Washington candidate filing week begins for the 2024 election

Voters drop off ballots at the White Center Library ballot box

Voters drop off ballots at the White Center Library ballot box on voting day, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023.  (Genna Martin/Cascade PBS)

Candidate filing week for races in the general election begins Monday, May 6. People interested in running for federal, statewide, Legislative and Superior Court and Court of Appeals positions can file for election with the Secretary of State’s office through Friday, May 10. People interested in running for local races can file with their local county elections offices.

These races are slated to be on the Aug. 6 primary ballot. The top two vote-getters in each race will proceed to the general election on Nov. 5. The exception to that rule is if only one or two candidates file to run for a nonpartisan race, such as judge. In that case the race would skip the primary and appear on the general election ballot.

Statewide seats this year are governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, treasurer, public lands commissioner and insurance commissioner. In the Legislature, all seats in the state House are up for election, as well as 25 seats in the state Senate. Federal races on the ballot this year are all 10 congressional seats and U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell’s seat. 

People interested in running for these positions can file with the Secretary of State’s Office online or in person in Olympia. The filing fees for each seat are 1% of the office’s annual salary. Filing period closes Friday 5 p.m. sharp, according to the state.

Races for local seats – for example, District Court positions and the special election for Seattle City Council Position 8, currently held by Councilmember Tanya Woo, who was appointed to a vacated seat this year – will be handled at local elections offices (in these examples, King County).

The deadline to withdraw oneself from candidacy is 5 p.m. Monday, May 13.

Correction, May 8, 2024: An earlier version of this story misstated which races can skip the August primary. This has been corrected.

Frank Chopp won’t seek reelection after 30 years in WA House

Frank Chopp

House Speaker Frank Chopp holds the gavel while presiding over the House, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Olympia. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Rep. Frank Chopp, speaker of the Washington House for 20 years, has announced he will not be seeking reelection after 30 years representing Seattle in the state Legislature.

The Democratic leader has focused his tenure in state government on housing, behavioral health care and education. His signature policy achievements included: providing free college and university tuition for low-income students; health care and housing for low-income families and unhoused people; the state Housing Trust Fund; increased funding for early learning; the legalization of same-sex marriage; Washington’s Voting Rights Act; and more state money for homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“I’ve always been driven by the belief that everyone deserves a foundation of home, health, and hope,” Chopp said in a statement. “As I leave legislative office, I am excited for the next generation of leaders carrying on this work, as I continue to advocate and organize efforts in the public interest as a public citizen. As people know about me, I am not the retiring type.”

In his “spare time,” Chopp has continued his work as a community organizer and advocate for low-income housing.

Chopp, 70, was first elected to the House in 1994, representing Seattle’s Capitol Hill, the U District, Wallingford and Fremont neighborhoods. He was House minority leader from 1997 to 1998 and was elected co-speaker with Clyde Ballard during the 1999-2001 legislative sessions when Democrats and Republicans split the House 49-49. He was elected sole speaker in 2002 when the Democrats won a majority of the House, which they have not lost since.

His counterpart in the Republican party, Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox of Yelm, also recently announced he would not be running for reelection after 14 years in the House.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Spokane, announced on Thursday that she will not seek reelection in Washington’s 5th District after 20 years in the seat.

McMorris Rodgers said in a statement that the time has come for her to find new ways to serve the people of Eastern Washington.

“After much prayer and reflection I’ve decided the time has come to serve them in new ways. I will not be running for re-election to the People's House,” she said in a statement released on Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (U.S. House of Representatives)
U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (U.S. House of Representatives)

McMorris Rodgers is one of two Republicans among Washington’s 10 delegates in the House of Representatives. She represents Washington’s 5th Congressional District, which covers 16,053 square miles in the easternmost part of the state, spanning from Canada to Idaho and Oregon.

She was the sole no-vote in Washington’s Congressional delegation to impeach former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 insurrection. The state’s other two Republican representatives at the time voted to impeach.

McMorris Rodgers was elected to her position in Congress in 2004, most recently serving as Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. She formerly was chair of the House Republican Conference from 2012 to 2018.

So far, three Democrats have started to raise money to run for the 5th District seat, according to the Federal Election Commission: Ann Marie Danimus, who has run for the seat before; Carmela Conroy, a former U.S. diplomat; and Bernadine Bank, a physician.

Late last year, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, announced that he would not run for reelection. His seat has attracted several candidates.

King County is in the middle of an election, but registered voters will not be receiving a ballot in the mail. 

To vote for the King Conservation District Board of Supervisors Election, people need to go online to, or use their mobile phone to scan the card they received in the mail. 

The King Conservation District has a five-member board that sets water, land and wildlife conservation policy. Voting for board seat No. 1 is open through Feb. 13. All registered voters in King County, except those who live in Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific and Skykomish, are eligible to vote in this election.

Three people are seeking your vote: Brittney Bush Bollay, the board’s current vice chair; Aaron Ellig, a biologist who works for Sound Transit; and Erik Goheen, a farmer who owns and operates a small farm in Redmond.

The conservation district distributes money for projects around the region, plants native trees and shrubs and does fire prevention work, among other responsibilities.

National realtors group drops $659k in Seattle, Spokane elections

an exterior shot of seattle city hall

Seattle City Hall (Paul Christian Gordon for Crosscut)

The National Association of Realtors is spending big to back candidates in Seattle and Spokane this election cycle.

According to an Oct. 6 filing with the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, NAR spent $225,781 in support of Seattle City Council candidates and $150,779 on Spokane City Council and mayoral candidates in the general election. NAR spent an additional $282,745 in Spokane during the primary, according to a July 7 filing.  

In Seattle, the Association spent $61,324 in support of Tanya Woo, District 2; $54,425 for Joy Hollingsworth, District 3; $57,404 for Maritza Rivera, District 4; and $52,628 for Bob Kettle, District 7. The money paid for direct mail, phone banking and online advertising in support of the candidates.

In Spokane, NAR spent $99,008 in support of mayoral candidate Nadine Woodward during the primary and another $4,165 for the general election so far. In the races for Spokane City Council, the group has spent $13,256 on Michael Cathcart (District 1) in the general and $66,574 on Earl Moore (District 3); $184,672 on Kim Plese (City Council President); and $65,847 on Katey Treloar (District 2) in the primary and general.

Crosscut reached out to the National Association of Realtors for comment on their investments in Seattle and Spokane elections and will update this story if they respond.

Chicago-based NAR is the country’s largest real estate industry trade association with more than 1.5 million members. The Association recently made national headlines when several of the country’s largest real estate brokerages, including Seattle-based Redfin, announced they were leaving the organization in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against its leadership and two antitrust class-action lawsuits.

Spokane mayoral, City Council president debate tonight at 6 p.m.

Nadine Woodward and Lisa Brown.

Nadine Woodward and Lisa Brown. (Courtesy of the campaigns) 

The Spokane Public Library, in partnership with the Spokane NAACP and Thin Air Community Radio, hosts a mayoral and City Council president forum tonight from 6-8 p.m. at the downtown location, 906 W. Main Ave. 

Listen to the Candidate Forum & Town Hall on Thin Air Community Radio, a nonprofit radio station in Spokane, at 88.1 and 92.3FM, or streaming at The livestream can also be found here, courtesy of Thin Air Community Radio. 

If interested in attending in person, registration is required

Nonpartisan incumbent Nadine Woodward faces former Democratic state Sen. Lisa Brown in the mayoral race. Current Spokane City Councilmember Betty Wilkerson will participate in tonight’s City Council president forum. Competitor Kim Plese will not be in attendance. 

Additional debates and forums currently planned for Spokane elections will continue through October. Confirmed events include:

  • The Gonzaga University Climate Change Forum will be held on campus at Cataldo Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. All candidates for city office in Spokane have been invited to this event. Currently, Brown has accepted and Woodward has declined to participate.
  • The Rotary Club of Spokane will host a debate for City Council president candidates on Thursday, Oct. 5 from noon to 1 p.m. in partnership with KXLY.
  • The Spokesman-Review will host Spokane mayoral and City Council president debates on Oct. 11 at Gonzaga University. City Council president candidates will take the stage at the Myrtle Woldson Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m., followed by mayoral candidates at 7 p.m.
  • KSPS, Spokane’s local PBS station, will hold City Council debates. Candidates for District 1 will debate on Tuesday, Oct. 10 from 10 a.m. to noon, with candidates from District 2 debating later that day from 2-4 p.m. Northwest Spokane candidates will debate Tuesday, Oct. 17 from 6:30-8 p.m., and Council president candidates will debate Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon.
  • KHQ and Greater Spokane Inc. will jointly host a mayoral debate on Oct. 17. KREM will host a mayoral debate on Oct. 26.

Bob Ferguson, Raul Garcia lead in early Washington governor poll

Two portraits of Washington gubernatorial candidates Raul Garcia (l) and Bob Ferguson (r).

Washington 2024 gubernatorial race front-runners Raul Garcia and Bob Ferguson. (Courtesy of the candidates)

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, and Yakima physician Raul Garcia, a Republican, are the current front-runners in the 2024 race for governor, according to a new poll released today by the Northwest Progressive Institute.

But a third of respondents, as of this week, remain unsure, according to the poll, which was conducted on June 7 and 8. 

Ferguson, who has raised $2.4 million for his campaign according to the state Public Disclosure Commission, leads with 25%. Garcia, who has raised $44,000 so far, has 17% support.

Third in the poll was Richland School Board member Semi Bird, a Republican, with 10%, followed by Democrats Hilary Franz, the state Public Lands Commissioner, with 9%, and state Sen. Mark Mullet, with 7%. 

In Washington, the top two finishers in the Aug. 6, 2024, gubernatorial primary will face off in the November general election, regardless of political party. 

According to the Northwest Progressive Institute, both Ferguson and Garcia have strong backing from voters in their respective parties. But independent voters are more split, with 20% backing Ferguson, 17% backing Garcia, and 40% saying they are unsure. The rest of the independents were divided among Bird (9%), Franz (8%) and Mullet (6%).

Ferguson, state Attorney General since 2012, has successfully challenged a number of actions by the Trump administration. Garcia, the medical director at Astria Toppenish Hospital, ran for governor in 2020 as a Republican, but came in fifth in that primary. That year Loren Culp emerged from a crowded field of Republicans with 17% of the primary vote to challenge Gov. Jay Inslee in the general election.

The poll of 773 likely Washington state 2024 general-election voters was conducted by Public Policy Polling, over landline and text, and has a margin of error of 3.5%. The poll asked respondents to choose from the five candidates who have raised more than $50,000 in campaign contributions. Seventeen people have filed PDC paperwork to campaign for governor.

Inslee, who won re-election in 2020 with 56% of the vote, announced earlier this year that he will not run for a fourth term.