(July 25, 2016) — Don’t wait! Find it, fill it out, and send it in.
Voters in Washington state have received their Primary Election ballots and if recent elections, and early return rates are any indication, the percentage of people that will bother voting between now and Aug. 2 will be shamefully low. But the good news is, with such a small percentage of the state’s 4 million eligible voters likely to return their ballots, union members have a great opportunity to make sure that champions of working families advance to the General Election.
Your unions have analyzed the candidates’ issue questionnaires and interviewed each of them. Delegates from unions across the state have assembled to vote on which ones should earn endorsement from the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO as true advocates for raising wages, promoting good jobs, and improving public services.
Check out the full list of WSLC-endorsed candidates, but here are some of the key statewide races down the ballot — that have multiple challengers and strong labor-endorsed candidates with proven track records — where your primary election vote is critically important:
Cyrus Habib for Lt. Governor — A state senator with a 97 percent voting record on working families’ issues, Cyrus Habib rose to the top of a crowded field of 11 candidates for this position. Cyrus has been a champion for fully funding our public schools, reducing college tuition, investing in a transportation system that addresses the tremendous need for transit, basic protections for working families, acting urgently to address climate change and a more open and accountable state government.
Marko Liias for State Treasurer — Also a state senator, Marko Liias has a lifetime 96 percent labor voting record. Marko has worked as a budget writer in both the House and Senate, working with Democrats and Republicans to craft the state’s $8 billion transportation budget. He understands the difficult and complex financial challenges our state faces, and he has a proven track record of coming up with solutions to balance the budget and ensure our state is on strong financial footing.
Tina Podlodowski for Secretary of State — A former Microsoft executive and Seattle City Councilmember, Tina Podlodowski has 30-plus years of leadership in technology, government and management that has saved taxpayers millions of dollars, improved public safety and health, and advanced technology. As Secretary of State, Tina’s crosscutting experience, and commitment to a fair, accessible and equitable voting system, will restore Washington as a leader in democracy.
Chris Reykdal for Superintendent of Public Instruction — Chris Reykdal is a state representative with a 99 percent voting record on working families’ issues. As SPI, Chris will prioritize developing a K-12 operating budget request that fully funds our public schools in a more equitable way, submitting capital budgets for school construction that create jobs and enforce labor standards, and restoring career and technical education programs and pre-apprenticeship pathways to graduation.
Jeff Sprung for State Auditor — As a government prosecutor, Jeff Sprung handled investigations and litigation to stop corruption in the federal government’s low-income housing programs. For the past 25 years, Jeff has been a fighter for taxpayers, unafraid to take on some of the country’s largest corporations. He will bring the same determination to helping our state and local governments steer clear of fraud and abuse.
Dave Upthegrove for Lands Commissioner — Dave Upthegrove is a King County Councilmember and a former state representative with a 97 percent lifetime voting record on labor issues. In his 12 years as a legislator, he served as Chair of the Select Committee on Puget Sound and Chair of the House Environment Committee and has demonstrated his commitment to protecting our environment and the beauty of our state, while also maintaining and improving our economic future.
Of course, there are other statewide races on primary election ballots that are no less important, including re-electing Jay Inslee for Governor, Bob Ferguson for Attorney General, and Mike Kreidler for Insurance Commissioner.
Check out the full list of WSLC-endorsed candidates.
And most importantly… find that ballot, fill it out, and send it in!