Walla Walla County

Walla Walla 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.


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

4th Congressional District

U.S. Representative

Douglas McKinley photo

Douglas McKinley is challenging Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse in the 4th Congressional District. McKinley is a very enthusiastic candidate who is running because "forty years of the same trickle-down, anti-worker, pro-corporate policies that Dan Newhouse and Donald Trump are forcing on all of us have made everyone's life harder except for a tiny cohort of multi-millionaires" and he wants to change that. McKinley is running on a platform of raising wages, decreasing rent prices, implementing a health care system that isn't tied to employment status, and transitioning to clean energy.

His opponent, incumbent Dan Newhouse, was first elected in 2014 and previously served as the Washington Director of Agriculture and in the state House of Representatives. He is very conservative and votes with President Trump 93% of the time. This year, Newhouse refused to support the $3 trillion relief package passed in response to the coronavirus pandemic and did not vote to impeach Trump.

In addition to Newhouse, the other candidates in this race are Independent Evan Jones, Libertarian Ryan Cooper, and Republicans Tracy "Justice" Wright and Sarena Sloot. Jones wants to see grassroots improvements to infrastructure, economic stimulus, and expanding both public and private personal insurance plans. Cooper is a perennial candidate who was the Benton County Coordinator for Gary Johnson's 2016 presidential campaign. He is not a viable candidate. Republican Sloot is a nurse practitioner who is running on a conservative platform including transparency of data and drug prices as well as strengthening the borders. Wright does not have a strong campaign presence but believes that every interest is a special interest. 

McKinley is the best choice in the race for Congress from the 4th Congressional District. 

5th Congressional District

U.S. Representative

Dave Wilson photo

Democrat Dave Wilson is running to push back against the effects of a Republican-run government. Wilson, who previously ran for Congress in 2014 and 2016, is a retired health care administrator. He wants to address income inequality with a $15 minimum wage that’s indexed to inflation, bolster health care, and provide a housing first approach to the homelessness crisis that affects thousands across the state. 

Wilson is challenging Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who continues to be one of the most damaging lawmakers in Washington by voting with President Trump 95 percent of the time. McMorris Rodgers has voted yes on Trump's border wall, supported his trillion-dollar corporate tax cut, and was the only representative from Washington to vote for Trump's bill to cut $800 billion from Medicaid. She voted against raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and has refused on multiple occasions to hold town halls to answer to her constituents for her votes. McMorris Rodgers also refused to hold Trump accountable during impeachment on the charges of obstruction of justice or abuse of power.

Also in this race are Independent Brendan O'Regan and Republican Stephen Major. O'Regan believes about 85% of United States citizens are good but 85% of representatives in Congress are corrupt, and is not a serious candidate. Major leads expeditions to search for Bigfoot and is challenging McMorris Rodgers on the grounds that she was too slow to support Trump in 2016.

Democrat Chris Armitage will also be on the ballot, but has officially suspended his campaign as of late July. 

Wilson is the best choice in the race for the 5th Congressional District Representative.



Jay Inslee photo

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 climate-centered focus 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 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 is one of the worst candidates for governor the state has ever seen. 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, including the most recent disaster that has 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.

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

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 said he would 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

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 as Lt. Governor 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 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 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. 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 he 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. She officially declared 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

Former port commissioner and progressive state Rep. Gael Tarleton is now running for Secretary of State, who 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 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, 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 has led efforts to make the Legislature's records open for public view. He also wrote the Corporate Crime Act, which increases financial penalties for corporate crimes by 100 times, and has successfully supported laws reducing property taxes.

Pellicciotti is challenging incumbent Republican Duane Davidson. 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 has been a solid legislator and is the best choice in the race for Washington State Treasurer.

State Auditor

Pat McCarthy photo

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

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

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: Republicans Cameron Whitney, Steve Sharon, Maryam Abasbarzy, and Sue Kuehl Pederson, Democrat Frank Wallbrown, and Libertarian Kelsey Reyes. Wallbrown and Abasbarzy have no campaign details available. Pederson is the former chair of the Grays Harbor Republican Party and says she's running to bring new leadership to the office and to balance the state's economy and ecology. Reyes works in the restaurant industry and has no concrete campaign details or website available. Finally, Sharon is running to investigate the effects of 5G towers and 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

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

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, 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.

16th Legislative District

State Senator

Danielle Garbe Reser photo

Evergreen Future

Democrat Garbe Reser is running for the state Senate seat in the 16th Legislative District, which is open after Sen. Maureen Walsh's retirement. Reser has served in several leadership roles in the community, including on Whitman’s Presidential Advisory Board and the Walla Walla YWCA’s Nominating Committee and Community Council’s Governance Committee. She notes that she has worked for both Democratic and Republican administrations through her 14-year career as a diplomat with the U.S. Department of State. She calls her platform, which focuses on community recovery and resiliency, both fiscally responsible and community-driven. She wants to help get people back to work by modernizing the electric grid and supports additional investments in early learning, affordable housing, and quality healthcare.

Garbe Reser is running against Republicans Perry Dozier and Rep. Bill Jenkin. Former Walla Walla County Commissioner Dozier is running on a pro-business, anti-regulation platform. He has seized on the coronavirus crisis as a way to criticize the governor and advance a conservative agenda. Dozier previously faced controversy for his efforts to pump water from agricultural zones to bottle and sell elsewhere.

Jenkin has served as a state representative for the 16th Legislative District for two terms. Like most Republicans, he is focused on the economic recovery of the state after the initial COVID outbreak but suggests nothing about shoring up the state's health system. He even suggested that parts of the state re-open before the first peak of the virus in April. His other campaign priorities include education and reducing regulations on farming. In the House, Jenkin cast bad votes on a slate of progressive policies, including establishing a state office of equity, reducing pollution and greenhouse gases, and funding affordable housing.

Garbe Reser is the best choice for state Senate from the 16th Legislative District.

State Representative, Position #1

Frances Chvatal photo

Evergreen Future

Frances Chvatal is running for the 16th Legislative District, House Position 1. As a nurse for more than 35 years, Chvatal lists health care as one of her top priorities. In light of the pandemic, she is pledging to ensure high-quality health care for all, as well as policies that improve mental health care access. She is supportive of wraparound services for vulnerable people, a living wage and fair hiring practices, and linking agriculture with a healthy environment.

She is running against Republican and Washington Farm Bureau director Mark Klicker. Klicker is running against the "liberal agenda" in Olympia on a platform of peeling back regulations. He states that he would stand against climate-saving measures like the carbon fuel standard and would resist policies that attempt to right the state's upside-down tax code, which puts the highest tax burden on families and people with the lowest incomes.

Chvatal is the better choice in this race.

Endorsed By: Teamsters Joint Council 28, Housing Action Fund , Young Democrats of Washington, Washington Education Association Southeast

State Representative, Position #2

Carly Coburn photo

Electeds For Justice

Democrat Carly Coburn is running for the 16th Legislative District, House Position 2. Coburn has served in several leadership positions, including as treasurer of the Tri-Cities Young Democrats, first vice-chair of the Franklin County Democrats, and as the first chair of the WSDCC Disability Issues Caucus. Her top priorities are increasing healthcare affordability and accessibility in rural communities, as well as increasing affordable housing. She states that her work as a disability advocate positions her to secure integrated housing for adults with disabilities as well as more low-income housing.

Coburn is running against incumbent Rep. Skyler Rude. Like many of his Republican colleagues, Rude is more concerned with re-opening the economy than protecting the health of his constituents, noting the "lasting financial burden" of the life-saving COVID response. One of his top priorities is "protecting business," which includes a host of worker-unfriendly practices like training wages and subminimum wages, lowering worker compensation rates for claims related to workplace injuries, and broad reduction of government regulations. Coburn is the best choice in this race.

Endorsed By: Benton, Walla Walla, and Franklin County Democrats, National Women's Political Caucus of Washington