Jun 8, 2022 - Politics

The fight to run Washington's elections heats up

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

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.

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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