This guide won't tell you who to vote for, but should help you make your choices.

We're a nonprofit so we don't make political endorsements of any kind. What we do is publicly driven journalism.  Read more on our methodology below.

What's at stake?

Washington voters are about to choose a new Secretary of State, whose position oversees state elections, business licensing and ballot initiative process. You'll also choose a King County Prosecuting Attorney. The King County Prosecutor's office has four divisions: criminal, civil, child/family support and juvenile justice.

WA Secretary of State

The secretary of state oversees Washington's elections, business licensing and ballot initiative process. This year is a special election set to replace Kim Wyman, who stepped down to work on election security for the Biden administration. She was the last Republican to hold statewide office in Washington.

Julie Anderson

Julie Anderson refuses to pick a party for the race, saying we need citizens “who aren’t partisans — in the oversight of elections.” On her campaign website she has laid out detailed plans to enhance election security, with audits and independent testing, and voter access, including creating election centers for election days. Anderson touts her many years of experience as a Pierce County auditor, a seat to which she has been reelected for more than a decade. Before that, she served on the Tacoma City Council. Anderson is endorsed by elected officials from the left and right. Here’s what she and other election officials told Crosscut ahead of the 2020 ballot deadline. Anderson has more than $136,000 in the bank. Read more about the secretary of state race on Crosscut.

Related reading:

• Recap: 5 takeaways from the Secretary of State debate

WA's secretary of state race is a special election — in more ways than one

• PNW voter education efforts aim to combat election fraud claims

• Poll: 40% of WA voters still undecided in Secretary of State race

• Election security a key issue in the WA secretary of state race

Steve Hobbs

After being appointed by the governor to the seat late last year, Steve Hobbs now has to go before voters to keep the position. He got the job after Kim Wyman stepped down to work on election security in the Biden administration. She was the last Republican to hold statewide office in Washington. Before his appointment to oversee the state’s elections, Hobbs served in the state Senate, where chaired the Transportation Committee. The moderate Democrat plans to make combating election falsehoods and improving security key focuses of his office. He served in the U.S. Army and is currently a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army National Guard. Earlier this year, he outlined his plan to Crosscut. Hobbs is endorsed by a long list of Democratic elected officials and unions. He has more than $350,000 in the bank for the race. Read more about the secretary of state race on Crosscut.

Related reading:

• Recap: 5 takeaways from the Secretary of State debate

• WA's secretary of state race is a special election — in more ways than one

• PNW voter education efforts aim to combat election fraud claims

• Poll: 40% of WA voters still undecided in Secretary of State race

• Election security a key issue in the WA secretary of state race

• Top WA election official plans to focus on fighting misinformation

Brad Klippert

Republican state Rep. Brad Klippert of Kennewick is running a write-in campaign for secretary of state after conservative candidates in the August primary diluted their share of the vote, leaving the GOP off the ballot for an office it had won for decades. A Benton County Sheriff's Office deputy, Klippert gave up his House seat to unsuccessfully challenge U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside, in the August primary. Klippert has in recent years traveled to conferences around the nation hosted by MyPillow CEO and Trump supporter Mike Lindell, which have trafficked in baseless claims that the 2020 election saw widespread fraud. If elected, Klippert would seek to scrap Washington's vote-by-mail system and return to polling places that supply paper ballots. While Julie Anderson has the endorsement of former statewide elected Republicans, like former Secretary of State Sam Reed, Klippert is backed by the Washington State Republican Party and some local GOP organizations, like the King County Republican Party.

Related reading:

• WA Republicans are pushing this write-in for Secretary of State

• WA's secretary of state race is a special election — in more ways than one

• Recap: 5 takeaways from Sunday's Secretary of State debate

 

King County Prosecuting Attorney

The County Prosecutor provides legal services to the local government and prosecutes felonies within King County. The office has four divisions: criminal, civil, child/family support and juvenile justice.

Jim Ferrell

Jim Ferrell, a former deputy prosecuting attorney, is running to replace retiring King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg. During part of his 16 years in the office, Ferrell supervised the county’s domestic violence court. He says he believes in “second chances, but not revolving doors, where the same criminals are repeatedly committing the same crimes.” He wants to see the restorative justice programs reformed to exclude serious felony crimes — such as bringing a gun to school — and more detailed tracking of those cases. Ferrell’s endorsements skew toward police unions, but he has also received support from half a dozen other labor unions. Like the other candidate in the nonpartisan race, Ferrell identifies as a Democrat. He has about $152,000 in the bank for his campaign.

For more details about this race, read this story on Crosscut.

Leesa Manion

With King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg’s upcoming retirement, his long-time chief of staff, Leesa Manion, wants the job. Before being appointed as chief of staff, she spent seven years as deputy chief of staff and four years as a deputy prosecuting attorney. Her priorities include working to reduce crime and recidivism with crime prevention strategies including diversion and alternatives to incarceration. According to the state Attorney General’s Office, she played a large role in establishing the prosecuting attorney’s elder abuse program. While the position of county prosecuting attorney is nonpartisan, Manion identifies as a Democrat. She has collected endorsements from most of the local Democratic groups, while gaining support from labor unions and progressive organizations. She has raised more than $137,000 for the race.

For more details about this race, read this story on Crosscut.

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Methodology

In our ongoing quest to get voters the information they need to mark their ballots, we asked candidates for Congress and the Washington Legislature to answer a short multiple-choice survey on today’s issues. For each topic – from abortion to the economy – we gave them five choices and asked them to mark which choice came closest to their beliefs. 

Sounds simple, but it’s obviously not. We did our best to provide choices that cover most of the political spectrum, but we would have needed a lot more choices to include every unique perspective. Some candidates chose not to participate; others made a choice and then added context with a short description. 

Let us know how you think this idea could be improved by emailing our news editor, Donna Blankinship, or by filling out the form on our full methodology page. We provide this voter guide for our readers and we want to hear from you.