The fight to run Washington's elections heats up
One of Washington's highest-profile elections this year isn't for governor or U.S. Senate — it's for the office that oversees the state's elections.
Why it matters: The secretary of state is in charge of making sure our vote-by-mail system runs smoothly.
- The job also involves combating election misinformation and addressing election security threats.
Flashback: Republicans held the office in Washington for more than half a century.
- But that GOP domination ended last November, when Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman stepped down to take a job in the Biden administration.
- Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee immediately appointed a Democrat, Steve Hobbs, as the replacement.
- Before she resigned, Wyman was the last Republican statewide elected official on the West Coast outside of Alaska.
What's happening: Hobbs now has to defend the seat in a special election and faces seven challengers in the Aug. 2 primary.
- Julie Anderson is an elected county auditor who oversees elections in Pierce County — the state's second-most populous. She is running as an independent.
- Mark Miloscia is a former Republican state senator who until recently was executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, a conservative Christian organization. He identified as a Democrat before switching parties in 2014.
- Keith Wagoner is a Republican state senator. He said he is running partly to restore partisan balance to state government, since Democrats now hold every statewide office.
- Bob Hagglund chairs a local Republican organization. His campaign focuses on eliminating mail-in voting and requiring picture ID to vote.
- Tamborine Borrelli led a group that filed baseless lawsuits alleging fraud in the 2020 election. She is running as an "America First" Republican.
- Two lesser-known candidates also jumped in: Marquez Tiggs identifies as a Democrat while Kurtis Engle lists his party preference as "Union."
What's next: Ballots for the primary will go out in the mail in mid-July.
- You don't need to pick a party — Washington's top-two primary system means you can choose any candidate in any race, regardless of their party affiliation.
- The two candidates who get the most votes will advance to the general election.
- If you aren't registered to vote or need to update your address, go to VoteWa.gov.
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