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Washington election season kicks into gear with candidate filing

Closeup of election vote button with text that says 2024
adamkaz/Getty Images
Closeup of election vote button with text that says 2024

An election season thick with intrigue gets formally underway in Washington on Monday when candidates can begin filing for hundreds of local, state and federal offices.

Retirements and redistricting assure new faces will be behind the levers of power in Olympia and, in at least two cases, Washington, D.C. Hot-button issues of abortion rights, climate policy and public safety could be factors in who prevails.

Statewide, voters this fall will pick a new governor, attorney general, state lands chief, and insurance commissioner.

In the Legislature, all 98 House seats and 25 of 49 Senate seatsare on ballots. Fifteen lawmakers – seven in the House and eight in the Senate – are not seeking reelection. A court-ordered redrawing of the state’s district map opens the door wider for newcomers.

Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, an influencer in the U.S. House, is not seeking reelection. Several Republican and Democrat hopefuls are already scrapping to be her successor representing a swath of eastern Washington including Spokane.

In western Washington, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer is tapping out after six terms. That’s set up a match between two Democrats and one Republican who now hold state elected offices.

Voters are also getting a rare opportunity to put someone on the state Supreme Court. Justice Susan Owens is turning 75 and Washington’s Constitutionrequires justices retire at the end of the year in which they reach that age.

Finally, in November, atop all ballots and above the battle between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, will be citizen initiatives to repeal the state’s capital gains tax, roll back a major climate law, and rewrite the rules for Washington’s new long term care insurance program to let people more easily opt-out.

Candidates for federal, state, and judicial positions file with the Office of the Secretary of State. Online filing begins at 8 a.m. Monday and ends at 5 p.m. Friday, May 10. Candidates for a local office should check specific deadlines with their county auditor as they may differ.

This year’s primary is Aug. 6 and the general election is Nov. 5. In each primary race, the two candidates with the most votes will advance regardless of their party affiliation.

Washington State Standard is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Washington State Standard maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Bill Lucia for questions: Follow Washington State Standard on Facebook and Twitter.