Before “The Squad” came to D.C. in 2019, there was Representative Pramila Jayapal, who (like AOC, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib) is a woman of color who takes crap from no one. Jayapal emigrated from India to the United States at age 16, got her BA from Georgetown and MBA from Northwestern, founded Hate Free Zone after 9/11, and served in the Washington State Legislature from 2015 to 2017. Since then she has been standing up for immigrant rights in her four years in the U.S. House of Representatives, while also sitting on the Judiciary Committee, doing her best to hold the Trump Administration accountable for its corrupt acts and malfeasance (which in itself is a full time gig).

She should get 100% of District 7’s vote. But she won’t.

One of Jayapal’s challengers, Rick Lewis, is a game theory consultant, a former Naval Intelligence Officer, and a ballroom dance instructor. He supports single-payer health coverage and has some interesting proposals on creating tariffs on nations who do nasty things to their people and the environment. He says he has the resume of a “highly competent James Bond villain.” Is that a feature or a bug?

Her other challenger is perennial Republican congressional candidate Craig Keller, who at times sounds sane (“trust Dr Fauci” and “outlaw all robocalls”) but then slips on a rightwing tinfoil hat (“buy gold and a gun” and “deceitful communists are destroying the economy”). Which one will make it through to November to lose to Pramila by 60%. I really don’t care, do you?



Jay Inslee has handled the COVID-19 pandemic response as well as any governor in the country (yes, that’s a relatively low bar, but still). Washington state had the first known positive COVID-19 test in the United States way back in January (twelve days before the Super Bowl—remember sports?) and Inslee was quick to act, but slow to freak out.

He’s been Cool Papa Jay ever since, letting you have a little bit of fun (booze to go!), but warning that he’ll turn this frickin’ car around in a second if you don’t behave. As a result, Washington state’s positive case numbers haven’t spiked dramatically, no matter what Andrew Cuomo says. Could we be doing better? Sure. But is Inslee to blame? Mostly no.

Former President-to-be Inslee has THIRTY FIVE people running against him for governor. It’s a Washington State All-Star team of self-promoters and ne’er-do-wells, with Hall of Fame shyster Tim Eyman batting cleanup. It’s tough to imagine what 2020 would have been like in Washington if any of these people had been our state’s CEO during this pandemic, and the #2 candidate who advances to the general election should tell us a lot about the state of Washington’s shrinking Republican Party. Will non-Inslee voters choose a “reasonable” Republican like Raul Garcia (he wears a mask!) or will a good showing by Eyman prove that Trumpism has taken over the party here as well?


Washington state’s lieutenant governor has two jobs: preside over the state senate and assume the governorship if Jay Inslee dies (actually, I hope that’s just one job). The position is so boring, in fact, Cyrus Habib announced he was bailing on it after barely three years in office.

Boring job or not, eleven candidates are running to replace Habib. Among them we’ve got an old-timer (Denny Heck), a rising star (Marko Liias), an opportunist (Ann Davison Sattler), and an anarchist (Jared Frerichs).

Heck comes with the most name recognition, having served four terms in the U.S House of Representatives, but after watching his shallow, grandstanding appearance on the Intelligence Committee during the Trump impeachment hearings, I think Denny should head happily into retirement.

Sattler has name familiarity for some, having run for the Seattle City Council in District 5 in 2019. She lost to Debra Juarez in a lesser-of-two-evils race and somehow in the matter of three months decided that she was no longer a Democrat. She is now running as a Republican, hoping no doubt to slip through to the general election on party affiliation alone. Might actually work.

Frerichs is running as a Libertarian, and his campaign links to a website selling anarchist merchandise. He has a few inspirational passages and policy ideas there as well, but I think he’s mostly just selling black t-shirts.

My vote is going to rising star Marko Liias. Liias has served in the Washington State Senate since 2014, so he should be familiar with the primary role of lieutenant governor: preside over the Washington State Senate. He supports progressive taxation, single-payer health care, clean fuel standards, Sound Transit 3, and demilitarizing the police. Looks like someone's fixing to run for governor in 2024.


Somehow in a state that hasn’t elected a Republican governor since 1980 or a Republican U.S. senator since 1994, Washington hasn’t had a Democratic secretary of state since Victor Aloysius Meyers, who was born in 1897 and used to play drums in illegal speakeasies during Prohibition. That’s a long time!

Kim Wyman is running for her third term as secretary of state, having barely squeaked by her opponent in 2012, and then winning more convincingly in 2016 (Wyman got 55% of the vote with Trump on the top of the ballot, which is pretty impressive). Considering her party affiliation she’s been a non-controversial secretary of state, and the “R” after her name gives the continuous election of Democrats statewide in Washington a bipartisan stamp of approval.

But can we do better?

Wyman’s only real competition in this race is Gael Tarleton, who has served in the Washington State House of Representatives since 2013. Tarleton has a background in defense intelligence and national security, and connections at the Pentagon might be helpful when elections are under attack from our adversaries. Tarleton is quick to point out that while Wyman hasn’t cozied up to Trump, she also hasn’t condemned his attacks on mail-in voting or Republican efforts to defund the U.S. Postal Service, which could have dire consequences for voting by mail.

When voting in THIS Washington is under attack from the OTHER Washington like it never has been before, we need someone who has experience playing defense against offenders both foreign and domestic.


Incumbent state treasurer, Duane Davidson, is a Trump-supporting Republican. How did a Trump-supporting Republican win a statewide election in Washington? Well his victory in 2016 was a fluke of our top-two primary, where three Democrats split 52% of the vote, allowing the two Republicans in the race to advance by getting the other 48%.

This year Davidson has only one opponent, Mike Pellicciotti. Pellicciotti is not a Trump supporter. Pellicciotti is a Washington state representative who sits on the House Budget Committee. He’s refusing donations from corporations in this race because he sees that as a conflict of interest in a campaign for state treasurer. He’s an advocate for transparency in PAC donations in all political campaigns, and has a history of supporting transparency in government spending as well. He’s got experience, credentials, and endorsements, but hopefully I had you at “not a Trump supporter.”


I like the cut of Joshua Casey’s jib. He wants bad cops to be held accountable, recycling programs to get better, and homelessness to end. Unfortunately a state auditor has little impact on any of those issues. He does have a CPA license and experience as an accountant and auditor at PricewaterhouseCooper, credentials more relevant to the position he’s running for.

Casey’s biggest complaint against fellow Democrat and incumbent Pat McCarthy seems to be that she was not more on the ball in stopping the hundreds of millions of dollars of fraudulent unemployment claims that were filed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s possible McCarthy should’ve been quicker in identifying weak spots in the unemployment insurance system, but once they were identified her office has done a pretty good job of fishing out fraudulent claims and recouping much the stolen loot.

There’s also a Republican in this race, Chris Leyba. Leyba operates an animal rescue and saves horses from kill pens, which is awesome. And as an equestrian he should know that switching a good horse midstream is usually a mistake.


Three candidates are running against Trump resistance hero and incumbent attorney general Bob Ferguson. One, Brett Rogers, is a former SPD bike cop who proudly displays a photo of himself in full riot gear on his website and says he supports President Trump “without question.” Next.

Matt Larkin is a little more moderate, with some impressive credentials, which include “Attorney in the White House for a former U.S. President.” That former president goes unnamed on Larkin’s website, but a deeper dive tells me he was an assistant speech writer for George W. Bush. Next.

Mike Vaska is Ferguson’s most mainstream opponent. He’s endorsed by some of Washington state’s non-crazy Republicans, like Rob McKenna and Dan Evans, yet he isn’t running as a Republican. He’s running in the “GOP Party.” This moniker drives me nuts because the P is GOP stands for “Party.” He should be running in the “GO Party.” Sounds cooler too.

Anyhow, screw these guys. Bob Ferguson has been Washington’s attorney general for the past eight years, and we’re lucky to have him. His opponents complain he spends too much time suing the Trump Administration (he’s done so 69 times), but when the federal government fails to protect immigrants, the environment, voting rights, and consumers, it’s good to have a fighter like Bob Ferguson on your side.


Every four years this position seems to attract some crazies. This year is no exception.

One of the candidates wants to stop fires by raking the forests, and lists his community service as “I’ve never been to jail.”Another wants to stop chemtrails, solar power, Bill Gates, Satan, and eugenics (mixed bag there).

Overall six candidates have filed to supplant Hilary Franz as commissioner of public lands. But why? In her four years at the head of DNR Franz has balanced the needs of Washington’s rural communities with the desires of its urban areas. She’s fought Trump on offshore drilling and punished fisheries for negligent practices. She’s worked to restore forests and advocated for sustainable energy sources. She’s not crazy and it even rhymes.


In my mind, no group of people is getting more screwed by the COVID-19 pandemic than kids, who are missing out on the social aspects of school and were forced to turn on a dime and begin learning in a whole new way last Spring. Also getting screwed: teachers, who have no idea what the 2020-21 school year is going to look like.

Each of the six candidates running for superintendent of public instruction has their own vision for Washington state schools moving forward. Maia Espinoza thinks it should be less sexy. She threw her hat into the ring to stop “mandatory sex ed.” Ron Higgins opposes sex ed in schools as well, and is tired of the favorable way in which public schools portray “Communist mass-murderer Che Guevara." As too sexy, perhaps?

We got David Spring, who comes off a little too pro-coronavirus and thinks schools should not have been shut down (“thanks to their remarkable immune systems, children were never a risk to adults!”), and Stan Lippmann who in the past eight years has run for state house, chief justice, and county council, and also driven an UBER. Dennis Wick has a pithy slogan (“Pick Wick!”) but few ideas and little experience in education.

This school year is going to be nuts. Do we really want any of these folks trying to navigate it on the fly? Stick with the incumbent, the only thing that won’t be dramatically different for students and teachers this year.


On January 23, 1971, when insurance commissioner Mike Kreidler was studying public health as a graduate student at UCLA, the Bruins beat UCSB in basketball. They would go on to win their next 87 games. Kreidler’s electoral winning streak has been nearly as impressive—five straight victories for insurance commissioner.

Kreidler’s focus as insurance commissioner has been on health reform. He pressed the Obama administration when he thought the ACA was too weak, and has pushed back against the Trump administration’s attempts to dismantle the law. Last year he proposed legislation in Washington state to ban surprise medical billing, and the law passed.

Ultimately the United States should adopt a single-payer health insurance system, but until that day comes (will it ever come?), we need trusted oversight of the crappy system we have.



Incumbent representative Nicole Macri faces no real competition this year. Republican candidate Leslie Klein majored in Ceramics at Case Western University and claims he was a spy for the United State Air Force. He calls himself a “bright light of change.” He’s been flickering for awhile, as this is his fifth run for the State House and he’s never cracked 16% of the vote.

No Party Preference candidate Brandon Franklin would like citizens to be more engaged and suggests that people should vote on every issue brought before the House of Representatives and be paid for the votes they cast. Which makes me wonder, “Why, then, would we need a House of Representatives?”

One of these candidates will face off against Macri in November’s general election, where she got 91% of the vote in 2018. Macri’s been a fine state rep in her two terms in office. Her focus has primarily been on the homelessness crisis. How’s that going? Not so great, but at least some progress has been made in affordable housing. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so give Nicole some more time.



When Frank Chopp announced he was stepping down as Speaker of the House following the 2019 legislative session, I assumed he would not be running for reelection in 2020. I was wrong. The gavel is gone, but the mustache remains. Counting on my hands the number of times Chopp has run for this position, I ran out of fingers. I think this is fourteen. When Chopp was first elected represenative, Tom Flores coached the Seahawks and Nirvana Unplugged topped the Billboard charts. He’s been there awhile. Is this the year we finally shave the mustache?

Chopp has two legitimate opponents in the primary election, both of whom have strong resumes and endorsements.

Sherae Lascelles is an advocate for marginalized communities in the 43rd, such as homeless youths, sex workers, and the mentally ill. Among other things, Lascelles wants to increase state funding for housing, study a variety of systems (housing, healthcare, transportation, the environment) through the lens of race, increase the transportation budget and work toward free transit, decriminalize sex work, and provide access to childcare for every parent in Washington state. All good things.

Jessi Murray is a car-free renter who aligns solidly with Lascelles on most of the issues above. She also wants to create a more progressive tax system by implementing a wealth tax and reducing the sales tax, create a public bank, end the expansion of highways and put that money toward fixing infrastructure and expanding bike lanes, work for a statewide single-payer health care system, freeze rent until the COVID pandemic is over, and end cash bail.

In an ideal world, ol’ Frank would come in third in the primary, and Lascelles and Murray would face each other in the general election. In the year 2020, it seems anything can happen. But if Chopp does make it to November, I’d like to see the candidate with a better chance of beating him be there too. .


If you live near me there’s a chance I’m on your ballot as PCO. I don’t know much about my fellow candidates, Quinn Rao Dassel and Ashlei Goodman, except that they’re younger than me, possibly smarter than me, and likely more energetic than me.

But was either of them the 43rd District Democrats’ Volunteer of the Year in 2010? Did they apply to replace Tim Burgess on the Seattle City Council and propose 35 bitchin’ things to do in 35 days in office? Did they stand up at City Hall and rant about the loss of bike share? Did they caucus for Dennis Kucinich in 2004 as a county and legislative delegate? Did they chair their area caucus in the 2008 presidential race? Are they Canadian? I DOUBT IT!

I, on the other hand, have done all those things, and will continue to fight on the behalf of precinct 43-2024 to bring positive change to the greatest eight blocks in Seattle (except for that one house on Latona that makes way too much noise well past midnight...oh, and that guy on 44th who never covers his garbage...and then there's that family on 4th who have way too many cars, I mean you live in a city, take the freakin' bus for once...don't get me started...)