King County Elections workers have been making extra trips to empty out the Broadway ballot drop box. Officials say in the first five days of ballot collection, county voters turned in about ten times the typical number of ballots. It’s time for the rest of us get the civic duty job done. In addition to electing a president, Capitol Hill and Central District residents can vote on state legislature positions, seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, important funding for Harborview and public transit, and a schoolwide sex education referendum. Here’s how August’s primary played out. If you’re looking for some guidance we’ve compiled endorsement summaries for the races on the General Election ballots in the Capitol Hill and Central District area, below.
2020 GENERAL ELECTION ENDORSEMENT SOURCES: 43rd District Democrats, 37th District Democrats, King County Young Democrats, The Urbanist, The Stranger, The Seattle Times, the Civic Alliance for a Progressive Economy (CAPE) ratings and Fuse Washington’s Progressive Voters Guides
King County! 👏You impress.😎 In 2016 we collected 16,000 ballots from drop boxes the first 5 days after mailing. This year, we have⭐️60,000⭐️ballots and it's not even been 5 days! We hear you and are sending out staff to empty drop boxes daily! Take a look. #Hit90 #GOTV #Vote pic.twitter.com/F88N7fV9TG
— King County Elections (@kcelections) October 19, 2020
President: Go ahead. Fill in the bubble and begin the release of 45 months of anxiety, sorrow, and regret about what happened in 2016.
7th Congressional District: The Stranger, King County Young Democrats, 37th Legislative District Democrats, and 43rd District Democrats all endorse incumbent Pramila Jayapal, who far outpaced Republican challenger Craig Keller in the primary. The Stranger lauds Jayapal’s progressive record, including her work on the Paycheck Recovery Act, student debt reduction and climate advocacy.
9th Congressional District: Since 1977, Democrat Adam Smith has represented the 9th district, which encompasses the Central District. He’s also widely endorsed by the 37th Legislative District Democrats, The Stranger, King County Young Democrats, The Urbanist, and the Times, with the latter pointing to his work on affordable health care and immigration reform policies. Republican challenger Doug Basler received 15% of primary votes compared to Smith’s 74%.
Referendum Measure No. 90: 43rd District Democrats, 37th District Democrats, King County Young Democrats, The Stranger, The Urbanist, Fuse Washington and The Times are all in favor of approving this bill, which calls for required, comprehensive sexual health education in K-12 schools statewide.
Advisory Vote No. 32: The Stranger and Fuse Washington vote to maintain Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5323, which regulates thin plastic bags in retail and imposes a $.08 on thicker plastic and paper bags, lauding its environmental benefits.
Advisory Vote No. 33: The Stranger and Fuse Washington also vote to maintain Substitute Senate Bill 5628, which applies a 1.25% tax on “heavy equipment” rentals.
Advisory Vote No. 34: Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6492, which taxes businesses making over $1 million annually at a rate of 1.75% to go toward making public college more affordable, also gets a yes from The Stranger and Fuse Washington.
Advisory Vote No. 35: The Stranger and Fuse Washington Guide also say yes to Engrossed Senate Bill 6690, a business and occupation tax increase on commercial airplane manufacturers.
Proposed Constitutional Amendment: The Stranger and Fuse Washington approve Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution No. 8212, a constitutional amendment authorizing governments to invest public funds set aside to support long-term care services.
Governor: The race for governorship has been narrowed down from over 30 candidates: incumbent Democrat Jay Inslee and anti-mask mandate Republican Loren Culp. Inslee is widely endorsed by King County Young Democrats, 43rd District Democrats, 37th District Democrats, The Urbanist and The Stranger, with the latter pointing to his climate change action promises and that he has “done a good job steering the state through the pandemic.”
Lieutenant Governor: In the race for Lieutenant Governor, a position responsible for assuming governorship if needed, 43rd District Democrats, 37th District Democrats and the Times both endorse Democrat and U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, current representative of Washington’s 10th Congressional District, while The Stranger and The Urbanist endorse Democratic State Sen. Marko Liias. The Urbanist applauds Liias’s “mass timber green building techniques” and The Stranger notes his record supporting the LGBTQ community.
Secretary of State: It seems there is a chance Republican incumbent Kim Wyman may be unseated as Secretary of State. The 43rd District Democrats, King County Young Democrats, 37th District Democrats, The Urbanist and The Stranger all endorse challenger and current Democratic State House Rep. Gael Tarleton, with the latter stating Tarleton is the most capable candidate to oversee Washington elections, given her experience as an intelligence analyst for the Pentagon and work on legislation protecting elections from foreign security threats. The Times, on the other hand, endorses Wyman, citing her track record protecting the state’s elections from cyber threats over the past eight years.
State Treasurer: 43rd District Democrats, 37th District Democrats, King County Young Democrats, The Stranger and The Urbanist all endorse current Democratic State House Rep. Mike Pellicciotti for State Treasurer over the Times-endorsed Republican incumbent Duane Davidson, with The Urbanist praising Pellicciotti’s efforts to “close the ‘revolving door’ between elected office and corporate lobbying.”
State Auditor: King County Young Democrats, 43rd District Democrats, 37th District Democrats, The Stranger and The Times all endorse Democratic incumbent Pat McCarthy for State Auditor, a position tasked with overseeing state finances, over Republican police officer Chris Leyba
Attorney General: 43rd District Democrats, King County Young Democrats, 37th District Democrats, The Stranger and The Urbanist all endorse Democratic incumbent Bob Ferguson, who is running against Republican Matt Larkin. Larkin received 14% of the primary vote while Ferguson came in with 73%. Ferguson came to prominence early on in President Trump’s tenure after he filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the Muslim travel ban, and The Stranger considers him a relatively strong advocate for advancing progressive causes.
Commissioner of Public Lands: 43rd District Democrats, King County Young Democrats, 37th District Democrats, The Stranger and The Urbanist all endorse Democratic incumbent Hilary Franz for Commissioner of Public Lands, with The Stranger citing her environmental justice background and policies since taking office. Franz is up against Republican Sue Kuehl Pederson.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: As the future of in-person education remains uncertain during the COVID-19 pandemic, 43rd District Democrats, King County Young Democrats, The Stranger, 37th District Democrats, and The Urbanist all endorse incumbent Chris Reykdal for Superintendent of Public Instruction, tasked with supervising K-12 public education. The Stranger applauds Reykdal’s handling of public school closures over the last few months as a result of the pandemic.
Insurance Commissioner: 43rd District Democrats, 37th District Democrats, King County Young Democrats and The Stranger also endorse longtime Democratic incumbent Mike Kreidler. The Stranger points to his advocacy for transparency in healthcare billing and work fighting credit score scams.
Position 1, 43rd Legislative District: Two-term Democratic incumbent Nicole Macri is up against Republican Leslie Klein. Macri has received widespread endorsement from 43rd District Democrats, King County Young Democrats, The Stranger, the Seattle Times and The Urbanist, with the latter pointing to her healthcare initiatives and efforts against Washington’s rent control ban. Macri earned 5 stars on CAPE ratings, meaning she is “a champion for an economy that works for everyone.”
Position 2, 43rd Legislative District: In a slightly more contentious race, longtime Democratic incumbent Frank Chopp advanced to the general election alongside newcomer Sherae Lascelles of the Seattle People’s Party, knocking fellow Democrat Jessi Murray out of the race. Chopp received nearly 50% of primary votes while Lascelles came in not far behind with 31%. 43rd District Democrats and the Times recommend Chopp, given his 25 years of experience and prominent initiatives like affordable housing. The Urbanist and The Stranger both endorse Lascelles, citing their experience in forming organizations to help sex workers and their firsthand experience dealing with institutional racism and living as a sex worker. CHS has closely followed this race, most recently covering the Seattle University virtual candidates forum. In terms of CAPE ratings, Lascelles and Chopp both earned 4.5 stars.
37th Legislative District: In the race for Position 1, incumbent Sharon Tomiko Santos gets the nod across the board. The race for Position 2, on the other hand, is slightly less decided. NARAL Pro-Choice Washington executive director Kirsten Harris-Talley gets the pick from the Young Democrats, 37th District Democrats, the Stranger, and The Urbanist, while the Times backs city employee and activist Chukundi Salisbury for his “thoughtful, informed” approach. Harris-Talley came in with 51% of primary votes and received 5 CAPE stars while Salisbury received 23% of the vote and 4.75 stars.
STATE SUPREME COURT
Justice Position No. 3: Federal Way Municipal Court Judge Dave Larson is facing off against incumbent Raquel Montoya-Lewis. 43rd District Democrats, 37th District Democrats, the Young Democrats, The Times and The Stranger all endorse Montoya-Lewis, with the latter citing her experience in tribal courts and juvenile justice work.
Justice Position No. 4: The Young Democrats and 37th District Democrats endorse incumbent Charles W. Johnson who is running unopposed.
Justice Position No. 6: The Young Democrats, 37th District Democrats, The Times and The Stranger all endorse G. Helen Whitener over Richard S. Serns, with the latter pointing to her experience in court systems and racial justice work.
Justice Position No. 7: The Young Democrats and 37th District Democrats endorse incumbent Debra L. Stephens who is also running uncontested.
Charter Amendments: The Stranger, The Urbanist, 43rd District Democrats and 37th District Democrats give the nod across the board on all charter amendments, while the Times recommends all but 5, which calls for the sheriff to be an appointed position, and 6, which extends the King County Council’s authority over the sheriff’s office. CHS spoke with King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay about amendments 1, 4 and 6 pertaining to county law enforcement.
Prop. No. 1: This proposition, which would generate $1.74 billion in Harborview Medical Center upgrades and expansion, has also received widespread endorsement across the board.
KING COUNTY SUPERIOR COURT
Judge Position 13: The Young Democrats, 43rd District Democrats, 37th District Democrats and The Stranger all endorse Hillary Madsen over attorney Andrea Robertson, with the latter citing Madsen’s work in the judicial system and in representing children and youth.
Judge Position 30: 43rd District Democrats and 37th District Democrats endorse Boeing employment lawyer Carolynn Ladd while The Stranger endorses incumbent Doug North, citing his experience of 20 years in the role and that he’ll “help steer the court through the changes it needs to prevent miscarriages of justice during the COVID crisis.”
Proposition No. 1: This proposition calls for an up to 0.15% sales and use tax to go toward transit improvements. 43rd District Democrats, 37th District Democrats, the Times, The Stranger and The Urbanist all recommend voting yes.
The 2020 General Election takes place on Nov. 3. Ballots can either be submitted by mail and postmarked by Election Day or turned in by 8 PM at a drop box location.
CORRECTION: CHS erroneously included King County-only primary results for the governor and secretary of state races. We have removed the totals from the article.
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Dear CHS Intern: Thank you for the useful summary, but I want to note that your primary election results numbers seem a little off. For example, Jay Inslee won 50.14% of the vote in the primary, not “nearly 70% of primary votes,” and the second-place winner, Loren Culp, received 17.41% of the primary vote, not 5%. It appears you may have relied on the results for those races only within King County, which differ significantly from the statewide results, as King County’s population is only about 30% of that of the entire state. Just wanted to clarify for folks that the Governor and Secretary of State races were significantly closer than suggested above.
Thanks for catching this. Sorry for the errors.