27th Legislative District

27th Legislative District

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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

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

6th Congressional District

U.S. Representative

Derek Kilmer photo
Democrat


Rep. Derek Kilmer is running for re-election in the 6th Congressional District. He is a moderate Democrat who is a reliable supporter of creating jobs and improving infrastructure. Kilmer has been a leader on small business development and protecting Puget Sound during his four terms in Congress. A former state Senator, he previously worked as a business consultant and economic development official.

In Congress, Kilmer is a sponsor of a clean Dream Act in support of immigrants who arrived in the country as children with their undocumented parents. He supports common sense gun safety legislation and co-sponsored the Voter Empowerment Act, an online voter registration act that helps keep voting rights equitable. Kilmer has also worked on several environmental bills, including the Wild Olympics Wilderness & Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. This year, he supported coronavirus relief as well as the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.

Kilmer has been a reliable vote in Congress and has earned strong support from progressive advocacy organizations for his re-election. Kilmer is the best choice for the 6th Congressional District.



Other Candidates

Also running in this race are Democrat Rebecca Parson and Republicans Elizabeth Kreiselmaier, Chris Welton, Stephan Brodhead, and Johny Alberg.

Parson is the leading progressive among these challengers. She is a small business owner and former instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She is running on an extremely progressive platform that includes a Green New Deal with 100% renewable energy by 2030, protecting and expanding Social Security, national rent control, universal basic income of $2,000 a month, paid family leave, and Medicare for All. Parson is supported by Brand New Congress and the Washington State Progressive Caucus.

Kreiselmaier believes Democrats have been killing jobs and rewarding "wrong behaviors." Her platform is conservative and includes policies like upholding the Second Amendment and making drug prices affordable through competition and transparency. Welton does not have a strong campaign platform. Brodhead is an aircraft technician who wants to reduce carbon emissions and bring construction jobs to the district. Alberg has worked a variety of jobs including as a logger and agricultural housing maintenance and is not running on a strong campaign platform.

9th Congressional District

U.S. Representative

Adam Smith photo
Democrat


Rep. Adam Smith has been a reliable vote in Congress on progressive issues from taxation to immigration reform. He represents Washington's most diverse district, which is home to 30 percent foreign-born residents and large Asian, Hispanic, and Black communities. Smith is an advocate for greater equality, and 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 but has always run as a Republican and believes the Democratic caucus has "literally held Americans hostage" during the coronavirus pandemic. 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.



10th Congressional District

U.S. Representative

Beth Doglio photo
Democrat


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

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

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



Kristine Reeves photo
Democrat


First elected in 2016, former state Rep. Kristine Reeves is also running for the open 10th Congressional District seat. She is the Director of Economic Development for the Military and Defense sector for Washington state, where she has helped secure millions of dollars for small businesses and local infrastructure. In the Legislature, Reeves has been a champion for paid family and medical leave, gun safety, and making childcare more affordable. She took a more cautious approach than Doglio to several pieces of legislation, including voting against taxing polluters and increasing protections for tenants. 

In her Fuse interview, Reeves said her life experience would guide her priorities and decision making in Congress. She is motivated to address affordable housing and homelessness by her experience growing up as a foster child and being homeless herself at times. She supports universal health care and points to her own health care emergency that nearly left her bankrupt as a young adult. Reeves also stated that she is the only leading candidate in the race with foreign policy experience.

If elected, Reeves would be the first Black person elected to Congress from Washington in our state's 131-year history.



Other Candidates

This open congressional seat attracted a very large field of candidates, including Democrats Phil Gardner, Marilyn Strickland, and Eric LeMay, Republicans Jackson Maynard, Rian Ingrim, and Dean Johnson, and Joshua Collins, who prefers the Essential Workers party.

Former Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland is running as a moderate Democrat focused on the COVID-19 response and economic rebuilding. Her pandemic response plan focuses on producing medical equipment, helping people get back to work, and massive investments in infrastructure.

However, we are concerned with several parts of Strickland's record that skew in favor of corporations over working families. As Mayor of Tacoma, Strickland was an obstacle to progressive efforts to improve workers' sick leave and raise the minimum wage. As the head of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Strickland worked last fall to help their PAC spend millions of dollars backing a slate of more conservative, business-friendly candidates. Thankfully, progressives were able to defeat nearly all of their candidates.

The other leading candidate in this race is Phil Gardner, who worked for Rep. Denny Heck for 10 years. Gardner impressed in his Fuse interview, laying out a bold progressive platform that includes a Green New Deal and large investments in affordable housing. If elected, Gardner would be the first openly LGBTQ person elected to Congress from Washington.

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.



27th Legislative District

State Senator

Jeannie Darneille photo


Sen. Jeannie Darneille is running for re-election in the 27th Legislative District. Sen. Darneille has been a strong advocate in her 12 years in the House and six years in the Senate, particularly for families who are struggling to make ends meet. She is a champion of women, people with disabilities, health care access, and expanded economic opportunities for all. This year, Sen. Darneille sponsored legislation requiring schools to incorporate curriculum on local tribal history and voted to prohibit discrimination based on citizenship or immigration status.

Also in this race is Republican Kyle Paskewitz. Paskewitz is the Executive Director of Parentalink, a nonprofit organization. He is anti-choice and wants to cut taxes rather than reform our upside-down tax code. Paskewitz's campaign social media includes pictures of the protests to recklessly re-open Washington state before it was safe to do so.

Sen. Darneille is a strong progressive and has earned your vote.



State Representative, Position #1

Laurie Jinkins photo
Democrat


Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins is running for re-election to the 27th Legislative District, House Position 1. Jinkins is the first woman LBGTQ Speaker of the House in Washington and has been a passionate and effective champion for progressive values, particularly in her fight for women, equality, and closing tax loopholes. She was the first lesbian to serve openly in the state Legislature and helped pass marriage equality. Jinkins also sponsored bills to improve education funding and secured funding for a new low-income health clinic in Hilltop. Rep. Jinkins has advocated for a capital gains excise tax on the wealthy that would fund schools. This year, Speaker Jinkins oversaw the passage of progressive legislation as well as emergency funding to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Jinkins is being challenged by Ryan Talen, a Democrat who doesn't have a strong campaign presence.

Speaker Jinkins is the obvious choice in this race and deserves your vote.



State Representative, Position #2

Jake Fey photo
Democrat

Evergreen Future


Rep. Jake Fey is running for re-election to the 27th Legislative District, House Position 2. He is a reliable progressive who has championed youth, environmental, and education issues in Olympia. As the son of German immigrants who helped raise his younger siblings at age 13 when his father passed away, Rep. Fey is very committed to ensuring future generations of Washingtonians have the support they need to succeed. This year Fey sponsored a Green Transportation bill designed to move Washington towards more sustainable and cleaner ways of traveling.

Also in this race is Independent Barry Knowles, a perennial candidate whose campaign materials have not been updated since 2016.

Rep. Fey is the clear choice in this race.



Pierce County

Pierce County Executive

Larry Seaquist photo
Democrat


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

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

Seaquist is by far the better choice in this race.



Pierce County Sheriff

No Good Choices

We are disappointed that we are unable to recommend any of the candidates in this race. None of the candidates are progressive, and our research has led us to have serious concerns about each of them. No one in this race has outlined a plan for reforming the Pierce County Sheriff's department. Especially in light of the killing of Manuel Ellis by law enforcement officers, we believe much stronger action is needed to restrict the use of deadly force, increase independent oversight, and redirect funding to community-based alternatives as outlined in the Electeds For Justice platform.

Doug Richardson is a 32-year Army veteran and the current Republican chair of the Pierce County Council. He was first elected to the Pierce County Council in 2012 after serving 17 years on the Lakewood City Council. He's the only candidate in the race without extensive law enforcement experience, though he has worked closely with the sheriff's department during his time in elected office. Richardson is a traditional law and order Republican who has been endorsed by the Pierce County Deputy Sheriff’s Independent Guild and would likely maintain the status quo.

Ed Troyer has served as the high-profile spokesperson for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department for 19 years. In addition to his work with the sheriff's department, Troyer has served as the executive director of CrimeStoppers for 17 years. He has a long track record of defending police violence and has been criticized for his role in the department's lack of transparency and failure to comply with I-940 after Ellis's killing.

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

Darin Harris is also an Army veteran who worked for both the police and fire departments in Detroit before joining the Department of Defense as a federal police officer. He has not outlined a reform proposal, does not have experience leading a department, and does not appear to be running a viable campaign. 

We look forward to supporting a progressive candidate committed to reform in the future. 


Pierce County Council

Pierce County Council, District #2

Sarah Rumbaugh photo
Democrat


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

Rumbaugh is running against Republican Sen. Hans Zeiger. First elected in 2010, Zeiger has been a party-line Republican in Olympia in opposing a host of commonsense reforms. He voted against raising the minimum wage, opposed closing tax loopholes to fund education, and voted against ensuring equal pay for women. Based on his 10-year voting record, Zeiger would be an obstacle to progress on the Pierce County Council.

Rumbaugh is the clear choice for Pierce County Council in District 2



Pierce County Council, District #3

Yanah Cook photo
Democrat


Yanah G. Cook is a small business owner and farm owner in McKenna. She first got involved in local politics by attending Fire District Commission meetings and learning about the shortages of equipment that local first responders face. If elected, her priorities would be protecting water rights from big developers, supporting small farms, and supporting first responders. In addition, she wants to make county council meetings more accessible by holding more of them outside Tacoma and after business hours.


Endorsed By: Teamsters Joint Council 28, Washington Conservation Voters , Washington Education Association, Firefighters Local 726, Pierce County Democrats (dual)


Marcus Young photo
Democrat


Democrat Marcus Young's priorities include addressing homelessness, improving transportation, and reforming the criminal justice system. As District 4 sees rapid growth and sprawl, Young wants to expand public transportation to reduce traffic and provide better access to jobs for working families. In addition, he wants to eliminate cash bail, which unfairly leaves many innocent people stuck in jail before their trial, and look for ways to have trained professionals other than law enforcement respond to non-violent 911 calls.

If elected, Young would be the only person of color on the Pierce County Council and the second Black member ever. 



Other Candidates

Also in this race are Republicans Amy Cruver and Joe Zaichkin. Cruver spent 14 years as the assistant to incumbent Republican Councilmember Jim McCune, who is retiring and endorsed Cruver. She is running on a very conservative and punitive anti-crime platform that would needlessly put homeless people in prison. Zaichkin wants to put his experience in customer service to use helping constituents navigate local rules and regulations. He also wants to re-open the county before public health experts think it's safe to do so.

Pierce County Council, District #4

Ryan Mello photo
Democrat


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

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

Mello is running against Democrats Preston Anderson and Tim Farrell and Independent Javier H. Figueroa. Anderson is a clinical social worker in Tacoma who wants to bring his expertise working in behavioral health and homelessness to the Pierce County Council. In addition, Anderson wants to expedite light rail construction and increase funding for Pierce Transit. Farrell is a former Pierce County Councilmember and County Charter Review commission member who is running again because he believes experienced leadership is particularly important at this moment. His priorities would be to avoid budget cuts, ensure services are targeted in the right places, and improve food security. Figueroa is a member of the University Place City Council and is focused on supporting small businesses, protecting the environment, and reducing child-trafficking.

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



Pierce County Council, District #6

Jani Hitchen photo
Democrat


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

Hitchen is facing corporate real estate attorney and Lakewood Deputy Mayor Jason Whalen. He's running on a conservative platform that lacks substantive details about how he would help the county recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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