Ballots for Washington’s Aug. 2 primary election are now set, as candidates filed to run for hundreds of positions in contests that will see Republicans — nationally and statewide — try to make up ground even as the party wages an internal battle over continued loyalty to former President Donald Trump and his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss.
There were no major surprises, but marquee races drew large fields of candidates at a time when high inflation, the lingering pandemic and fears over the future of American democracy and abortion rights are fueling rampant dissatisfaction with government leaders.
Seventeen challengers filed against U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, the Senate’s third-ranking Democrat, who is seeking a sixth term this year. By far her best-funded challenger is Pasco veterans advocate Tiffany Smiley, a first-time candidate already endorsed by the state Republican Party, who has raised more than $4.2 million to Murray’s $11.7 million.
The state’s most vulnerable Democratic member of Congress, U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier, D-Sammamish, is seeking a third term in the swing 8th Congressional District, which includes vast swaths of east King, Pierce and Snohomish counties and runs across the Cascades to Kittitas and Chelan counties.
As expected, several Republicans filed to compete in the primary for the chance to face Schrier this fall. They include: Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn; Jesse Jensen, a combat veteran and tech manager who ran for the seat in 2020; Matt Larkin, an attorney and executive at his family’s manufacturing business; and Scott Stephenson, an Amazon program manager.
Meanwhile, Republican U.S. Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler and Dan Newhouse are each facing a slew of Republican challengers angered by the incumbents’ votes to impeach Trump over his role in stoking the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters seeking to halt the peaceful transfer of power to President Joe Biden.
The glut of pro-Trump challengers competing for roughly the same voters may work to the benefit of Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, and Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, in the August primary.
Four Republican challengers filed against Herrera Beutler. They include Joe Kent, the Trump-endorsed combat veteran who has become a frequent Fox News guest; Heidi St. John, a Christian speaker and home-schooling advocate; and state Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver. Democrats Marie Gluesenkamp Perez and Davy Ray also filed for the seat. Another Democrat, Brent Hennrich, who had been campaigning for months, withdrew his candidacy Friday and urged support of Gluesenkamp Perez.
Six Republicans filed to challenge Newhouse, including Loren Culp, the Trump-endorsed, former small-town police chief who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2020; state Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick; Prosser businessman Jerrod Sessler; and Corey Gibson, a Selah resident who has worked in marketing. One Democrat, Yakima businessman Doug White, also filed.
In the Seattle area, Democratic U.S. Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Seattle, and Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, each drew four challengers, including Vincent Cavaleri, a Mill Creek Cty Council member challenging DelBene.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, seeking a 14th term, drew five challengers, including Stephanie Gallardo, a Democratic socialist who has raised more than $120,000.
The state’s chief elections office is up for grabs, with Secretary of State Steve Hobbs running to keep the job he was appointed to by Gov. Jay Inslee after longtime incumbent Republican Kim Wyman resigned last year to take an election-security post in the Biden administration.
Hobbs, a former Democratic state senator and lieutenant colonel in the Washington National Guard, was appointed despite lacking experience as an election administrator. He filed this week to seek a full four-year term.
Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, a longtime election administrator, has filed as a nonpartisan candidate for the position, arguing the office should be seen as politically independent. Republicans who filed include state Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley; former state Sen. Mark Miloscia, who resigned this week as head of the Christian conservative group the Family Policy Institute of Washington; and Snohomish County resident Bob Hagglund. Tamborine Borrelli, a Yelm resident who has filed several lawsuits alleging, without proof, that the 2020 election was fraudulent, also filed to run as an “America First” Republican.
King County will have a new prosecutor for the first time in 15 years after long-time incumbent Dan Satterberg announced earlier this year that he won’t seek reelection. The race drew two candidates, both with experience in the non-partisan prosecutor’s office.
Leesa Manion, Satterberg’s current chief of staff, is running and has the endorsement of King County Executive Dow Constantine. She’ll face Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell, who served as a prosecutor for 15 yeas before being elected mayor in 2013.
In Seattle-area legislative races, state Sen. Reuven Carlyle is retiring after 14 years in the Legislature representing Belltown, South Lake Union, Queen Anne, Ballard, Magnolia and Greenwood. Running to replace him is state Rep. Noel Frame and Kate Martin, an activist and multi-time candidate for Seattle mayor and City Council.
Five candidates, all Democrats, filed to fill Frame’s seat in the 36th Legislative District: Waylon Robert, Julia Reed, Nicole Gomez, Jeff Manson and Elizabeth Tyler Crone.
State Sen. David Frockt, who’s represented northeast Seattle in the Legislature since 2010, is also not seeking reelection. Vying to replace him are state Rep. Javier Valdez, Matthew Gross, Alex Tsimerman and Bevin McLeod.
Five candidates, all Democrats, are vying to fill Valdez’s House seat in the 46th District: Nancy Connolly, Melissa Taylor, Nina Martinez, Darya Farivar and Lelach Rave.
State Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley opted not to run for a second term in the 46th District representing the Central Area and Rainier Valley. Four candidates, all Democrats, are seeking the seat: Chipalo Street, Andrew Ashiofu, Emijah Smith and Nimco Bulale.
State Rep. Eileen Cody, who has represented West Seattle since 1995, is not seeking reelection. Candidates vying for the 34th District seat are: Emily Alvarado, Leah Griffin and Jolie Lansdowne, all Democrats.
In the 31st Legislative District, former state GOP Chairman Chris Vance, who left the party over its continued support for Trump, filed as a nonpartisan candidate against state Sen. Phil Fortunato, R-Auburn. Also filing as an independent was Clifford Knopik, a computer scientist who has questioned the state’s COVID-19 data as “corrupt.”
As Republicans in the state Legislature seek to pickup seats, one target may be the 5th Legislative District, in East King County, from Black Diamond through North Bend to Snoqualmie Pass. Democratic Rep. Lisa Callan is seeking a third term and will face Republican Chad Magendanz, a former two-term representative who lost close races in 2016 and 2018.
Three seats on the state Supreme Court, currently held by Justices Mary Yu, Barbara Madsen and G. Helen Whitener, drew no challengers.
Ballots will be mailed to voters starting July 15.