17th Legislative District

17th Legislative District

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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, 3rd Congressional District

U.S. Representative

Carolyn Long photo
Democrat


Carolyn Long has taught Southwest Washington’s students for 24 years at WSU Vancouver. She is challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler. Long ran against Herrera Beutler in 2018 and is well-positioned to build off that strong campaign and win this year.

Long's platform includes critically-important health care policies, including protecting people with pre-existing conditions, defending the Affordable Care Act, and providing substantive and equitable health care for those with addiction and mental health issues. She is also prioritizing treating gun violence as a public health crisis, caring for veterans, reforming the tax code to make it more equitable for working families, and protecting Medicare and Social Security.

Long's opponent, Herrera Beutler, is a conservative Republican who votes with Trump more than 80% of the time. Despite taking a few key votes to appear more moderate, Herrera Beutler is actually very conservative. While she voted against one bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act, she has stated she still wants to overturn the law, which provides health care to millions of Americans. Herrera Beutler was also the only member of Congress from Washington to support the Trump administration's cruel immigration bill and she refused to vote for the Voting Rights Advancement Act.

Herrera Beutler has been criticized by her constituents in the past for her refusal to hold town halls and be held accountable for the harmful votes she has taken. More recently, she voted against the COVID-19 relief in the HEROES Act, denying her constituents needed additional cash payments, funding for additional testing and treatment, support for the Postal Service, hazard pay for medical and frontline workers, and expanded SNAP benefits.

Also in this race are Democrats Devin Gray and Davy Ray, as well as Martin Hash, who states he does not have a party preference. Ray wants to prioritize creating jobs after the pandemic, making health care a right not a privilege, and dismissing the Electoral College. Hash does not have a strong campaign presence but does believe liberty means suffering the consequences of your own actions. Gray did not submit any information to the Voters Guide and has no campaign information available.

Long is the best 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 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
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 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
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 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
Democrat


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
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: 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
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, 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.



17th Legislative District

State Senator

Daniel Smith photo
Democrat

Evergreen Future


Democrat Daniel Smith is challenging Republican incumbent Sen. Lynda Wilson in the 17th Legislative District. Smith has been a social worker for more than two decades and currently manages the southwest Washington office for Community Health Plan of Washington, a local non-profit. If elected, he wants to put his career in health care to work by advocating for more social services and better mental health care, as well as more affordable housing and early childhood education.

Incumbent Sen. Wilson has already established a long track record of bad votes in her first term alone, including voting against regulations for domestic violence crimes, police use of force laws, establishing background checks for firearm transfers, and much more. Wilson has been bad on health care and reproductive rights and even said that the science on whether vaccines are safe is "not settled" while her district faced a measles outbreak. Wilson also generated controversy recently when she told The Columbian that she was storing 100 coronavirus antibody tests in her home.

The 17th Legislative District deserves better representation than Lynda Wilson. Daniel Smith is the clear choice for state Senate.



State Representative, Position #1

Tanisha Harris photo
Democrat

Evergreen Future


Democrat Tanisha Harris is challenging far-right incumbent Republican Rep. Vicki Kraft for the Position 1 state representative seat. Harris spent a decade working for the Evergreen School District and now works as a Court Appointed Special Advocate program specialist with the YWCA Clark County. Her priorities include supporting low-income and workplace housing to tackle the state's homelessness and housing affordability crisis, reducing gun violence, and making additional investments in education.

Her opponent, Rep. Kraft, worked for the virulently anti-worker Freedom Foundation and spent the early months of the pandemic trying to re-open the state months before public health experts said it was safe. In the Legislature, Kraft has one of the most far-right voting records in the House. This session, she was a leading opponent of comprehensive sex education and broader vaccination of students. Kraft is zealously opposed to abortion and voted against legislation requiring insurance companies to cover all women's health care. In addition, she opposed several LGBTQ equality bills and the Washington Voting Rights Act.

Kraft's battle against common-sense public health standards is appalling but especially bad during a pandemic. Harris, on the other hand, has the overwhelming support of labor, reproductive rights organizations, environmental groups, and more, and is by far the best choice in this race.



State Representative, Position #2

No Good Choices

There are no good choices in this race. Incumbent Republican Rep. Paul Harris is running to keep regulation and taxes low on business. As the Republican Caucus Chair, Harris will continue pushing for conservative priorities in Olympia. His challenger, Republican Bryan White, does not have a campaign website with any details available.

Write in a candidate of your choice for the 17th Legislative District, House Position 2.


Clark County Council

Clark County Council, District #3

Jesse James photo
Democrat


Democrat Jesse James is challenging incumbent John Blom for Clark County Council, Position 3. James' top priorities include ensuring that development doesn't become urban sprawl and reforming law enforcement. Specifically, James wants to remove qualified immunity from officers and create a crisis intervention program so that medics and crisis workers can attend to non-violent and non-emergency 911 calls. In his interview with the Fuse local council, James emphasized the need to make as few cuts as possible to social services in the upcoming reduced budget, support ADUs and affordable housing, and push back against widespread, non-dense development in the county.

James is running against incumbent John Blom, who has served as a fairly moderate voice on the council in his first term. Elected as a Republican in 2016, Blom is now running with no party preference. In our interview with Blom, he stated that his top priorities are affordable housing, livable communities, and the budget. While Blom is also focused on growth and transportation, he has not - and is not expected to - support more progressive ideas for the county.

Vote Jesse James for Clark County Council, Position 3.



Clark County Council, District #4

Matt Little photo
Independent


Independent Matt Little is running against incumbent Republican Gary Medvigy for the Clark County Council, District 4 seat. Little has worked in D.C. as an advisor on agricultural and land use issues and was a member of the bipartisan Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition. He has also served locally with sporting and conservation groups, including as executive director of Cascade Forest Conservancy. In our local council interview, Little stated his focus would be on improving growth planning, providing local jobs and services especially in light of COVID-19, and building more city centers. He emphasized his commitment to building walkable communities that maintain the county's rural character, balancing dense urban growth with farmland, and providing services for young people and those facing homelessness.

Little is running against incumbent Republican and former Army general Gary Medvigy, who was appointed to the council in 2019. Medvigy opposes taxes to the point of criticizing the Washington State Supreme Court's McCleary decision, which mandated that the state fully fund K-12 education. Medvigy has been on the wrong side of racial justice issues, including saying that he "would never take a knee or tolerate those who do" during the national anthem. While not as conservative as former seat-holder Eileen Quiring, Medvigy would not push for most progressive policies.

Little is the best choice in this race.