Since May, The Times editorial board has interviewed more than 180 candidates running for office to help you make decisions in the races and measures on the ballot.

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Editor’s note: The Seattle Times editorial board is making recommendations for voters in legislative districts throughout King and Snohomish counties, in statewide and federal races and for some ballot measures on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. Each endorsement will explain our thinking, but generally we look for moderates with a commitment to work across party lines.

Read summaries of each choice for selected races below. And click here if you’d like to subscribe via an RSS feed to receive updates as endorsements are published.

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U.S. President

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton for U.S. President

Strengths: Experience, knowledge and temperament; superior understanding of America’s challenges, opportunities and its role in building prosperity and stability around the world

Clinton has demonstrated courage, strength and resilience — the traits we especially value in a president. She does this not by tweets and talking tough but through unflagging public service through personal and political crises that would crumble an ordinary person. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


U.S. Senator

Patty Murray

Patty Murray for U.S. Senate

Strengths: Shows valuable bipartisan leadership and has been a strong representative for the state of Washington

While Congress grew more dysfunctional in recent years, Murray found common ground and still got things done.”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


U.S. House of Representatives

Suzan DelBene

Suzan DelBene for 1st Congressional District

Strengths: Represented the divergent interests of farm and technology in her sprawling district; nuanced, regionally focused solutions

It says quite a bit about DelBene that the district appears now to be firmly hers. With a solid legislative record over two terms, and minimal competition this year, DelBene easily earns an endorsement for a third term …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Rick Larsen

Rick Larsen for 2nd Congressional District

Strengths: Willingness to take positions that go against his liberal base, deep understanding on international trade

The power of incumbency continues to favor U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen. A popular Democrat from the 2nd Congressional District, he is the most credible candidate and deserves a ninth term.”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Derek Kilmer

Derek Kilmer for 6th Congressional District

Strengths:Pragmatism, has been effective in influencing legislation

His priorities align well with his district, including developing jobs and helping the timber industry move beyond the old fights between conservationists and timber interests and keeping the district’s military installations vital.”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Brady Walkinshaw

Brady Walkinshaw for 7th Congressional District

Strengths: Intention to move beyond liberal orthodoxy; temperament, pragmatic instincts

The Democrat has the capacity to be a progressive leader from one of the nation’s most left-leaning districts. He also has the temperament, pragmatic instincts and drive to squeeze legislation out of the gridlocked Congress.”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Dave Reichert

Dave Reichert for 8th Congressional District

Strengths:Advocate for trade and fiscal responsibility; has had some legislative successes in conservation and in human services

Representing the 8th Congressional District, which straddles the west and east slope of the Cascades, Reichert is the closest approximate for a moderate in Washington’s GOP congressional delegation.”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Adam Smith

Adam Smith for 9th Congressional District

Strengths: Represents diverse voice of constituents in Washington, D.C., works on behalf of military families and veterans

Smith continues to get endorsements from people and groups representing all kinds of citizens. He has spoken out on issues such as abuses of immigrants in federal detention and the $15 minimum wage …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>



Denny Heck

Denny Heck for 10th Congressional District

Strengths: Champion for economic opportunity; leader on federal banking reforms necessary for marijuana legalization

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck is the first and only congressman from Washington’s 10th Congressional District, created in 2012 to represent the south Puget Sound. Voters should choose to keep him there.”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


State Senate


Guy Palumbo

Guy Palumbo for 1st Legislative District Senate seat

Strengths: Small-business owner; impressive public-service résumé

Well-versed in the options before the Legislature, Palumbo has the right approach, supporting local-levy reform, some new revenues and shifting to a carefully constructed approach to statewide collective bargaining for teacher contracts. Importantly, he also acknowledges that any new money must be spent on improving outcomes for students. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Mark Mullet

Mark Mullet for 5th Legislative District Senate seat

Strengths: Nondogmatic Democrat Washington needs; can help hammer out a compromise on funding basic education

An independent thinker, he has shown he can work across the aisle to find solutions to complicated problems. Mullet should be re-elected. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Bob Hasegawa

Bob Hasegawa for 11th Legislative District Senate seat

Strengths: Strong connection to his district

Hasegawa should be elected for another term serving the area where he continues to live in his childhood home on Beacon Hill. While this editorial board frequently disagrees with Hasegawa on policy issues, he is a clear choice over his challenger. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Steve Litzow

Steve Litzow for 41st Legislative District Senate seat

Strengths: Effective leader; has much-needed experience for education funding solutions

Litzow already is a key player. He chairs the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee in the Senate, where his party currently holds the majority. He’s used this perch to advance early childhood programs and education reforms, increase education funding and fund charter schools. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


State House of Representatives

Derek Stanford

Derek Stanford for 1st Legislative District, House Position No. 1

Strengths: Runs small business; budgeting and auditing background

Stanford runs a small business specializing in analytics solutions and statistical consulting. In the Legislature, he is vice chair of the House Capital Budget Committee and vice chair of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Jim Langston

Jim Langston for 1st Legislative District, House Position No. 2

Strengths: Open-minded about solutions; education and volunteering background

Langston, an Echo Lake Republican, is the best choice for his understanding of the broad challenges facing the Legislature and his open-mindedness about solutions, including new tax revenues for school funding. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Jason Ritchie

Jason Ritchie for 5th District House Position, Position No. 1

Strengths: Would bring a vital small-business perspective to Olympia.

Ritchie would keep middle-class taxpayers in mind when crafting a solution to fully fund basic education, accurately noting that an income tax is a “nonstarter” to meet that challenge. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Paul Graves

Paul Graves for 5th Legislative District House, Position No. 2

Strengths: On the pressing McCleary funding obligation, Graves is well-informed and practical.

Paul Graves is a smart, pragmatic moderate Republican who best fits the 5th Legislative District. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Zack Hudgins

Zack Hudgins for 11th Legislative District, House Position No. 1

Strengths: Record of bipartisan policy wins; strong voice to improve and reform Washington’s creaky IT infrastructure

A former tech-industry manager, Hudgins has a record of bipartisan policy wins, most prominently as prime sponsor in the House of the state’s version of the Dream Act. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Strom Peterson

Strom Peterson for Legislative District 21, House Position No. 1

Strengths: Priorities include water-quality programs and treatment for opioid addiction

Voters should re-elect Peterson, owner of an Edmonds cheese shop. His challenger, Libertarian Alex Hels, is a political novice who needs more public-service experience before he’s prepared to serve in the Legislature. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


>Lillian Ortiz-Self

Lillian Ortiz-Self for Legislative District 21, House Position No. 2

Strengths: Committed to helping solve the state’s underfunding of basic education; understands issues of equity

Lillian Ortiz-Self, a school counselor and vice chair of the House Education Committee, is committed to helping solve the state’s chronic and unconstitutional underfunding of basic education. She is well-versed in the challenges and possible solutions. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Mike Pellicciotti

Mike Pellicciotti for 30th Legislative District, Position 1

Strengths: Has a unique skill set; an investigator’s mindset

Pellicciotti’s background makes him a refreshing addition to the Legislature as it addresses the education-funding gap underscored by the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. Pellicciotti approaches the problem like an investigator, dissecting proposals to boost funding while adding reforms. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Teri Hickel

Teri Hickel for 30th Legislative District, Position 2

Strengths: Deep roots in Federal Way’s civic fabric; a smart, informed and moderate voice

Hickel has focused on fixing the state’s broken education-financing model, which leaves districts like Federal Way at a disadvantage, and she effectively channels her constituents’ angst about intractable traffic congestion. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Drew Stokesbary

Drew Stokesbary for 31st Legislative District, House Position No. 1

Strengths: Pro-education policy wonk; can work across party lines

Stokesbary has been a particularly effective representative during his first term. A thoughtful, pro-education policy wonk, he can also help the entire state by advancing education-funding reforms. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Lane Walthers

Lane Walthers for 31st Legislative District, House Position No. 2

Strengths: Moderate, pragmatic lawmaker; first-responder background

Walthers is a veteran firefighter and paramedic and a captain of East Pierce Fire and Rescue. He has deep roots in the community and prioritizes fixing critical local problems, such as the bottleneck crossing between Enumclaw and Buckley. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Cindy Ryu

Cindy Ryu for 32nd Legislative District, House Position No. 1

Strengths: Her résumé: as a business owner, former Shoreline City Council member and mayor

Ryu is chair of the House Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs Committee, putting her in the middle of issues important to a district that serves North King and South Snohomish counties. And she intends to expand her focus on serving those Washington citizens who are too often underrepresented. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Ruth Kagi

Ruth Kagi for 32nd Legislative District, House Position No. 2

Strengths: Political leanings match her district well, but are tempered with a mature pragmatism

Kagi is a Washington treasure. The North Seattle Democrat has been a champion of the state’s youngest citizens, advocating for the best education from their earliest moments to ensuring care when their families can’t provide it. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Tina Orwall

Tina Orwall for 33rd Legislative District, House Position No. 1

Strengths: Solution-based approach; works across Olympia’s ideological divides

Orwall is progressive on social policy, but her solution-based approach gives her an independent streak. Her experience and nuanced understanding of the education-funding challenges are an asset to her district and Legislature. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Mia Su-Ling Gregerson

Mia Su-Ling Gregerson for 33rd Legislative District, House Position No. 2

Strengths: Challenge of the suburbanization of poverty

Gregerson needs to become a stronger legislator. And she needs to be able to take responsibility for her role as a SeaTac council member. By a hair, she is the better candidate this time for the 33rd District’s House Position 2. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Eileen Cody

Eileen Cody for 34th Legislative District, House Position No. 1

Strengths: Expertise in health-care and hospital-workplace issues; moderation, experience and willingness to compromise

Cody’s experience and expertise in health-care and hospital-workplace issues have been an asset as the state implemented the Affordable Care Act and worked to improve the system. Her background is also valuable as the state struggles to improve its mental-health programs and Western State Hospital. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Joe Fitzgibbon

Joe Fitzgibbon for 34th Legislative District, House Position No. 2

Strengths: Solid understanding of the education-funding challenge; leader on environmental issues

Fitzgibbon has been a leader in the Legislature on environmental issues, but the 34th District centered in West Seattle needs a representative with a broader focus. His opponent, Andrew Pilloud, has no government experience. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Sharon Tomiko Santos

Sharon Tomiko Santos for 37th Legislative District, House Position No. 1

Strengths: Focus on K-12 education funding; supports a capital-gains tax

Santos knows the Legislature’s major job next year is to finish reforming the way the state pays for K-12 basic education — to satisfy the Washington State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Eric Pettigrew

Eric Pettigrew for 37th Legislative District, House Position No. 2

Strengths: Communication and consensus-building skills

Pettigrew is the kind of thoughtful leader who pushes other lawmakers to seek compromise and can step beyond traditional party or interest-group agendas. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Tana Senn

Tana Senn for 41st Legislative District Position 1

Strengths: Understands the nuances of the state’s education-budget challenges

Senn understands the nuances of the state’s education-budget challenges and is not ready to commit to statewide collective bargaining for teachers, a local levy swap and guard rails around education-budget items. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Judy Clibborn

Judy Clibborn for 41st Legislative District, House Position No. 2

Strengths: Influential and a major force in transportation policy

With the next Legislature facing an enormous challenge to modify taxation, fully fund education and avoid a constitutional crisis, Clibborn’s leadership and deep relationships on both sides of the aisle are vital. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Dan Shih

Dan Shih for 43rd Legislative District, House Position No. 1

Strengths: Worked in the private equity field and clerked for the prestigious federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.; understands the monumental task of adding at least $3.5 billion to the state education biennium budget

With a superb résumé, a nuanced grasp of policy and a steady temperament, Shih has the potential to be an excellent lawmaker from a legislative district with a history of producing leaders in Olympia. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Janice Huxford

Janice Huxford for 44th Legislative District, House Position No. 1

Strengths:Small-business background, would bring fresh, multidimensional approach to school-funding reform

For progress in the Legislature, voters should elect Huxford, who has the smarts and has done her homework.”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Mark Harmsworth

Mark Harmsworth for 44th Legislative District, House Position No. 2

Strengths: Smart and pragmatic, has shown leadership on transportation issues

In a legislative session with many new lawmakers facing their paramount duty of fixing education funding, Harmsworth’s experience and record of representing his district makes him the best choice.”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Roger Goodman

Roger Goodman for 45th Legislative District, House Position No. 1

Strengths: Deep, nuanced understanding of education and law enforcement

Goodman’s biggest asset to voters, and the reason for this endorsement, is his capacity to help the Legislature resolve the state Supreme Court’s education-funding mandate. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Gerry Pollet

Gerry Pollet for 46th Legislative District, House Position No. 1

Strengths: Strong advocate for higher education and government transparency

A standout accomplishment for Pollet was his work on a new law passed this year that makes electronic-cigarette and “vape” products less accessible to youths. He hopes to expand this by taxing e-cigarettes and raising the minimum age for their use to 21. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Patty Kuderer

Patty Kuderer for 48th Legislative District, House Position No. 1

Strengths: Knowledge of education and transportation issues; passionate about the environment and small businesses assistance

Kuderer, an attorney and former PTA president from Bellevue, says education and transportation are the top two issues in her district, but she is knowledgeable about a variety of concerns facing state government. The Democrat is passionate about the environment and for using tax incentives to help small businesses. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Joan McBride

Joan McBride for 48th Legislative District, House Position No. 2

Strengths: Has good intentions and legitimate concerns about local-government operations

McBride ought to be well-prepared to represent the Eastside’s 48th Legislative District in the state house. But she is not representing the people’s interests with legislation she introduced last session that would undermine the state Public Records Act. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Statewide elected offices

Jay Inslee

Jay Inslee for Governor

Strengths: Strong political skills; some notable accomplishments; has improved as he has settled into Olympia

Inslee gets The Seattle Times editorial board’s endorsement because he is more likely to be constructive as the Legislature pushes through crucial reforms of Washington’s broken education-financing model. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Bob Ferguson

Bob Ferguson for Attorney General

Strengths: Enforcing campaign-finance violations; also has been effective in consumer protection

Ferguson has wielded the power of his office effectively and wisely, and, with a few exceptions, has managed well the state’s law firm. He easily deserves four more years. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Hilary Franz

Hilary Franz for Commissioner of Public Lands

Strengths: Extensive knowledge of state policies, energetic advocacy

Franz, a Seattle environmental attorney and activist, narrowly wins our endorsement because of her extensive knowledge of state policies, her energetic advocacy and her pledge to uphold the state’s forest-trust-land program. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Mike Kreidler

Mike Kreidler for Insurance Commissioner

Strengths: Industry knowledge; consumer advocacy; ability to change his mind when the situation calls for change

Kreidler is the clear choice. He should keep working to make his office better and not rest on his successes with the Affordable Care Act here in Washington, which has put him in the national spotlight. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Lieutenant Governor

No recommendation”

Read full editorial –>


Kim Wyman

Kim Wyman for Secretary of State

Strengths: Years of experience refereeing elections; bipartisan support

Wyman has more than 23 years of direct experience in election work, probably the most important aspect of the office. And she has the endorsement — and therefore confidence — of county election officials, both Republican and Democrat, from across the state — from King County to Garfield County. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Mark Miloscia

Mark Miloscia for state auditor

Strengths: Range of experience; legislative experience and connections

Miloscia’s range of experience in and out of state government, combined with his intense commitment to service, should invigorate the Auditor’s Office. It needs a boost after suffering from the extended absence of outgoing Auditor Troy Kelley …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Duane Davidson

Duane Davidson for State Treasurer

Strengths: Would bring a statewide perspective to education funding, knows how to compromise

Lawmakers need someone to work with them and not just tell them their ideas belong in the waste bin. Davidson could do that well.”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Erin Jones

Erin Jones for Superintendent of Public Instruction

Strengths: Experience addressing inequity in public schools; ability to bring educators, parents, lawmakers and school officials together.

As a parent of kids who attended public schools, in some of the state’s most challenging school districts, Jones has a deep understanding of Washington’s public school system.”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Statewide ballot measures

Reject Initiative 732 (Carbon Tax)

I-732 would create a significant hole in the state budget — and the budget of working-class Washingtonians — and provide questionable environmental benefits. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Reject Initiative 735 (Citizens United)

Voters should reject I-735 as unnecessary, overreaching and a little bit odd. In this case, the cure is worse than the disease. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Approve Initiative 1433 (Minimum wage)

The wage floor must rise. Voters should say yes to Initiative 1433, but also demand the Legislature fix some of the initiative’s flaws. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Approve Initiative 1491 (Extreme-risk protection orders for removing guns)

Voters should approve Initiative 1491 to fill in a gap. It sets up a court procedure for a judge to issue extreme-risk protection orders to temporarily prevent someone from accessing firearms if there is demonstrated evidence the person is a danger. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Reject Initiative 1501 (Identity theft and open-records measure)

I-1501 is a bad proposal that should be rejected. It’s unclear whether it would have any effect on identity theft. But that’s not really why it’s on the ballot. I-1501 is a Trojan horse. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Reject Initiative 1464 (Campaign finance)

Reject this half-baked campaign-finance proposal, which seizes public dollars that should go toward higher priorities like education. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Maintain Advisory Votes Nos. 14 and 15

The Legislature made two financial decisions during 2016 that citizens should endorse. One continues sales-tax exemptions for some alternative-fuel vehicles, and the other would extend the insurance-premium tax to family dental plans, which are being sold on the state health-care exchange for the first time. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Approve Senate Joint Resolution No. 8210

SJR 8210 would revise the constitution again to move up the deadline for the state redistricting commission by a month-and-a-half. Why is Nov. 15 a better deadline that Jan. 1, as the law currently requires? It would enable the public to play a more active roll in the process …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Local ballot measures


Reject Sound Transit 3

Voters should say no to this measure — appearing as Proposition 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot — which would commit them to a lifetime of taxation for a $54 billion project with unclear benefits and little accountability. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Approve Highline Public Schools bond

Highline Public Schools has demonstrated that a little trust plus a lot of information can make a big difference in building authentic community support. With this process, the district has earned the voter’s confidence. This bond measure merits a yes vote. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Reject Seattle Initiative 124 (hotel-worker safety)

If the safety of Seattle hotel employees is a problem, the laws that protect them should be strengthened. Seattle ballot Initiative 124 is a sloppy, possibly illegal first draft that should be rejected by voters. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Approve King County Charter Amendment No. 1

Voters should say “yes” to King County Charter Amendment 1 and add the prosecutor to the list of nonpartisan offices. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Approve King County Charter Amendment No. 2

The language of the King County Charter should be updated to gender-neutral wording. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


State Supreme Court


Mary Yu

Mary Yu for state Supreme Court Position 1

Strengths: Bipartisan support; supports racial-justice causes

Yu contends McCleary is not an example of judicial activism. She said the court was presented with a legal question — to interpret what it means to amply provide for education and whether it’s the state’s paramount duty. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Barbara Madsen

Barbara Madsen for state Supreme Court Position 5

Strengths: Led the court on education-funding rulings

Madsen is the better candidate for a term in which the McCleary case and its potential remedies — both judicial and legislative — will dominate. Voters should re-elect her. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Dave Larson

Dave Larson for state Supreme Court Position 6

Strengths: Trial, bench and civic experience; a strong, credible challenge to the court

Larson presents a strong, credible challenge to a court that has at times veered off course. He deserves a six-year term to the state Supreme Court. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


King County Superior Court


Nicole Gaines Phelps

Nicole Gaines Phelps for Position 14

Strengths: Longtime attorney; experience, compassion and philosophy

Gaines Phelps has been an attorney for more than 20 years, including more than eight as an administrative law judge. She could step onto the King County Superior Court bench and not miss a beat. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


David Keenan

David Keenan for Position 26

Strengths: Passion for the law and his thoughtfulness and commitment to help other young people

Keenan is a man with a story worth sharing even if he weren’t running for King County Superior Court judge. His tale could be the plot for a TV show about the criminal justice system. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Helen Halpert

Helen Halpert for Position 31

Strengths: Demonstrated leadership during her extensive career; an extensive list of endorsements

Halpert has demonstrated leadership during her extensive career. She served terms as a chief criminal and juvenile judge, on the court’s executive committee and co-chaired task forces, such as one that reformed juvenile sentencing. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Eric Newman

Eric Newman for King County Superior Court Judge Position 44

Strengths: Extensive legal and community experience, has perspective on the demands and consequences of serving as a judge.

Newman edges out the other candidates because of the breadth of his experience, including three years serving as judge pro tempore in King County District Court.”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Kristin Richardson

Kristin Richardson for Position 52

Strengths: Extraordinary experience in Superior Court as a trial lawyer for 25 years

Richardson has worked extensively with vulnerable witnesses and victims, people who ‘didn’t know they could trust someone in the justice system and they ended up trusting me,’ she said in an interview. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>


Mariane Spearman

Mariane Spearman for Position 53

Strengths: Rated “exceptionally well qualified” by six legal organizations; has worked to diversify the judiciary

Spearman has a been a steady, respected judge in King County for two decades. She has given voters no reason to turn her out now as she seeks four more years in the Superior Court. …”

Read full 2016 endorsement –>

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