Washington voters will narrow the fields in the races for nine statewide elected officials, from governor to state school superintendent. In eight of those races, incumbents are on the ballot.
The outlier is lieutenant governor, where Cyrus Habib is leaving office to enter the Society of Jesus.
Eleven people hope to replace him. Here are thumbnail sketches of the candidates.
The lieutenant governor presides over the Senate while it’s in session. That person makes parliamentary rulings and votes to break ties. Otherwise, it’s an office where the person who holds it can work on projects important to them.
Among the 11 candidates are five Republicans, four Democrats and two Libertarian Party members. Here they are in alphabetical order.
Joseph Brumbles: Republican from Yelm. He’s a single father and business leader who calls himself an “oath keeper” on his website. He ran for Congress in 2018 against Democrat Denny Heck, who is also running for this office. Brumbles vows to work to reform the family court system, “take a stand for Liberty and protect our constitutional rights” and to help ensure “A United Washington.” He calls for lower taxes, a balanced budget, a strong state economy, school safety, taking care of veterans and clean and affordable energy.
Jared Frerichs: Libertarian from Spokane. He’s a small business owner and Coast Guard combat veteran. He says he will work to eliminate poverty, decriminalize sex work and replace all state taxes with something he calls a “single land value tax.” He writes in his blog “Urban Survival Cooperative” that “Our system of governance is broken and I am here to fix it.”
Denny Heck: Democrat from Olympia. He’s the current congressman in Washington’s 10th District, serving his fourth term. Heck is a former state representative for five terms who also served as House Majority Leader. He’s a former chief of staff to former Governor Booth Gardner. He founded the TVW cable TV public affairs network. He’s a former business agent for a union that represented classified public school employees. He says he will fight for policies to combat climate change and sponsored a bill in Congress to impose a carbon fee and dividend. He vows to fight for a more progressive state tax system and fight for access to reproductive health care.
Michelle Jasmer: Democrat from Puyallup. She bills herself as a teacher, entrepreneur, financial ethics expert, author, CEO, artist and many other things. She vows to advocate for what she calls ‘fair policing’. She supports believes police officers should wear body cameras and that abusive officers should be removed from the force. She wants students to be required to take more career and technical education courses and she wants state government to have a comprehensive plan for combating homelessness.
Marko Liias: Democrat from Mukilteo. He’s a state senator in the 21st Legislative District, representing Snohomish County. He was a former city council member who helped to create a small family business. He vows to work for what he calls a more progressive state tax system and a universal, single-payer health care system. He also plans to work to increase the price of carbon emissions and to push for new sources of energy and to work to make the policing system in the state less abusive to people of color. He has the endorsement of Cyris Habib, the man who is leaving the office.
Marty McLendon: Republican from Gig Harbor. He’s a real estate broker, former pastor, conservative radio talk show host, former chairman of the Pierce County Republican Party. He ran for lieutenant governor in 2016. He grew up in central Washington and formerly worked as an anesthesia technician in several Seattle-area hospitals. He takes positions on a variety of issues, including making state government more accountable. He vows to reduce traffic congestion and to work to increase the supply of housing and make it more affordable.
Dick Muri: Republican from Steilacoom. He’s a former state representative, Pierce County Council member and GOP precinct committee officer. Muri is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, including serving at Joint Base Lewis McChord. “My decisions are based on common sense conservatism, science based environmental stewardship, and the belief in local control of decisions and resources is usually best.”
Bill Penor: Republican from Lake Stevens. He has worked a variety of jobs, most recently as an airport manager, including aircraft rescue firefighter. He vows to reduce the state transportation system to reduce cost overruns.
James Rafferty: Democrat from Milton. He’s a machinist and laser operator and former union steward for the machinists’ union.
Ann Davison Sattler: Republican from Seattle. She’s an attorney and occasional teacher who ran for Seattle City Council as a Democrat but writes on her blog that she felt ostracized by local Democrats who accused her of being a Republican. She said she feels Seattle Democrats were an intolerant group and that she found herself more comfortable with the problem-solving approach espoused by Republicans.
Matt Seymour: Libertarian from Bothell. He has worked much of his career in property management, also as a corporate accountant, pest management professional and substitute teacher. He vows to serve as an ‘impartial referee’ who facilitates discussion in the state Senate.