2024 Washington State Elections Update

The 2024 election in Washington state will be the most significant election year in more than a decade. At the top of the state ballot, we’ll have four open seats for statewide office (meaning an incumbent won’t seek reelection), including an open seat Governor’s race for the first time in 12 years. We will also have open seat races for the Attorney General, Commissioner of Public Lands, and Insurance Commissioner seats. On top of that, several lawmakers are retiring from office (including two congressional retirements), which all contribute to an eventful election season that will result in new political leadership and a drastically different legislature in 2025.
As a refresher, the state contains 49 legislative districts represented by one state Senator and two state Representatives each (49 Senators and 98 Representatives). State Representatives must run for election every two years, while state Senators seek election every four years. The current makeup of the legislature is:

  • House: 58 Democrats | 40 Republicans
  • Senate: 29 Democrats | 20 Republicans

It’s important to note that Washington state utilizes a top two primary, meaning that the two candidates receiving the most votes will advance through the primary election to the general election, regardless of party preference. It is not uncommon in some legislative districts to have two candidates from the same party running against each other for a seat.

Important Election Dates
• Primary Election: August 6, 20204
     - The two candidates receiving the most votes will advance to the general election.
• General Election: November 5, 2024
     - The candidate receiving the most votes will win the seat.

Redistricting Shakeup
Redistricting is the process of creating or redrawing existing district boundaries to adjust for population changes, based on the U.S. Census, and is done every 10 years. The State of Washington does this work through a five member bi-partisan Redistricting Commission that contains two Democrats, two Republicans, and one non-partisan, non-voting Chair. Historically, the redistricting process has not been controversial, however this cycle resulted in a legal battle over the 15th legislative district where a federal judge ordered the state to redraw the district in the Yakima Valley region due to the boundaries undermining the ability of Latino voters to participate equally in elections.

After months of legal challenges, on March 15, 2024, a federal judge approved new boundaries for Washington’s 15th legislative district (LD) in the Yakima Valley, which affects various legislative districts statewide. In the end, the new boundaries will make significant impacts to five eastern Washington legislative districts specifically, as some of those lawmakers were redistricted out of their current district and into new districts. The results are below:

• 12th Legislative District
     - Senator Hawkins was re-districted from the 12th LD into the 7th LD.
• 14th Legislative District
     - Senator King was re-districted from the 14th LD into the 15th LD.
     - Rep. Corry was re-districted from the 14th LD into the 15th LD.
     - Rep. Mosbrucker was re-districted from the 14th LD into the 17th LD.
• 15th Legislative District
     - Senator Torres was re-districted from the 15th LD into the 16th LD.

This redistricting shakeup resulted in multiple current legislators having overlapping districts with other current legislators. Displaced lawmakers had to decide if they would move back into their old district to run again for their old seat, run against a fellow legislator for the new seat, or seek other positions or even retire. This Washington State Standard article covers the dynamics well.

Below is the latest on what those lawmakers’ plans are:

7th Legislative District
• Sen. Short was not impacted by re-districting.
• Rep. Maycumber is running for congress.
• Rep. Kretz has announced retirement.

12th Legislative District
• Sen. Hawkins was re-districted out and has announced he’s running for the County Commission.
• Rep. Goehner was not impacted by re-districting and will run for the 12th LD senate seat.
• Rep. Steele was not impacted by re-districting.

14th Legislative District
• Sen. King was re-districted into the 15th LD but will move back into the 14th LD to run for his current senate seat.
• Rep. Corry was re-districted into the 15th LD, and will run for an open seat in the 15th LD.
• Rep. Mosbrucker was re-districted into the 17th LD and will retire from the legislature.
15th Legislative District
• Sen. Torres was re-districted from the 15th LD to the 16th LD, however, can serve in her seat until the seat’s next election in 2026. At that time, she will need to either move back into the 15th LD or run for the 16th LD seat.
• Rep. Sandlin was not impacted by redistricting but has decided not to seek re-election.
• Rep. Chandler has announced retirement, so Rep. Corry (formerly in the 14th LD) will run for this seat in an open election.

17th Legislative District
• Sen. Lynda Wilson has announced retirement.
• Rep. Harris plans to run for the 17th LD senate seat.
• Rep. Waters was not impacted by re-districting.

Retirements and those seeking other office
In addition to the redistricting changes above, several statewide officials and legislators have announced their plans to either retire or seek another office. Below is the latest:

Executives Leaving Current Position
• Governor Jay Inslee (D) – retiring
• Bob Ferguson (D - Attorney General) – running for Governor
• Hillary Franz (D-Public Lands Commissioner) – running for Congress
• Mike Kreidler (D – Insurance Commissioner) – retiring Lawmakers Leaving State Senate - Retiring

Lawmakers Leaving State Senate - Retiring• Sen. Andy Billig (D-3, Spokane) ^Majority Leader
• Sen. Karen Keiser (D-33, Des Moines)

• Sen. Sam Hunt (D-22, Olympia)
• Sen. Lynda Wilson (R-17, Vancouver)
• Sen. Ann Rivers (R-18, La Center)
• Sen. Mike Padden (R-4, Spokane Valley)

Lawmakers Leaving State House - Retiring
• Rep. JT Wilcox (R-2, Yelm)
• Rep. Joel Kretz (R-7, Wauconda)
• Rep. Gina Mosbrucker (R-14, Goldendale)
• Rep. Bruce Chandler (R-15, Granger)
• Rep. Spencer Hutchins (R-26, Gig Harbor)
• Rep. Eric Robertson (R-31, Sumner)
• Rep. Frank Chopp (D-43, Seattle)

House Lawmakers Running for State Senate
• Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-3, Spokane)
• Rep. Leonard Christian (R-4, Spokane Valley)
• Rep. Bill Ramos (D-5, Issaquah)
• Rep. Keith Goehner (R-12, Dryden)
• Rep. Paul Harris (R-17, Vancouver)
• Rep. Greg Cheney (R-18, Battle Ground)
• Rep. Jessica Bateman (D-22, Olympia)
• Rep. Mike Chapman (D-24, Port Angeles)

Lawmakers Running for Other Office

• Sen. Mark Mullet (D-5, Issaquah) - Governor
• Sen. Kevin Van De Wege (D-24, Lake Sutherland) - Public Lands Commissioner
• *Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-48, Bellevue) - Insurance Commissioner
• *Sen. Phil Fortunato (R-31, Auburn) - Insurance Commissioner
• *Sen. Manka Dhingra (D-44, Redmond) - Attorney General
• *Sen. Emily Randall (D-26, Bremerton) - Congress
• *Sen. Drew MacEwen (R-35, Shelton) - Congress
• Rep. Kelly Chambers (R-25, Puyallup) - Pierce County Executive
• Rep. Jacqueline Maycumber (R-7, Republic) - Congress
• Sen. Brad Hawkins (R-12, Wenatchee) – Chelan County Commissioner

*Will keep Senate seat if unsuccessful

Initiatives to the Legislature: Three to the Voters; Three Passed the Legislature
A major topic of the 2024 Legislative Session was how the legislature would address six high profile initiatives brought forward by conservative interests aimed at rolling back recent laws enacted by the legislature. Three were passed by the legislature (relating to police pursuits, prohibiting a state income tax, and parental notification of certain instructional material), and three are headed to the ballot in November. The three on the ballot are:

• I-2109: If passed, would repeal the state’s Capital Gains Tax.
• I-2117: If passed, would repeal the state’s cap and invest program which was established in 2021 (Climate Commitment Act) and prohibits state agencies from imposing any type of carbon tax credit trading.
• I-2124: If passed, would allow individuals to opt out of the state’s Long-Term Care Program at any time.

Each of the initiatives has begun raising money for a “NO” campaign. Thus far, a “YES” campaign does not appear to have significant funding. The following is current as of state financial disclosure filings on 5/10/24.

• “No on I-2109,” (Repeal of the Capital Gains Tax).
     - Contributions: $530,562
     - Expenditures: $146,877
     - Debts: $12,015
•“No on I-2117,” (Repeal of WA’s Cap & Invest Program).
     - Contributions: $5,006, 583
     - Expenditures: $634,401
     - Debts: $63,341
•“No on I-2124," (Opt-Out of the State-Run Long Term Care Program).
     - Contributions: $297,808
     - Expenditures: $144,040
     - Debts: $9,017
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