Republican Kim Wyman has won re-election as secretary of state, while Democrat Hilary Franz has won her race for state commissioner of public lands. Campaign finance Initiative 1464 was defeated.
Kim Wyman has been re-elected as secretary of state, and Hilary Franz has won her first term as state commissioner of public lands.
Wyman, a Republican who won her second term, defeated Democratic challenger Tina Podlodowski, who conceded the race on Thursday. Wyman had 54 percent of the votes counted by Thursday evening.
Wyman ran as a steady hand, selling herself as a nonpartisan official who could be trusted to oversee the state’s elections. She stressed that Podlodowski, a former Microsoft executive and Seattle City Council member, had no experience managing elections.
Podlodowski sought to pin Wyman as a standard Republican — in a Democratic state — arguing that Wyman had not done enough in her first term to make it easy to vote and boost voter turnout.
Franz, a Democrat and a favorite of Seattle environmentalists, defeated Republican Steve McLaughlin in the race for public lands commissioner. She had 54 percent of the votes counted by Thursday evening.
Both candidates were relative political newcomers. Franz served one term on the Bainbridge Island City Council. She recently resigned as executive director of Futurewise, a nonprofit that helps implement the state’s Growth Management Act.
McLaughlin is a retired naval officer with a ranching background and has never held public office.
The public lands commissioner leads the state Department of Natural Resources, overseeing logging in state forests, an industry that generates about $200 million annually, money that is mostly used for public school construction. The commissioner also manages 5.6 million acres of state land and is the state’s top firefighting official.
Campaign finance initiative rejected
Washington voters have rejected a measure that creates a publicly funded voucher system for political contributions, The Associated Press reported.
Initiative 1464’s voucher system would have given voters three $50 “democracy credits” that they can use in state races every two years. To pay for the statewide system, the measure would have repealed the nonresident sales tax exemption for residents of sales-tax-free states like Oregon and Montana who shop in Washington.
To be eligible to redeem the vouchers, participating political candidates would have to have pledged to limit self-financing, as well as the size of donations they accept.