Here are The Seattle Times editorial board’s selection of the top-five races and our recommendations. Read all endorsements for the Nov. 3 election here.
Rep. Mark Mullet for state Senate, District 5
Voters in the 5th Legislative District — from Issaquah and Snoqualmie Pass, and Carnation to Black Diamond — should absolutely elect state Sen. Mark Mullet to another term
Mullet, an Issaquah Democrat, is an outstanding representative of the district and one of the chamber’s more principled and effective members. He is respected by his Senate Democratic colleagues who elevated him to leadership as majority whip.
Those principles — and promises he’s made and kept to the district — sometimes ruffle feathers. He ran as a moderate, reflecting the diversity of viewpoints in the district, and vowed not to veer hard left after getting elected, as sometimes happens.
Because Mullet scrutinizes new spending and works hard backstage to strengthen policies and increase taxpayer protections, he’s targeted by labor organizations seeking big tax increases.
Mullet supported these powerful political groups during his tenure but not 100%. So they’re spending more than $2 million to replace him with a more accommodating Democrat, North Bend nurse and labor activist Ingrid Anderson.
While Anderson’s service and personal story are appreciated, the last thing the Legislature needs is yet another activist beholden to Seattle power brokersVoters statewide are better served by legislators like Mullet who carefully consider policies from multiple angles, ask hard questions and prioritize constituents over political insiders.
Mullet applied his business background and governing experience to both increase K-12 funding and secure property relief. His ability to collaborate secured funding to continue widening Highway 18 and for a forthcoming interchange at its dangerous intersection with Interstate 90.
He also increased consumer protections, including a 2019 bill requiring financial institutions to provide phone numbers for consumers and merchants to report stolen credit cards and suspected fraud. Even better, the bill requires banks to have someone take calls and provide assistance during business hours to people who suspect fraud or have cards stolen.
Mullet worked in finance before he began operating small businesses, franchises of Zeeks Pizza and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. He served on the Issaquah City Council before running for the Senate in 2012.
Gov. Jay Inslee, who is tight with the Seattle political establishment, endorsed Anderson. But Mullet is endorsed by mayors of Issaquah, Snoqualmie, Maple Valley, North Bend, Black Diamond and Sammamish. Which speaks more to Mullet’s ability to serve the 5th District?The Cascade foothills are a special place and deserve a special representative in the state Senate. Reelect Mark Mullet.
Kim Wyman for Secretary of State
Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman doesn’t just know elections. She knows that a person in her position must stay above the political fray.
That’s only one reason Wyman has earned the editorial board’s endorsement as she runs for a third term in office. But it’s an important one — particularly during these tumultuous times
Wyman is a consistent and thoughtful leader who has earned the respect and support of elections officials across the political spectrum. She has been transparent about her department’s vulnerabilities even while addressing them, notably after Russian agents targeted U.S. election systems in 2016 and during the sometimes-rocky rollout of the VoteWA voter management system. Her candor is respectful of the office and helps maintain a high level of public trust.
Wyman’s challenger, state Rep. Gael Tarleton, has conducted a scorched-earth campaign short on substantive criticisms of the incumbent, while she tries to tether Wyman, a Republican, to President Donald Trump. The flimsy allegation doesn’t hold up.
Wyman has consistently touted the efficacy and security of Washington’s elections system, rebutting the president’s unfounded attacks on voting by mail. Tarleton knows that.
In an election year heavy on hyperbole, a fact-based campaign would have been welcome. More than that, it is the only way to lay groundwork for an effective term in office as Secretary of State. An overt partisan would have a difficult time buttressing Washington voters’ faith in free and fair elections.
Wyman is the clear choice.
Marilyn Strickland for the 10th Congressional District
South Puget Sound voters in Washington’s 10th Congressional district have a rare opportunity to replace a retiring Congressional standout with a candidate whose qualifications are similarly excellent. Tacoma Democrat Marilyn Strickland should be elected as Denny Heck’s successor in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Strickland, a moderate like Heck, brings a strong governmental résumé to the race for this open congressional seat, just as Heck did in 2012 as a former legislator and state cabinet official. Strickland was an accomplished Tacoma mayor who guided the city from the Great Recession to a revived downtown.
As mayor, she connected business interests to progressive coalitions, negotiating an agreement to raise the city’s minimum wage and boosting the city’s education and workforce-development infrastructure. She advocated for big-picture transportation development on Sound Transit’s board and persuaded voters to pass Tacoma’s first road-improvement tax in decades. After her mayoral term ended, Strickland became president and chief executive officer of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, where she represented 2,600 regional businesses.
This strong pragmatic history of crafting alliances indicates Strickland could be a Congressional success at getting Washington’s needs addressed.
The other candidate, state Rep. Beth Doglio, D-Olympia, is running to Strickland’s left, with a platform pitched toward farsighted progressive environmental and social goals. This has helped her land a raft of endorsements from leading labor unions and national liberal leaders. But Congress needs more consensus-building and less polarization.Voters should send Strickland to Washington, D.C., to keep the 10th district represented by a leader with proven ability to bring people together for meaningful progress.
Denny Heck for lieutenant governor
Washington’s current lieutenant governor has all but vacated his office, but the position is crucial. Voters should turn to a public servant with a history of good governance and elect U.S. Rep. Denny Heck.
The lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate and fills in whenever the governor is unavailable. Each responsibility could still be significant this year. The Legislature is overdue for a special session to resolve budget gaps.
Heck is by far the strongest choice to give Washington stability to this sometimes-overlooked office. As a member of Congress for eight years and a five-term state representative, Heck has been a thoughtful moderate Democrat and advocate for Washington’s foreign-trade sector.
Washingtonians can trust Heck to conduct business fairly as the Senate grapples to mend its budget. And few can doubt Heck’s ability to serve as governor if called upon. He knows the job from service as Gov. Booth Gardner’s chief of staff and promised to be a caretaker interim governor if needed, not a candidate for a full term while trying to guide the state through ongoing crises.
Washington needs this reliability. Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib is on unpaid leave — while still holding office — after joining Jesuit clergy in California in August. The more liberal Democratic candidate, State Sen. Marko Liias, said he would push partisan policies within the Senate and leverage an interim governorship to advance his ambitions.
Voters should choose Heck for lieutenant governor.
Approve King County Prop 1 for Harborview Medical Center
Harborview Medical Center is an exquisite community treasure, but it needs your help.
The only Level 1 trauma center for Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska is in dire need of investment for safety and to continue the public hospital’s state-of-the-art care for the severely injured and ill and the most in need in our communit
King County voters should approve Proposition 1 for Harborview Medical Center Health and Safety Improvement Bonds. The measure would raise about $1.74 billion over 20 years. The new property tax would cost the owner of a $600,000 home about $75 a year. It would replace an expiring levy that currently costs the same household $14 per year.
The bond measure would stabilize older buildings, expand and modernize the emergency department, increase surge capacity, and meet modern infection and privacy standards. Harborview’s existing behavioreal-health services would be consolidated into a new, expanded facility that will allow providers to help patients stave off crisis before it happens.
Additionally, up to 150 additional respite beds will be added to the renovated Harborview Hall. Especially vulnerable patients ready to be discharged but without a stable, safe environment to go to can continue their recovery while social workers help determine their next steps.
Harborview takes good care of our community. Voters should ensure it can continue to do so. Vote yes on King County Proposition 1.