Tuesday’s primary election in Washington state will narrow the field to the top two in races ranging from Jay Inslee’s bid for a third term as governor to secretary of state, lieutenant governor and all 10 seats in Congress.
Ballots, mailed to voters in July, must be postmarked by Tuesday, Aug. 4, or deposited in an official drop box by 8 p.m. Election Day. There are several ways to return your ballot: mail it, at a ballot drop box, or at an accessible voting site if you have certain challenges. Postage is not required.
It’s been an unusual time for campaigning. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the rules of engagement with voters — less contact, fewer personal appearances by most candidates, but not all.
The roster of top GOP contenders for governor includes Raul Garcia, Tim Eyman, Joshua Freed, Loren Culp, Phil Fortunato and Anton Sakharov.
Meanwhile, Cyrus Habib’s decision not to run for reelection in order to join the Society of Jesus has set up an 11-candidate scramble to be the state’s next lieutenant governor.
The contest to replace Rep. Denny Heck in Congress, the only representative Washington’s 10th Congressional District has known, has drawn 19 candidates, more than twice as many as any other House race in Washington. The leading candidates, judging by fundraising and ability to field a robust campaign, include two state legislators, a former Tacoma mayor, a socialist truck driver, a former Heck staffer and a 25-year Army veteran.
In 2016, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, was elected to a second term with no Republican bothering to challenge him. This year three GOP attorneys are competing for a chance to take on Ferguson in November.
In the state Legislature, all 98 House seats are up for election, along with 26 Senate seats. When they return as scheduled in January, lawmakers will face excruciating decisions on taxes and spending to balance an $8.8 billion projected state budget shortfall through 2023.
In the race for secretary of state, the official who oversees Washington’s election system, Republican incumbent Kim Wyman is seeking a third term. She’s gearing up to face state Rep. Gael Tarleton, a Democrat from Seattle and former Port of Seattle commissioner.
In the public lands commissioner contest, Democratic incumbent Hilary Franz, who emerged from a crowded field in 2016, faces a handful of relative political newcomers. Only one contender, Republican Sue Kuehl Pederson, of Lakewood, has raised financial support of at least $25,000.
For more information on candidates, registering to vote (you can do that through Tuesday, in person), and updating your registration, visit https://www.sos.wa.gov/elections/.
King County: 206-296-8683 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The county has voting centers available for those who need assistance or have missed deadlines, but officials ask that those who are able to use online tools do so.
Snohomish County: 425-388-3444 or www.snohomishcountywa.gov/224/Elections-Voter-Registration
More information: voter.votewa.gov