State election guide 2020


Photo by Laura Lango

A dog sports a “Vote!” sign at the People’s Climate March at Cowley Park, Spokane.

By Karlee Van De Venter, Arts and Features Editor

Last week, The Easterner covered local election candidates for Cheney residents. Now, here’s a guide for residents anywhere in Washington. The state elections are just as important as county and federal, so use this guide to learn about each candidate and access their website. 



Jay Inslee

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Experience: Washington State House of Representatives 1989-1992, U.S. House of 

Representatives 1993-1994 and 1999-2012, Washington Governor since 2013

Education: Bachelor’s in economics from University of Washington and J.D. from 

Willamette University Law School. 

Key ideas: Safely recovering the economy, keeping healthcare, prioritizing education, 

and clean energy 



Loren Culp

Party Affiliation: Republican 

Experience: Chief of police in Republic, WA since 2016 

Military: Four years in the army

Education: GED

Key ideas: Boosting the economy, protecting individual rights and opposing tax raises.



Lieutenant Governor 

Denny Heck

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Experience: Washington House of Representatives 1976-1986, U.S. Representative for

the tenth district since 2013

Education: Bachelor’s from Evergreen State College

Key ideas: Promoting a fair economic system, strengthening public education and 

combating the climate crisis 



Marko Liias

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Experience: State representative for the 21st district 2008-2014, State senator since 2014

Education: Bachelor’s in foreign service from Georgetown University and master’s in 

public affairs from University of Washington

Key ideas: Economic recovery for all, universal healthcare and accessible quality 



Flyers reminding students to register to vote. Students can also register to vote on the EagleNet website. (Bailey Monteith)

Secretary of State

Kim Wyman

Party Affiliation: Republican 

Experience: Thurston County Auditor 2001-2013, Washington state Secretary of State 

since 2013

Education: Bachelor’s of arts from California State University, Long Beach and master’s 

in public administration from Troy State University 

Key ideas: Secure, accessible and impartial elections



Gael Tarleton

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Experience:  Seattle Port commissioner 20018-2013, State Representative for 36th 

district since 2013

Education: Bachelor’s in foerign service and master’s in government and national 

security from Georgetown University 

Key ideas: Expanding voter participation and preparing for threats to elections



State Treasurer

Mike Pellicciotti

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Experience: Washington state representative since 2017

Education: Bachelor’s in public administration, master’s in rural development and J.D. 

from Gonzaga University

Key ideas: Prioritizing families and retirees, opposing personal income tax



Duane A. Davidson 

Party Affiliation: Republican

Experience: Benton County treasurer 2003-2016, Washington state treasurer since 2016


Education: Bachelor’s in accounting from Central Washington University 

Key ideas: Reduce state debt, grow the financial literacy program and increasing 

transparency of state finances



State Auditor 

Pat (Patrice) McCarthy 

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Experience: Pierce County executive 2009-2016, Washington state auditor since 2017

Education: Bachelor’s from University of Washington, Tacoma 

Key ideas: More transparency and accountability of public money



Chris Leyba 

Party Affiliation: Republican

Experience: No elected experience 

Education: Bachelor’s in molecular biology from University of Washington, master’s in 


Key ideas: Creating jobs/opportunities and implementation of public input 


Student Brandon Carey casts his vote in the ASEWU Primary Elections in 2014.

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Experience: Attorney general since 2013

Education: Bachelor’s from University of Washington, J.D. from New York University

Key ideas: Defending civil rights, protecting the environment, advocating for the 

vulnerable and holding everyone accountable



Matt Larkin

Party Affiliation: Republican 

Experience: No elected experience

Education: Bachelor’s in political science and social science from Westmont College, 

J.D. from Gonzaga University and master’s of law from George Washington University 

Key ideas: Decreasing homelessness, drug addiction and crime rates, and making the 

state more business-friendly 



Commissioner of Public Lands 

Hilary Franz

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Experience: Bainbridge Island city council 2008-2011, Commissioner of Public Lands 

since 2017

Education: Bachelor’s in english and and government from Smith College and J.D. from 

Northeastern University 

Key ideas: Protecting public land, prioritizing wind and solar power, and investing to 

save the forests



Sue Kuehl Pederson 

Party Affiliation: Republican 

Experience: Grays Harbor County Republican Party chair in 2016

Education: Bachelor’s in biology from Western Washington University and master’s 

degree in public administration from University of Washington 

Key ideas: Balance between protecting wildlife and protecting Washington’s forest 




Superintendent of Public Instruction

Chris Reykdal 

Experience: State superintendent of public instruction since 2017

Education: Bachelor’s in social studies from Washington State University and master’s in 

public administration from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 

Key ideas: Improving mental health and student support, improve kindergarten readiness, 

build more career and technical education programs, and equitable access to resources 



Maia Espinoza 

Experience: No elected experience 

Education: Bachelor’s in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University and 

master’s in curriculum and instruction from Western Governors University 

Key ideas: Innovate classrooms, personalizing learning and teach students key life skills


Photo by: Nic Olson
Campaign posters litter the campus persuading students to vote one way or another.


Insurance Commissioner 

Mike Kreidler

Party Affiliation: Democrat

Experience: Insurance commissioner since 2001

Military: Lieutenant Colonel in Army Reserves 

Education: Master’s in public health from University of California, Los Angeles and 

Doctor of Optometry degree from Pacific University 

Key ideas: Improving access to affordable health care and protecting consumers



Chirayu Avinash Patel

Party Affiliation: Republican

Experience: No elected experience 

Education: Licensed insurance agent

Key ideas: Humanity comes first


Washington state residents can register in person until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. Ballots must be turned in by Election Day. Here is a list of ballot boxes in Spokane County. The Easterner will continue providing more election updates and information.