner based on a hybrid of the Ronald Reagan and Thomas Jefferson administrations, though he gives few details on what this would mean. Welti is running on a vaguely anti-corruption platform and wants to allow insurance companies to offer cheaper plans with fewer protections for consumers.

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



Legislative Races

Depending on where you live, you may have one of the below legislative races on your ballot.

30th Legislative District

State Representative, Position #1

Jamila Taylor photo
Democrat

Electeds For Justice
Evergreen Future


Jamila Taylor is running for the 30th Legislative District, House Position 1, to succeed Rep. Mike Pellicciotti, who is running for state Treasurer. Taylor is an attorney who advocates for crime victims and has an extensive record of volunteer service. She served as the statewide advocacy counsel for the Northwest Justice Project, where she managed a network of legal aid attorneys, and has worked on youth intervention programs and other violence reduction efforts. Taylor's progressive campaign platform includes increasing affordable housing, reducing the cost of prescription drugs, and improving transparency in government.

Taylor is running against Democrat Cheryl Hurst, Republican Janis Clark, and Independent Republican Martin Moore. Hurst runs two small nonprofits: The March of Diapers and The Paving the Way program. Clark is running on a conservative platform of reducing property taxes and responsibly funding education without offering any detailed plans for doing so. Moore is a Federal Way City council member and the Executive Director of Audiobook Ministries. While running as an Independent, Moore has a conservative platform. In particular, he has sometimes aligned himself with socially conservative former Sen. Mark Miloscia, who lost his race after years of inflammatory comments about abortion and LGBTQ members of the community.

Jamila Taylor is the best choice in the race for the 30th Legislative District, House Position 1.



State Representative, Position #2

Jesse Johnson photo
Democrat

Evergreen Future


Rep. Jesse Johnson is running for re-election to the 30th Legislative District, House Position 2. Rep. Johnson previously served as a member of the Federal Way City Council before being appointed to the legislature in January. He also works as a staffing analyst in workforce planning and development for Highline Public Schools and has sponsored multiple bills to support at-risk youth. This year, Rep. Johnson sponsored legislation to prohibit race-based hair discrimination and supported gun safety legislation, as well as establishing a student loan program for undocumented students.

Johnson is running a strong re-election campaign promoting equitable access to quality education for every student, affordability for working families and seniors, and improving services to help homeless and housing-unstable individuals.

Johnson is running against Republicans Mark Greene, Jack Walsh, and Chris Dowllar. Greene is using his campaign social media to call for the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice John Roberts and is not a serious candidate. Walsh owns an ice cream shop in Federal Way and has twice led advisory vote campaigns to prevent retail marijuana shops from expanding to Federal Way. Dowllar does not have a campaign presence as of mid-June.

Rep. Johnson is a strong progressive and deserves your vote.



33rd Legislative District

State Representative, Position #1

Tina Orwall photo
Democrat

Evergreen Future


Rep. Tina Orwall is running for re-election in the 33rd Legislative District, House Position 1. In Olympia, Orwall is the lead on a suicide prevention task force and has sponsored a bill that would provide suicide prevention training and messaging in firearm literature. This year, she sponsored legislation to prevent race-based hairstyle discrimination and requiring the state to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Rep. Orwall is running unopposed and deserves your vote.



State Representative, Position #2

Mia Su-Ling Gregerson photo

Evergreen Future


Rep. Mia Gregerson is running for re-election for the 33rd Legislative District, House Position 2. Gregerson is a Democrat with a long record of advocating for transportation in SeaTac, where she has fought for light rail infrastructure, safe and complete streets, and transit-oriented development. She was the prime sponsor of the House version of the Washington Voting Rights Act. This year, Rep. Gregerson sponsored legislation to prohibit race-based hair discrimination and establish the Washington state Office of Equity.

Also in this race is Libertarian Marliza Melzer, who is not running a strong campaign as of mid-June but has used her personal Facebook to call for Washington state to re-open unsafely.

Rep. Gregerson is the best choice in this race and deserves your vote.