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    Wayne Fournier

  • Wayne Fournier is running for Thurston County Commissioner, Position 4 - a new seat created this year. Born and raised in Tenino, Fournier served as a parole officer, firefighter, and city council member before being elected as Tenino's mayor in 2015.

    Fournier's platform includes preserving Thurston County's natural beauty by opposing a new airport, providing better representation for south Thurston County residents, and funding infrastructure, first responders, and local culture.

    During his years as mayor, Fournier doubled the city budget, renovated every city-owned facility, and obtained a $750,000 grant for playgrounds. He was named best mayor in Western Washington by KING5 in 2017 and gained national attention during the pandemic for starting a local currency program that gave residents wooden money to spend exclusively at businesses in the city.

    Fournier has faced a few notable scandals. He served two years in a diversion program for allegedly slapping a phone out of the hand of a local bartender in 2019. In 2020, while under his mayorship, the city of Tenino was scammed out of $280,000, leading to a recall effort. However, the recall attempt was dismissed and Tenino ended up netting $70,000 when the city sued their insurance company over the scam.

    The other candidate for this position is conservative Vivian Eason, who ran for county commissioner as a Republican in 2022. Eason is a retired army veteran who previously worked with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office. She blames the commonsense accountability measures that Washington placed on police for peoples' struggle with drug addiction and homelessness and would make funding police her top priority. She has also been present at events with far-right MAGA Republican Joe Kent.

    Although his career is not free of controversy, Fournier's mayorship has shown his support for labor unions and funding the public infrastructure that helps our communities thrive. Fournier is the best choice in this race.
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-19

    Wayne Fournier

    Wayne Fournier is running for Thurston County Commissioner, Position 4 - a new seat created this year. Born and raised in Tenino, Fournier served as a parole officer, firefighter, and city council member before being elected as Tenino's mayor in 2015.

    Wayne Fournier is running for Thurston County Commissioner, Position 4 - a new seat created this year. Born and raised in Tenino, Fournier served as a parole officer, firefighter, and city council member before being elected as Tenino's mayor in 2015.

    Fournier's platform includes preserving Thurston County's natural beauty by opposing a new airport, providing better representation for south Thurston County residents, and funding infrastructure, first responders, and local culture.

    During his years as mayor, Fournier doubled the city budget, renovated every city-owned facility, and obtained a $750,000 grant for playgrounds. He was named best mayor in Western Washington by KING5 in 2017 and gained national attention during the pandemic for starting a local currency program that gave residents wooden money to spend exclusively at businesses in the city.

    Fournier has faced a few notable scandals. He served two years in a diversion program for allegedly slapping a phone out of the hand of a local bartender in 2019. In 2020, while under his mayorship, the city of Tenino was scammed out of $280,000, leading to a recall effort. However, the recall attempt was dismissed and Tenino ended up netting $70,000 when the city sued their insurance company over the scam.

    The other candidate for this position is conservative Vivian Eason, who ran for county commissioner as a Republican in 2022. Eason is a retired army veteran who previously worked with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office. She blames the commonsense accountability measures that Washington placed on police for peoples' struggle with drug addiction and homelessness and would make funding police her top priority. She has also been present at events with far-right MAGA Republican Joe Kent.

    Although his career is not free of controversy, Fournier's mayorship has shown his support for labor unions and funding the public infrastructure that helps our communities thrive. Fournier is the best choice in this race.
     

    Wayne Fournier

    Wayne Fournier is running for Thurston County Commissioner, Position 4 - a new seat created this year. Born and raised in Tenino, Fournier served as a parole officer, firefighter, and city council member before being elected as Tenino's mayor in 2015.

  • Endorsed By: Sierra Club, Teamsters Joint Council 28, Thurston County Union Firefighters IAFF 3825, Thurston County Democrats, Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council

County Commission

Depending on where you live, you may have the following county races on your ballot.

  • Wayne Fournier is running for Thurston County Commissioner, Position 4 - a new seat created this year. Born and raised in Tenino, Fournier served as a parole officer, firefighter, and city council member before being elected as Tenino's mayor in 2015.

    Fournier's platform includes preserving Thurston County's natural beauty by opposing a new airport, providing better representation for south Thurston County residents, and funding infrastructure, first responders, and local culture.

    During his years as mayor, Fournier doubled the city budget, renovated every city-owned facility, and obtained a $750,000 grant for playgrounds. He was named best mayor in Western Washington by KING5 in 2017 and gained national attention during the pandemic for starting a local currency program that gave residents wooden money to spend exclusively at businesses in the city.

    Fournier has faced a few notable scandals. He served two years in a diversion program for allegedly slapping a phone out of the hand of a local bartender in 2019. In 2020, while under his mayorship, the city of Tenino was scammed out of $280,000, leading to a recall effort. However, the recall attempt was dismissed and Tenino ended up netting $70,000 when the city sued their insurance company over the scam.

    The other candidate for this position is conservative Vivian Eason, who ran for county commissioner as a Republican in 2022. Eason is a retired army veteran who previously worked with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office. She blames the commonsense accountability measures that Washington placed on police for peoples' struggle with drug addiction and homelessness and would make funding police her top priority. She has also been present at events with far-right MAGA Republican Joe Kent.

    Although his career is not free of controversy, Fournier's mayorship has shown his support for labor unions and funding the public infrastructure that helps our communities thrive. Fournier is the best choice in this race.
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-19

    Wayne Fournier

    Wayne Fournier is running for Thurston County Commissioner, Position 4 - a new seat created this year. Born and raised in Tenino, Fournier served as a parole officer, firefighter, and city council member before being elected as Tenino's mayor in 2015.

    Wayne Fournier is running for Thurston County Commissioner, Position 4 - a new seat created this year. Born and raised in Tenino, Fournier served as a parole officer, firefighter, and city council member before being elected as Tenino's mayor in 2015.

    Fournier's platform includes preserving Thurston County's natural beauty by opposing a new airport, providing better representation for south Thurston County residents, and funding infrastructure, first responders, and local culture.

    During his years as mayor, Fournier doubled the city budget, renovated every city-owned facility, and obtained a $750,000 grant for playgrounds. He was named best mayor in Western Washington by KING5 in 2017 and gained national attention during the pandemic for starting a local currency program that gave residents wooden money to spend exclusively at businesses in the city.

    Fournier has faced a few notable scandals. He served two years in a diversion program for allegedly slapping a phone out of the hand of a local bartender in 2019. In 2020, while under his mayorship, the city of Tenino was scammed out of $280,000, leading to a recall effort. However, the recall attempt was dismissed and Tenino ended up netting $70,000 when the city sued their insurance company over the scam.

    The other candidate for this position is conservative Vivian Eason, who ran for county commissioner as a Republican in 2022. Eason is a retired army veteran who previously worked with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office. She blames the commonsense accountability measures that Washington placed on police for peoples' struggle with drug addiction and homelessness and would make funding police her top priority. She has also been present at events with far-right MAGA Republican Joe Kent.

    Although his career is not free of controversy, Fournier's mayorship has shown his support for labor unions and funding the public infrastructure that helps our communities thrive. Fournier is the best choice in this race.
     

    Wayne Fournier

    Wayne Fournier is running for Thurston County Commissioner, Position 4 - a new seat created this year. Born and raised in Tenino, Fournier served as a parole officer, firefighter, and city council member before being elected as Tenino's mayor in 2015.

  • Endorsed By: Sierra Club, Teamsters Joint Council 28, Thurston County Union Firefighters IAFF 3825, Thurston County Democrats, Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council
  • Emily Clouse is running for Thurston County Commission to represent the newly-created District 5. Clouse is the executive director of CARE Olympia, a nonprofit that connects formerly-incarcerated youth with counseling, education, and mutual aid. She is also a union member through her work in human services, and she is a veteran of the U.S. Army, where she worked as a military intelligence analyst.

    If elected, Clouse would prioritize funding programs that serve youth and families, protecting the environment, and ensuring working people can all access affordable homes. Her platform contains bold, progressive proposals like powering utilities through renewable public power instead of wealthy fossil fuel corporations, bringing social housing and mandatory affordable housing to the county, and creating a new board with the sheriff's office to include the voices of people impacted by the legal system. While she works to create more housing that working people can afford, she would also fund case managers to work with residents of existing camps and RV settlements to help them transition to permanent homes.

    Terry S. Ballard is Clouse’s conservative opponent for Thurston County Commission, District 5. He believes climate change is not a “here and now” issue and has made very divisive statements regarding people struggling with addiction. If elected, he would prioritize removing county offices from Olympia and allowing developers to build on land without mitigating their impact on the habitats of protected species. 

    Clouse's strong emphasis on racial equity and her dedication to restorative justice makes her an excellent choice to represent Thurston County, District 5. 
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-19

    Emily Clouse

    Emily Clouse is running for Thurston County Commission to represent the newly-created District 5. Clouse is the executive director of CARE Olympia, a nonprofit that connects formerly-incarcerated youth with counseling, education, and mutual aid.

    Emily Clouse is running for Thurston County Commission to represent the newly-created District 5. Clouse is the executive director of CARE Olympia, a nonprofit that connects formerly-incarcerated youth with counseling, education, and mutual aid. She is also a union member through her work in human services, and she is a veteran of the U.S. Army, where she worked as a military intelligence analyst.

    If elected, Clouse would prioritize funding programs that serve youth and families, protecting the environment, and ensuring working people can all access affordable homes. Her platform contains bold, progressive proposals like powering utilities through renewable public power instead of wealthy fossil fuel corporations, bringing social housing and mandatory affordable housing to the county, and creating a new board with the sheriff's office to include the voices of people impacted by the legal system. While she works to create more housing that working people can afford, she would also fund case managers to work with residents of existing camps and RV settlements to help them transition to permanent homes.

    Terry S. Ballard is Clouse’s conservative opponent for Thurston County Commission, District 5. He believes climate change is not a “here and now” issue and has made very divisive statements regarding people struggling with addiction. If elected, he would prioritize removing county offices from Olympia and allowing developers to build on land without mitigating their impact on the habitats of protected species. 

    Clouse's strong emphasis on racial equity and her dedication to restorative justice makes her an excellent choice to represent Thurston County, District 5. 
     

    Emily Clouse

    Emily Clouse is running for Thurston County Commission to represent the newly-created District 5. Clouse is the executive director of CARE Olympia, a nonprofit that connects formerly-incarcerated youth with counseling, education, and mutual aid.

  • Endorsed By: SEIU 775, Sierra Club, WA Federation of State Employees, Thurston County Democrats
  • Jasmine Vasavada is running in District 1 for the Port of Olympia seat being vacated by the retiring Commissioner Joe Downing. Vasavada is the director of policy and government affairs for the Washington State Department of Commerce where she strives to help Washington communities and economies thrive. She has worked in public service for years and, before that, she used her law degree for public interest advocacy and legislation.

    Vasavada is running on a broadly progressive platform to generate community economic prosperity, protect Thurston’s ecosystem, and build a culture of diversity and belonging at the port. She wants to invest in broadband for rural farms and ranches, innovate support for small businesses, create living wage jobs, clean up Budd Bay, restore the Deschutes Estuary, and collaborate with the community, including seeking partnerships with tribal governments. In this race, Vasavada has been endorsed by progressive elected leaders at the state and local level and by community organizations including political, labor, and advocacy groups.

    Vasavada is facing Bill McGregor, a former commissioner who served on Olympia’s elected port commission for 15 years. Before that, he spent his decades-long career working at a number of different Washington ports in high-level operations positions, including at the Port of Olympia. McGregor is also active on a number of community boards. If elected to serve again, he wants to improve economic investment in the community, prioritize environmental stewardship, and lead by engaging the community. Unfortunately, in 2021, McGregor vocally opposed public health guidelines that were put in place to keep us all safe during the pandemic.

    We recommend Vasavada for Port of Olympia, District 1 because of her strong platform and impressive endorsements from progressive advocates.
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-12

    Jasmine Vasavada

    Submitted by airtable on Mon, 10/09/2023 - 14:22

    Jasmine Vasavada is running in District 1 for the Port of Olympia seat being vacated by the retiring Commissioner Joe Downing.

    Jasmine Vasavada is running in District 1 for the Port of Olympia seat being vacated by the retiring Commissioner Joe Downing. Vasavada is the director of policy and government affairs for the Washington State Department of Commerce where she strives to help Washington communities and economies thrive. She has worked in public service for years and, before that, she used her law degree for public interest advocacy and legislation.

    Vasavada is running on a broadly progressive platform to generate community economic prosperity, protect Thurston’s ecosystem, and build a culture of diversity and belonging at the port. She wants to invest in broadband for rural farms and ranches, innovate support for small businesses, create living wage jobs, clean up Budd Bay, restore the Deschutes Estuary, and collaborate with the community, including seeking partnerships with tribal governments. In this race, Vasavada has been endorsed by progressive elected leaders at the state and local level and by community organizations including political, labor, and advocacy groups.

    Vasavada is facing Bill McGregor, a former commissioner who served on Olympia’s elected port commission for 15 years. Before that, he spent his decades-long career working at a number of different Washington ports in high-level operations positions, including at the Port of Olympia. McGregor is also active on a number of community boards. If elected to serve again, he wants to improve economic investment in the community, prioritize environmental stewardship, and lead by engaging the community. Unfortunately, in 2021, McGregor vocally opposed public health guidelines that were put in place to keep us all safe during the pandemic.

    We recommend Vasavada for Port of Olympia, District 1 because of her strong platform and impressive endorsements from progressive advocates.
     

    Jasmine Vasavada

    Submitted by airtable on Mon, 10/09/2023 - 14:22

    Jasmine Vasavada is running in District 1 for the Port of Olympia seat being vacated by the retiring Commissioner Joe Downing.

  • Endorsed By: Sierra Club, Teamsters Joint Council 28, WA Federation of State Employees, Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council
  • Maggie Sanders is running for the newly created District 4 seat on the Port of Olympia. Sanders identifies as a “triple citizen” of the United States, of the Washington community at-large, and of the Makah tribe. She has dedicated her career to public service, working in environmental stewardship, workforce development, and community advocacy, particularly for tribal representation and within the Makah tribe. In her most recent position, Sanders advocated for clean air, representing local tribes as a commissioner on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Tribal Air Association.

    If elected, Sanders wants to be a staunch advocate for environmental and community concerns at the port. She believes that there can’t be economic development without both community and workforce development to ensure that port investments can lift all boats. Her extensive experience in public service and expertise in public administration paired with her demonstrated progressive values position her well to execute her campaign priorities. In this race, Sanders has earned a large number of progressive endorsements, which speaks well to her ability to work together and build consensus on tough issues. 

    Also in this race is Rose Chiu Gundersen, a first-time, moderate candidate and business leader. Gundersen grew up in Hong Kong and has established herself strongly in the community as a small business owner, liaison for small businesses to the Washington State Department of Labor, and most recently in high-level retail services for the Washington Retail Association. She co-founded Washington Trafficking Prevention. In this campaign, her top priority is to beautify the waterfront to make Thurston County a destination, and she also wants to combat human trafficking, create jobs, and invest in some environmental clean-ups.

    We recommend Maggie Sanders for Port of Olympia, District 4 to bring her impressive progressive vision and public service experience to the commission.
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-12

    Maggie Sanders

    Submitted by airtable on Mon, 10/09/2023 - 13:59

    Maggie Sanders is running for the newly created District 4 seat on the Port of Olympia. Sanders identifies as a “triple citizen” of the United States, of the Washington community at-large, and of the Makah tribe.

    Maggie Sanders is running for the newly created District 4 seat on the Port of Olympia. Sanders identifies as a “triple citizen” of the United States, of the Washington community at-large, and of the Makah tribe. She has dedicated her career to public service, working in environmental stewardship, workforce development, and community advocacy, particularly for tribal representation and within the Makah tribe. In her most recent position, Sanders advocated for clean air, representing local tribes as a commissioner on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Tribal Air Association.

    If elected, Sanders wants to be a staunch advocate for environmental and community concerns at the port. She believes that there can’t be economic development without both community and workforce development to ensure that port investments can lift all boats. Her extensive experience in public service and expertise in public administration paired with her demonstrated progressive values position her well to execute her campaign priorities. In this race, Sanders has earned a large number of progressive endorsements, which speaks well to her ability to work together and build consensus on tough issues. 

    Also in this race is Rose Chiu Gundersen, a first-time, moderate candidate and business leader. Gundersen grew up in Hong Kong and has established herself strongly in the community as a small business owner, liaison for small businesses to the Washington State Department of Labor, and most recently in high-level retail services for the Washington Retail Association. She co-founded Washington Trafficking Prevention. In this campaign, her top priority is to beautify the waterfront to make Thurston County a destination, and she also wants to combat human trafficking, create jobs, and invest in some environmental clean-ups.

    We recommend Maggie Sanders for Port of Olympia, District 4 to bring her impressive progressive vision and public service experience to the commission.
     

    Maggie Sanders

    Submitted by airtable on Mon, 10/09/2023 - 13:59

    Maggie Sanders is running for the newly created District 4 seat on the Port of Olympia. Sanders identifies as a “triple citizen” of the United States, of the Washington community at-large, and of the Makah tribe.

  • Endorsed By: Sage Leaders, Teamsters Joint Council 28, Washington Conservation Action, Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council, Thurston County Democrats
  • First-time candidate Sarah Tonge is running to serve the Port of Olympia in the newly created District 5. Tonge has more than a decade of experience working in information technology and she volunteers with the local Democrats and as a member of Moms Demand Action.

    Tonge is running a progressive campaign that strongly emphasizes port leadership that protects a green future for Thurston County. Her campaign priorities include engaging the port’s diverse community and industry stakeholders, bringing tech upgrades to improve port efficiency, moving away from destructive logging, and putting the community and the ecosystem above special interests. She has earned endorsements from the county Democrats and local progressive organizations, as well as community members and elected officials.

    The other candidate in this race is Troy Kirby, a local cider bar owner, former Lacey City Council candidate, and sports consultant. Kirby is running on a platform that lacks progressive ideas to uplift Olympia and instead focuses on potentially cutting community funding and upgrading port equipment. 

    Thurston County residents deserve a port commissioner who will approach the seat with a thoughtful, community-centric vision. Sarah Tonge is the best choice for the Port of Olympia in District 5.
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-12

    Sarah Tonge

    Submitted by airtable on Mon, 10/09/2023 - 13:56

    First-time candidate Sarah Tonge is running to serve the Port of Olympia in the newly created District 5. Tonge has more than a decade of experience working in information technology and she volunteers with the local Democrats and as a member of Moms Demand Action.

    First-time candidate Sarah Tonge is running to serve the Port of Olympia in the newly created District 5. Tonge has more than a decade of experience working in information technology and she volunteers with the local Democrats and as a member of Moms Demand Action.

    Tonge is running a progressive campaign that strongly emphasizes port leadership that protects a green future for Thurston County. Her campaign priorities include engaging the port’s diverse community and industry stakeholders, bringing tech upgrades to improve port efficiency, moving away from destructive logging, and putting the community and the ecosystem above special interests. She has earned endorsements from the county Democrats and local progressive organizations, as well as community members and elected officials.

    The other candidate in this race is Troy Kirby, a local cider bar owner, former Lacey City Council candidate, and sports consultant. Kirby is running on a platform that lacks progressive ideas to uplift Olympia and instead focuses on potentially cutting community funding and upgrading port equipment. 

    Thurston County residents deserve a port commissioner who will approach the seat with a thoughtful, community-centric vision. Sarah Tonge is the best choice for the Port of Olympia in District 5.
     

    Sarah Tonge

    Submitted by airtable on Mon, 10/09/2023 - 13:56

    First-time candidate Sarah Tonge is running to serve the Port of Olympia in the newly created District 5. Tonge has more than a decade of experience working in information technology and she volunteers with the local Democrats and as a member of Moms Demand Action.

  • Endorsed By: Thurston County Democrats

City Races

Depending on where you live, you may have the following city races on your ballot.

  • Incumbent and deputy mayor Malcolm Miller is running unopposed for re-election to the Lacey City Council. A loan officer by trade, Miller was first elected in 2019 on a platform of growth management, strategic planning for seniors including expanded services, and addressing homelessness. He has voted with the more progressive members of the council on issues such as allowing the flying of Pride and Indigenous flags and amending an agreement with the Regional Housing Council to allow the creation of an affordable housing board and a homeless services board. If re-elected, he states that he wants to bring commuter rail service to the city.

    Last updated: 2023-10-24

    Malcolm Miller

    Incumbent and deputy mayor Malcolm Miller is running unopposed for re-election to the Lacey City Council. A loan officer by trade, Miller was first elected in 2019 on a platform of growth management, strategic planning for seniors including expanded services, and addressing homelessness.

    Incumbent and deputy mayor Malcolm Miller is running unopposed for re-election to the Lacey City Council. A loan officer by trade, Miller was first elected in 2019 on a platform of growth management, strategic planning for seniors including expanded services, and addressing homelessness. He has voted with the more progressive members of the council on issues such as allowing the flying of Pride and Indigenous flags and amending an agreement with the Regional Housing Council to allow the creation of an affordable housing board and a homeless services board. If re-elected, he states that he wants to bring commuter rail service to the city.

    Malcolm Miller

    Incumbent and deputy mayor Malcolm Miller is running unopposed for re-election to the Lacey City Council. A loan officer by trade, Miller was first elected in 2019 on a platform of growth management, strategic planning for seniors including expanded services, and addressing homelessness.

  • Spencer Zeman is challenging incumbent Lenny Greenstein for Position 2 on the Lacey City Council. He is a disabled Army veteran and local business owner whose platform represents a much more progressive take than Greenstein's.

    Zeman believes in working wages and stable housing for all. On homelessness, he points to how incarceration has failed to solve the root problems of people needing to live on the streets in the first place. He would act with civic mindedness and follow the science on housing to work regionally on creating more affordable housing options and homes with smaller footprints. He acknowledges that growth is coming to the city, and wants to manage it sustainably by creating an environmentally sustainable plan. Zeman believes collaborating regionally is the best way forward on big problems, pooling resources and expertise so that the residents of Lacey can thrive.

    Lenny Greenstein has served on the council for three terms already. He touts his advocacy for a "business-friendly environment" and the new $40 million police station as two points of pride and accomplishment of his service so far, part of a conservative platform that doesn't recognize the needs of all Lacey residents.

    Greenstein was one of two councilmembers, including fellow conservative Ed Kunkel, who voted against flying diverse flags through the year to celebrate the Nisqually and Squaxin Tribes, as well as Juneteenth and Pride Flags. In February of this year, Greenstein voted against an agreement with the Regional Housing Council, a process that seeks to bring Thurston County and its cities together to solve issues with homelessness and housing. Greenstein has been an impediment on the time-sensitive issue, stating that Olympia has too much representation of the council despite the majority of services being located there.

    If elected to a fourth term, Greenstein will continue to be a roadblock to progress on several fronts. Zeman has the endorsement of local Democratic groups and is the best choice in this race.
    Last updated: 2023-10-24

    Spencer Zeman

    Spencer Zeman is challenging incumbent Lenny Greenstein for Position 2 on the Lacey City Council. He is a disabled Army veteran and local business owner whose platform represents a much more progressive take than Greenstein's.

    Spencer Zeman is challenging incumbent Lenny Greenstein for Position 2 on the Lacey City Council. He is a disabled Army veteran and local business owner whose platform represents a much more progressive take than Greenstein's.

    Zeman believes in working wages and stable housing for all. On homelessness, he points to how incarceration has failed to solve the root problems of people needing to live on the streets in the first place. He would act with civic mindedness and follow the science on housing to work regionally on creating more affordable housing options and homes with smaller footprints. He acknowledges that growth is coming to the city, and wants to manage it sustainably by creating an environmentally sustainable plan. Zeman believes collaborating regionally is the best way forward on big problems, pooling resources and expertise so that the residents of Lacey can thrive.

    Lenny Greenstein has served on the council for three terms already. He touts his advocacy for a "business-friendly environment" and the new $40 million police station as two points of pride and accomplishment of his service so far, part of a conservative platform that doesn't recognize the needs of all Lacey residents.

    Greenstein was one of two councilmembers, including fellow conservative Ed Kunkel, who voted against flying diverse flags through the year to celebrate the Nisqually and Squaxin Tribes, as well as Juneteenth and Pride Flags. In February of this year, Greenstein voted against an agreement with the Regional Housing Council, a process that seeks to bring Thurston County and its cities together to solve issues with homelessness and housing. Greenstein has been an impediment on the time-sensitive issue, stating that Olympia has too much representation of the council despite the majority of services being located there.

    If elected to a fourth term, Greenstein will continue to be a roadblock to progress on several fronts. Zeman has the endorsement of local Democratic groups and is the best choice in this race.

    Spencer Zeman

    Spencer Zeman is challenging incumbent Lenny Greenstein for Position 2 on the Lacey City Council. He is a disabled Army veteran and local business owner whose platform represents a much more progressive take than Greenstein's.

  • Endorsed By: Teamsters Joint Council 28, Thurston-Lewis-Mason Central Labor Council (Member AFL-CIO)

No Good Choices

There are no progressive choices in this race.

Veteran and realtor Ed Kunkel is running for re-election to the Lacey City Council. He was first elected to this position in 2019 by a mere 78 votes. After running a campaign with the support of staunch Republicans such as J.T Wilcox, Kunkel has unsurprisingly voted as a conservative on the council. Among some of his worst and most regressive actions on the council include voting against flying diverse flags throughout the year to celebrate the Nisqually and Squaxin Tribes, as well as Juneteenth and Pride Flags. Kunkel also had to apologize to his fellow council members for describing armed white militia patrols as "how it should be" on his social media.

Nic Dunning, who is running as a self-described Independent, is challenging Kunkel this year. He owns a local gym and is a Marine Corps combat veteran. He has no policy information available on his social media as of October and does not appear to have political experience or leadership experience in a municipal or local organization aside from an undergraduate degree. With no working website or information about his priorities, we cannot recommend his candidacy.

Write in a progressive candidate of your choice for Lacey City Council, Position 3.

Ed Kunkel

There are no progressive choices in this race.

  • Dontae Derrell Payne is a U.S. Army veteran and Olympia City Council member running for Mayor of Olympia. He has national experience as a staffer in the U.S. House and currently works as a policy advisor for civil rights and racial justice in the office of the governor. He became the first Black man to serve on the Olympia City Council when he was elected in 2016.

    Payne was first motivated to run for office because of the lack of representation for Black and brown people in city government. He says his experience as a gay, Black, former military member will bring the voice of marginalized people to the table. In his bid for mayor, his main goals are to increase affordable housing, provide community safety outside of law enforcement, and create financial wellbeing for all Olympia families.

    During his time on city council, Payne has supported renters' rights legislation that capped move-in fees and required landlords to give more advanced notice of rent increases. He also voted to create a tiny home village and build more than 100 units of affordable housing. Unlike his opponent, Payne knows sweeps and criminalizing encampments just shuffles people around. As mayor, he would focus on meeting peoples' basic needs, funding case workers, and creating more types of housing that working people can afford.

    Payne has a nuanced opinion on public safety. Although he has a personal negative experience with a patrol officer and wants to get systemic racism out of policing, he sees the discussion of the budget as "a convenient distraction from white supremacy" when there is still a need for officers. He supported implementing police accountability measures like body and car cameras, and wants to increase non-law enforcement resources for people experiencing mental health crises or substance abuse issues.

    Payne's challenger is David Ross, a conservative-leaning candidate whose platform focuses on increasing policing and labeling everyone without a home a criminal by making homelessness itself a crime. Despite having a background doing social work and outreach to homeless residents, Ross calls approaches to homelessness that prioritize housing first "wrong-headed." He believes in enforcing penalties for living in public spaces, even though sweeping people from place to place and criminalizing homelessness would only add to peoples' struggles. While Ross has some progressive suggestions to tackle the issue, such as increasing density downtown and sending social workers alongside police, his single-minded focus on eliminating visible homelessness should be a red flag for voters. Unlike his opponent, Ross’ platform does not address any of the other issues that Olympia faces.

    Because of his extensive experience, proven track record, and dedication to racial justice, Payne is the best choice in this race.
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-12

    Dontae Derrell Payne

    Dontae Derrell Payne is a U.S. Army veteran and Olympia City Council member running for Mayor of Olympia. He has national experience as a staffer in the U.S. House and currently works as a policy advisor for civil rights and racial justice in the office of the governor.

    Dontae Derrell Payne is a U.S. Army veteran and Olympia City Council member running for Mayor of Olympia. He has national experience as a staffer in the U.S. House and currently works as a policy advisor for civil rights and racial justice in the office of the governor. He became the first Black man to serve on the Olympia City Council when he was elected in 2016.

    Payne was first motivated to run for office because of the lack of representation for Black and brown people in city government. He says his experience as a gay, Black, former military member will bring the voice of marginalized people to the table. In his bid for mayor, his main goals are to increase affordable housing, provide community safety outside of law enforcement, and create financial wellbeing for all Olympia families.

    During his time on city council, Payne has supported renters' rights legislation that capped move-in fees and required landlords to give more advanced notice of rent increases. He also voted to create a tiny home village and build more than 100 units of affordable housing. Unlike his opponent, Payne knows sweeps and criminalizing encampments just shuffles people around. As mayor, he would focus on meeting peoples' basic needs, funding case workers, and creating more types of housing that working people can afford.

    Payne has a nuanced opinion on public safety. Although he has a personal negative experience with a patrol officer and wants to get systemic racism out of policing, he sees the discussion of the budget as "a convenient distraction from white supremacy" when there is still a need for officers. He supported implementing police accountability measures like body and car cameras, and wants to increase non-law enforcement resources for people experiencing mental health crises or substance abuse issues.

    Payne's challenger is David Ross, a conservative-leaning candidate whose platform focuses on increasing policing and labeling everyone without a home a criminal by making homelessness itself a crime. Despite having a background doing social work and outreach to homeless residents, Ross calls approaches to homelessness that prioritize housing first "wrong-headed." He believes in enforcing penalties for living in public spaces, even though sweeping people from place to place and criminalizing homelessness would only add to peoples' struggles. While Ross has some progressive suggestions to tackle the issue, such as increasing density downtown and sending social workers alongside police, his single-minded focus on eliminating visible homelessness should be a red flag for voters. Unlike his opponent, Ross’ platform does not address any of the other issues that Olympia faces.

    Because of his extensive experience, proven track record, and dedication to racial justice, Payne is the best choice in this race.
     

    Dontae Derrell Payne

    Dontae Derrell Payne is a U.S. Army veteran and Olympia City Council member running for Mayor of Olympia. He has national experience as a staffer in the U.S. House and currently works as a policy advisor for civil rights and racial justice in the office of the governor.

  • Yến Huỳnh is running unopposed for re-election to the Olympia City Council, Position 2. She was first appointed to the council in early 2021 and won her election in November of that year to serve the final two years of her term. She is an equity and social justice consultant at the Washington State Department of Corrections, where she aims to reduce recidivism, and is a former Olympia planning commissioner. She is one of two people of color currently serving on the council and is the youngest member representing Olympia.

    Over the last two years, Huỳnh has prioritized public health, economic resiliency, and climate justice. The council member wants to see public safety reimagined through the input of the community and wants to see first responders and diverse community members included as part of the city's public safety decision-making process. Huỳnh joined her colleagues voting in favor of increased protections for renters that will help keep costs down. The legislation capped move-in fees and pet fees, and required landlords to provide more advanced notice for rent increases. In addition, she voted for $4 per hour hazard pay for frontline grocery store workers early in the pandemic. 

    Huynh's solid track record on the council and support from the progressive community make her the best choice for Olympia City Council, Position 2. 
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-19

    Yến Huỳnh

    Yến Huỳnh is running unopposed for re-election to the Olympia City Council, Position 2. She was first appointed to the council in early 2021 and won her election in November of that year to serve the final two years of her term.

    Yến Huỳnh is running unopposed for re-election to the Olympia City Council, Position 2. She was first appointed to the council in early 2021 and won her election in November of that year to serve the final two years of her term. She is an equity and social justice consultant at the Washington State Department of Corrections, where she aims to reduce recidivism, and is a former Olympia planning commissioner. She is one of two people of color currently serving on the council and is the youngest member representing Olympia.

    Over the last two years, Huỳnh has prioritized public health, economic resiliency, and climate justice. The council member wants to see public safety reimagined through the input of the community and wants to see first responders and diverse community members included as part of the city's public safety decision-making process. Huỳnh joined her colleagues voting in favor of increased protections for renters that will help keep costs down. The legislation capped move-in fees and pet fees, and required landlords to provide more advanced notice for rent increases. In addition, she voted for $4 per hour hazard pay for frontline grocery store workers early in the pandemic. 

    Huynh's solid track record on the council and support from the progressive community make her the best choice for Olympia City Council, Position 2. 
     

    Yến Huỳnh

    Yến Huỳnh is running unopposed for re-election to the Olympia City Council, Position 2. She was first appointed to the council in early 2021 and won her election in November of that year to serve the final two years of her term.

  • Dani Madrone is running unopposed for re-election to the Olympia City Council, Position 3. She has lived in Olympia for nearly two decades, attending Evergreen State College and now working for the American Farmland Trust. She has also been active in the community, serving on the boards of The Olympian and the Olympia Food Co-op. 

    Madrone is running to tackle the big issues of affordable housing, homelessness, and climate change with a science-based and community-forward approach. In her second term, she wants to expand community partnerships with groups like Habitat for Humanity to build more homes. Madrone will also prioritize making Olympia a friendly and welcoming city by creating more shared spaces for people to come together, including new community gardens. 

    Madrone has earned your vote for re-election to the Olympia City Council, Position 3. 
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-19

    Dani Madrone

    Dani Madrone is running unopposed for re-election to the Olympia City Council, Position 3. She has lived in Olympia for nearly two decades, attending Evergreen State College and now working for the American Farmland Trust.

    Dani Madrone is running unopposed for re-election to the Olympia City Council, Position 3. She has lived in Olympia for nearly two decades, attending Evergreen State College and now working for the American Farmland Trust. She has also been active in the community, serving on the boards of The Olympian and the Olympia Food Co-op. 

    Madrone is running to tackle the big issues of affordable housing, homelessness, and climate change with a science-based and community-forward approach. In her second term, she wants to expand community partnerships with groups like Habitat for Humanity to build more homes. Madrone will also prioritize making Olympia a friendly and welcoming city by creating more shared spaces for people to come together, including new community gardens. 

    Madrone has earned your vote for re-election to the Olympia City Council, Position 3. 
     

    Dani Madrone

    Dani Madrone is running unopposed for re-election to the Olympia City Council, Position 3. She has lived in Olympia for nearly two decades, attending Evergreen State College and now working for the American Farmland Trust.

  • Kelly Von Holtz is running for Tumwater City Council, Position 7. The seat is currently held by Charlie Schneider, who is not seeking re-election. Holtz works in public relations and marketing at Evergreen State College. She sits on the city’s planning commission and previously served on the Parks and Recreation Board Commission.

    Holtz moved to Tumwater as a single, working mother and has since been involved in public service and community engagement. In this race, she is focused on upgrades to public infrastructure, implementing community solutions to the opioid epidemic and substance abuse, addressing the housing crisis, and reducing barriers for marginalized communities to access educational opportunities. She also wants to build more bridges and communication between the council and residents. Holtz has strong endorsements in this race, including from the local Democrats.

    Andrea McGhee is a loan officer at a mortgage company and a first-time candidate in this race. She is running on a sparse platform with a core policy of putting businesses first. McGhee’s definition of public safety does not seem thoughtful nor progressive.

    We recommend Kelly Von Holtz for Position 7 on the Tumwater City Council.
     

    Last updated: 2023-10-12

    Kelly Von Holtz

    Kelly Von Holtz is running for Tumwater City Council, Position 7. The seat is currently held by Charlie Schneider, who is not seeking re-election. Holtz works in public relations and marketing at Evergreen State College.

    Kelly Von Holtz is running for Tumwater City Council, Position 7. The seat is currently held by Charlie Schneider, who is not seeking re-election. Holtz works in public relations and marketing at Evergreen State College. She sits on the city’s planning commission and previously served on the Parks and Recreation Board Commission.

    Holtz moved to Tumwater as a single, working mother and has since been involved in public service and community engagement. In this race, she is focused on upgrades to public infrastructure, implementing community solutions to the opioid epidemic and substance abuse, addressing the housing crisis, and reducing barriers for marginalized communities to access educational opportunities. She also wants to build more bridges and communication between the council and residents. Holtz has strong endorsements in this race, including from the local Democrats.

    Andrea McGhee is a loan officer at a mortgage company and a first-time candidate in this race. She is running on a sparse platform with a core policy of putting businesses first. McGhee’s definition of public safety does not seem thoughtful nor progressive.

    We recommend Kelly Von Holtz for Position 7 on the Tumwater City Council.
     

    Kelly Von Holtz

    Kelly Von Holtz is running for Tumwater City Council, Position 7. The seat is currently held by Charlie Schneider, who is not seeking re-election. Holtz works in public relations and marketing at Evergreen State College.

  • Endorsed By: Sierra Club, Tumwater Firefighters IAFF Local 2409, Thurston County Democrats

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

  • Jess Tourtellotte-Palumbo is running for Olympia School Board in Director District 2. The seat is currently held by Talauna Reed who is running for a different district seat on the school board in this election. Tourtellotte-Palumbo is an academic specialist in disability support at Evergreen State College. She is disabled herself and is a longtime advocate for disability rights, access and accommodations, and community support. Tourtellotte-Palumbo is also involved in the community as a a trustee of the Olympia Education Foundation and a secretary of the Olympia United Soccer Club.

    Tourtellotte-Palumbo is campaigning with an inclusive and optimistic platform. As a disabled student, Tourtellotte-Palumbo experienced strong support in her own education which she credits with setting her on a path for success. She wants to ensure that students from all marginalized backgrounds have the resources, services, and mentorship to thrive in our district. She is also running to strengthen transitional services and paths to higher education so that all students, regardless of their destination after graduation, have the confidence and skills to succeed. Additionally, Tourtellotte-Palumbo wants to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and improve curriculums so more histories and cultures are represented accurately. She has earned strong progressive support in this race.

    Frank Durocher, who works in project management for software development, is the other candidate in this race. He is running on a far-right platform, including wanting to bring armed, uniformed police officers into our schools. If elected, he also wants to restrict funding to programs and services that keep our students safe, healthy, and academically supported.

    Tourtellotte-Palumbo is a strong progressive voice and the best candidate in this race for Olympia School Board, Director District 2.
    Last updated: 2023-10-31

    Jess Tourtellotte-Palumbo

    Jess Tourtellotte-Palumbo is running for Olympia School Board in Director District 2. The seat is currently held by Talauna Reed who is running for a different district seat on the school board in this election.

    Jess Tourtellotte-Palumbo is running for Olympia School Board in Director District 2. The seat is currently held by Talauna Reed who is running for a different district seat on the school board in this election. Tourtellotte-Palumbo is an academic specialist in disability support at Evergreen State College. She is disabled herself and is a longtime advocate for disability rights, access and accommodations, and community support. Tourtellotte-Palumbo is also involved in the community as a a trustee of the Olympia Education Foundation and a secretary of the Olympia United Soccer Club.

    Tourtellotte-Palumbo is campaigning with an inclusive and optimistic platform. As a disabled student, Tourtellotte-Palumbo experienced strong support in her own education which she credits with setting her on a path for success. She wants to ensure that students from all marginalized backgrounds have the resources, services, and mentorship to thrive in our district. She is also running to strengthen transitional services and paths to higher education so that all students, regardless of their destination after graduation, have the confidence and skills to succeed. Additionally, Tourtellotte-Palumbo wants to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and improve curriculums so more histories and cultures are represented accurately. She has earned strong progressive support in this race.

    Frank Durocher, who works in project management for software development, is the other candidate in this race. He is running on a far-right platform, including wanting to bring armed, uniformed police officers into our schools. If elected, he also wants to restrict funding to programs and services that keep our students safe, healthy, and academically supported.

    Tourtellotte-Palumbo is a strong progressive voice and the best candidate in this race for Olympia School Board, Director District 2.

    Jess Tourtellotte-Palumbo

    Jess Tourtellotte-Palumbo is running for Olympia School Board in Director District 2. The seat is currently held by Talauna Reed who is running for a different district seat on the school board in this election.

  • Endorsed By: Washington Education Association, Thurston County Democrats
  • Incumbent Hilary Seidel is running for another term on the Olympia School Board from District 4. Seidel was first elected to the school board in 2017 and now serves as the vice president. Outside of public service, Seidel works in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction as the statewide recognition coordinator. She is also a parent to three children in the district and an avid community volunteer.

    Her campaign platform strongly emphasizes the values of community engagement, innovation, and equity. On the council, her leadership approach is to be responsive and accountable to the community, including parents, students, and teachers with whom she speaks often. She wants to continue making our schools a place of belonging for students of all backgrounds. Seidel has earned a long list of endorsements that ranges from progressive elected leaders, nonprofits, unions, local Democrats, and community members.

    Leslie Van Leishout is challenging Seidel for the District 4 seat. Van Leishout has spent nearly 30 years working in schools, both in teaching and administration. She wants to use a data-driven approach to prepare the district for modern challenges facing students, including investing in mental health resources, strengthening college, career, and technical prep programs, offering strong support to educators, and expanding special education programs.

    We recommend Hilary Seidel for Olympia School Board, Director District 4 because of her strong track record in office, progressive vision for the district, and ample support from our partner organizations.
    Last updated: 2023-10-19

    Hilary Seidel

    Incumbent Hilary Seidel is running for another term on the Olympia School Board from District 4. Seidel was first elected to the school board in 2017 and now serves as the vice president.

    Incumbent Hilary Seidel is running for another term on the Olympia School Board from District 4. Seidel was first elected to the school board in 2017 and now serves as the vice president. Outside of public service, Seidel works in the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction as the statewide recognition coordinator. She is also a parent to three children in the district and an avid community volunteer.

    Her campaign platform strongly emphasizes the values of community engagement, innovation, and equity. On the council, her leadership approach is to be responsive and accountable to the community, including parents, students, and teachers with whom she speaks often. She wants to continue making our schools a place of belonging for students of all backgrounds. Seidel has earned a long list of endorsements that ranges from progressive elected leaders, nonprofits, unions, local Democrats, and community members.

    Leslie Van Leishout is challenging Seidel for the District 4 seat. Van Leishout has spent nearly 30 years working in schools, both in teaching and administration. She wants to use a data-driven approach to prepare the district for modern challenges facing students, including investing in mental health resources, strengthening college, career, and technical prep programs, offering strong support to educators, and expanding special education programs.

    We recommend Hilary Seidel for Olympia School Board, Director District 4 because of her strong track record in office, progressive vision for the district, and ample support from our partner organizations.

    Hilary Seidel

    Incumbent Hilary Seidel is running for another term on the Olympia School Board from District 4. Seidel was first elected to the school board in 2017 and now serves as the vice president.

  • Endorsed By: Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, Washington Education Association