Nov 4, 2022 - Politics

Secretary of state candidates battle for progressive Seattle vote

Illustration collage of a ballot torn in half, which each piece overlapping to form an "X"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The final leg of the campaign for Washington's secretary of state is turning into a fight for the hearts of Seattle progressives.

Driving the news: Nonpartisan candidate Julie Anderson launched an ad in the Seattle area this week targeting Steve Hobbs, the Democratic incumbent, as having a record of "voting against progressive policies."

Why it matters: Anderson has been fending off attacks from the state Democratic Party, whose leaders have tried to paint her as a secret conservative despite her past Democratic ties.

  • Now, Anderson is more aggressively trying to make a case to Seattle voters that she — not the Democratic incumbent — would be the best choice for progressive voters.

Details: Anderson's ad criticizes Hobbs, a former state senator, for voting against legislation to reduce emissions from cars and trucks and a tax on capital gains targeting high-earners.

  • "Democratic voters are being asked to ignore his lack of experience because he will toe the party line, but his record hasn't shown that," Anderson told Axios of Hobbs on Thursday.
  • She has argued that her time running elections as Pierce County auditor makes her more qualified to oversee the state's elections than Hobbs, who was appointed as secretary of state last year to fill a vacancy.

The other side: In a statement to Axios, Hobbs called the ad by Anderson "highly misleading" and said it "undermines her nonpartisan and purportedly 'above politics' label."

  • "I'm a pro-choice, pro-environment, and pro-labor Democrat who forges bipartisan solutions to complex problems," Hobbs said.

What we're watching: Recent polls show a large number of undecided voters in the race.


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