Thirteen Democratic candidates will appear on Washington’s March 10 presidential primary ballot, from front-runners to long shots and some who likely will have dropped out by the time voting takes place.
For Republicans, President Donald Trump will be the sole listed choice.
The primary lineups were announced by the state Democratic and Republican parties on Monday, ahead of a deadline to submit candidate lists to the Secretary of State’s Office.
For Democrats, whose 2020 nomination battle remains in flux with a month to go before voting begins in Iowa and New Hampshire, the roster of names set to appear on Washington’s ballot includes just about everyone still running.
That includes the big names who’ve topped national polls, such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
It also includes an array of other contenders: Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, ex-New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York entrepreneur Andrew Yang, California businessman Tom Steyer, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and former Maryland Rep. John Delaney.
They’ll compete for a share of Washington’s 107 delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention this summer in Milwaukee, where the party will officially nominate its candidate to take on Trump.
The 2020 presidential primary will mark the first time such a vote will count for Democrats. The party historically has relied on caucuses to pick presidential favorites, requiring voters to gather in schools, communities centers and homes to participate.
With the primary date moved up from May to March, and both parties participating in the all-mail election, Secretary of State Kim Wyman said she expects Washington’s vote to matter more this year. The March 10 vote will fall exactly a week after Super Tuesday, when a dozen states will hold primaries or caucuses, including California.
“I do believe Washington is going to be relevant in the process,” said Wyman, a Republican, in an interview. “I think we are going to have record-breaking turnout.”
State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski said she was glad to see so many candidates showing interest. “Now we will see who among the field takes the next step by coming to meet our voters at public events before our first Democratic presidential primary,” she said in a statement.
It’s likely some Democratic candidates appearing on the March 10 ballot won’t even be running by that time. But they can’t be taken off the ballot now that the list has been finalized because state and county election officials need time to design and print ballots, which start being mailed to overseas voters in late January.
The threshold for Democratic candidates to qualify for the ballot was not high. They had to submit 1,000 signatures from registered voters and pay $2,500 to the state Democratic Party for verification and administrative costs.
Two additional candidates — California Sen. Kamala Harris and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro — also met those requirements, but ended their campaigns and requested to be kept off the ballot prior to this week’s deadline. Author Marianne Williamson, who recently laid off her entire national campaign staff but says she’s not giving up, failed to meet the party’s requirements.
On the Republican side, unsurprisingly, only Trump will appear on Washington’s ballot.
Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld also is running for the Republican nomination. But Weld did not meet the state GOP’s requirements for getting on the ballot, which included signatures from a dozen members of the state GOP central committee and a $12,000 fee, said state Republican Party spokesman Kyle Fischer.
State Republican Party Chairman Caleb Heimlich said he’s excited for the earlier primary election, “as it will give Washingtonians a larger voice in the primary process, and we anticipate strong support for President Trump going into the 2020 election.”