Kittitas County

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Return Ballots by Tuesday, August 4th

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, 8th Congressional District

U.S. Representative

Kim Schrier photo
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 and 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 coronavirus pandemic. Schrier held over 50 town halls in her first term and is endorsed by numerous progressive partner organizations and Democratic elected officials.

Also in this race are Democrats James Mitchell and Keith Arnold, Independent Corey Bailey, Republicans Jesse Jensen and Keith Swank, Trump Republican Dave Saulibio, and Ryan Dean Burkett, who states he has no party preference. Mitchell is an anti-choice Democrat who describes himself as "old school" and believes vaccines are dangerous. Arnold is a perennial anti-choice candidate who has been on the ballot in every election since 2008. Bailey wants to prioritize re-opening Washington state in the face of the coronavirus epidemic, which public health experts agree is not safe.

Jensen is a manager at Amazon and a former Army captain who was recruited by Republicans to run in this district. He claims he will protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and lower the cost of health care but doesn't offer any substantial policy ideas. Swank is a police officer and commander of the Metro Special Response Section who wants to make the Trump tax cuts that benefited big corporations permanent. Saulibio also ran for Congress in 2018 and pledges to support all legislative actions that support Trump.

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



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.



13th Legislative District

State Senator

No Good Choices

Incumbent Curtis King is running unopposed for this position. King has carried out a conservative agenda in Olympia, including voting against climate action bills aimed at curbing greenhouse gas pollution, as well as fighting against vaccination efforts, automatic voter registration, public health care, and other progressive priorities.

Write in a candidate of your choice for senator.


State Representative, Position #1

Eduardo Castañeda-Díaz photo


Eduardo Castañeda-Díaz is running against incumbent Tom Dent for state House in the 13th Legislative District. As a specialist in the U.S. Army, Castañeda-Díaz states that he has five top priorities if elected: environmental protection and agriculture, civil rights, health care, education, and economic justice. His platform includes a wide range of policies and goals, including the completion of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project, ending cash bail, support guaranteed low-income housing for veterans and at-need citizens. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Castañeda-Díaz advocates for providing a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to all Washington residents at zero cost.

Notably, Castañeda-Díaz says that he "does not support banning semi-automatic firearms" but does support criminal background checks.

His opponent, Rep. Tom Dent, has often voted against the needs of his constituents. Dent voted against a goal of net-zero carbon emissions for state agencies by 2050, opposed allowing tenants to pay first- and last-month rental fees in installments to offset the affordable housing crisis, and against reducing plastic bag pollution. Dent is the ranking minority member on the Early Learning and Human Resources Committee, where has taken some good votes on issues related to child care.

Castañeda-Díaz is the best choice in this race



State Representative, Position #2

No Good Choices

Incumbent Alex Ybarra is running unopposed for this position. While we appreciate Ybarra's yes votes on making Washington a sanctuary state and prohibiting hair discrimination against Black Washingtonians, he still has a disappointing record on the environment, health care, and the economy. Ybarra voted against progressive bills such as creating a public option for health care, reducing greenhouse gas pollution, and aiming for a carbon-free Washington by 2045.

Write in a candidate of your choice for the 13th Legislative District, House Position 2.