Getting personal with your candidates state side

Governor

Jay Inslee: Inslee is a former congressional representative from Washington’s First District. During his stint in the House of Representatives he has notably opposed the Iraq War and the 2008 TARP bank bailout, and strongly supported the 2010 Affordable Care Act known colloquially as “Obamacare.” Inslee has stated that he hopes to promote job growth by using targeted tax breaks and incentives aimed at seven key industries: aerospace, life sciences, agriculture, military, information technology, clean technology, and maritime. Inslee opposes the “two-thirds rule” requiring a two-third vote before the WA legislature can raise taxes. Inslee is a supporter of both abortion rights and gay marriage. He has also stated that he is uncomfortable with voting in favor of marijuana legalization.

Rob McKenna: McKenna has served as Washington’s attorney general since 2004. During his stint as attorney general, he has cracked down on human trafficking and underage prostitution, and proposed legislation that created tougher sentences for domestic abuse perpetrators. McKenna believes that a broad emphasis on tax breaks and deregulation will promote job growth, and opposed Initiative 1098 which would have created an income tax on households making $400,000 or more a year. McKenna is a strong supporter of the “two-thirds rule.” McKenna opposes the Affordable Care Act and was a part of a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. McKenna supports abortion rights, but has not been endorsed by either pro-abortion or anti-abortion groups. McKenna opposes gay marriage and marijuana legalization.

Congressional Senator

Maria Cantwell: Cantwell served as a congressional representative for one term and then worked as vice president of marketing for the technology firm RealNetworks until her election to the United States Senate in 2001. She opposes reducing income tax and making it flatter. She has strongly opposed many of Bush’s post-9/11 policies on the basis of personal privacy and was a supporter of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. She is a supporter of abortion rights, voted against the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and supported the repealing of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

Michael Baumgartner: Baumgartner served as the economic officer of the Office of Joint Strategic Planning & Assessment during the Iraq War. He defeated the State Senate Democratic Assistant Majority Leader, Chris Marr, in 2010. Baumgartner believes that businesses should be allowed to create jobs without government red tape slowing growth. He believes the Affordable Healthcare Act should be replaced with something that provides more competition and flexibility. He has stated that restrictions should be placed on teenager’s access to Plan B (the “morning after” pill) and voted no on Washington’s recent gay marriage bill, as well as a bill that expanded the state definition of parenthood to include domestic partners and same-sex couples.

Initiative 1185: Would reaffirm existing requirements for tax increases that require a two-thirds majority vote or voter approval and new or increased fees would require majority legislative approval.

Initiative 502: Would license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over 21. It would also remove criminal and civil penalties for regulated activities, tax marijuana sales, and clarify current DUI laws to require active THC levels over 5 milliliters to be present in a person’s bloodstream before they can be convicted of a DUI.

Initiative 1240: Would create a public charter school system open to all students and operated by nonreligious, nonprofit organizations, with government oversight.

Initiative 74: Would legalize gay marriage and convert domestic partnerships to marriages, as well as allowing religious organizations to refuse to perform marriage ceremonies.

Senate Joint Resolution 8223: Proposes a constitutional amendment allowing the University of Washington and Washington State University to invest public funds in private companies and stock.

Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution 8221: Proposes a constitutional amendment that would implement a recommendation by the Commission on State Debt. This would reduce the debt limit percentage over time from nine percent to eight percent. It would also modify the calculation date and calculation period.

Engrossed Senate Bill 6635: Would eliminate a business and occupation tax deduction for financial institutions’ interest on residential loans. This tax credit cost $170 million in its first 10 years.

Substitute House Bill 2590: Would extend expiration of a tax on possession of petroleum products and reduce the tax rate, costing $24 million in its first 10 years.

Secretary of State

Kim Wyman: Wyman has extensive experience as Thurston County’s auditor for the past 11 years. She has worked with multiple federal and private organizations on the topic of elections. These include the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the Federal Election Commission, and the Election Center. Wyman has stated that she hopes to help provide funding for statewide primary voters’ pamphlets, which are currently funded on a county level. Wyman has received endorsements from The Olympian and The Seattle Times, the Washington Education Association, and current Secretary of State Sam Reed.

Kathleen Drew: Drew has over 25 years experience as a public services manager for Washington State. She also hopes to provide funding for statewide primary voters’ pamphlets, as well as other measures designed to expand voter participation such as Election Day registration and pre-registration for teenagers. She has been endorsed by Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, the Washington State Labor Council, and the Sierra Club.

State Treasurer

Jim McIntire: McIntire has worked as a chairman for the Washington Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, the House Finance Committee, the Washington Community Economic Revitalization Board, and as a University of Washington Economics Teacher. He has been the current state treasurer for the past three-and-a-half years. McIntire has worked to help make Washington’s pension system the third-best funded in the country, financed $7 billion of new construction in public infrastructure, and saved $1.3 billion in interest costs on state debt. He is endorsed by the Washington Financial League, The Olympian, and 28 county treasurers.

Sharon Hanek: Hanek is Washington’s first statewide write-in candidate to appear on the general election ballot. Hanek worked at her own private practice certified public accounting firm for several years. She has stated that she believes that the accounting system should be transparent and relevant data should be easily accessible to both decision makers and citizens. She is endorsed by the Washington State Republican Party, Pastor Joe Fuiten, and several Washington State representatives.

State Auditor

James Watkins: Watkins has been working in the financial sector since 1991. He worked with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation during the end of the savings and loan crisis. He has also worked with Microsoft, managing a computer system designed for small business owners. Watkins has promised to fight fraud and abuse, as well as working to increase productivity and reduce costs. He has been endorsed by The Seattle Times and The Tri-City Herald, current Secretary of State Sam Reed, and the State Farm Bureau PAC.

Troy Kelley: Kelley has worked as audit team leader for the Securities and Exchange Commission and has served as the chairman of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee. Kelley has said that he plans to focus on cybersecurity threats, local whistleblower programs, and eliminating excess expenditure on government projects. He has been endorsed by current Washington State Auditor Brian Sonntag, the Independent Business Association, and the Washington Education Association.

Commissioner of Public Lands

Peter J. Goldmark: Goldmark has served as the Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands since 2009. He has also founded the Board of Farming and the Environment, served as the Director of Agriculture for State of Washington, and worked as a wildland firefighter for over 30 years. He has promised to continue to work to clean up the Puget Sound, seek new uses for renewable energy, and protect Washington’s forests. He has been endorsed by The Seattle Times and The Olympian, The Sierra Club, and both Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Patty Murray.

Clint Didier:Didier is a former professional football player. He currently works as the co-head football coach at Connell High School. Didier has said he supports limiting what he refers to as “government handouts” which include farm subsidies and social programs for the poor. He has been endorsed by the Washington State Farm Bureau PAC, the Spokane Home Builders Association, and Ken Morse of the Olympia TEA Party.

Insurance Commissioner

Mike Kreidler: Kreidler has served as Washington State Insurance Commissioner since 2000. During his time in office, he has issued more than $13 million in fines to insurance companies and agents, cut rate increases on homeowners and car insurance by $300 million, and regained national accreditation for his agency. Kreidler has promised to work to restrict the practice of credit-scoring, protect consumers, and reduce insurance rates. He has been endorsed by The Seattle Times and The Stranger, the Washington State Labor Council, and the Washington Federation of State Employees.

John R. Adams: Adams has owned his own insurance brokerage firm for the past 23 years. He has promised to order an audit of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, reduce regulation, and help reform underwriting practices. He has no listed endorsements.

Lieutenant Governor

Brad Owen: Owen was first elected lieutenant governor in 1996 and has been re-elected for each term since then. His main priority is to create family wage jobs and improve the economy. He hopes to have businesses share their products throughout the world and work with other countries. Substance abuse prevention, welfare, and anti-bullying campaigns are additional priorities of Owen. He is known for being bipartisan, but prefers the Democratic Party.

Bill Finkbeiner: Finkbeiner has spent fourteen years in the State Legislature and was the Senate Majority Leader for one term. He has many ideas for reform, which include encouraging bipartisanship by getting rid of the aisle separating Democrats and Republicans on the Senate floor and reducing partisan staff numbers. He also wants to limit the amount of influence that lobbyists have. Finkbeiner prefers the Republican Party.

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson: Ferguson focuses on protecting families and children, as well as small businesses, from “powerful special interests” and criminals. He plans to crack down on sexual predators and gangs. He also plans to prosecute “powerful special interests” that will try to take advantage of veterans, seniors, and taxpayers. He also will protect women’s rights, and is endorsed by Planned Parenthood. Ferguson prefers the Democratic Party.

Reagan Dunn: Dunn has experience not only as a prosecutor, but has also led law enforcement teams to arrest criminals. He will keep communities safe and protect citizens from unethical business. He plans to stretch tax dollars. He is an advocate of protecting the environment, too. He is endorsed by Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, and he prefers the Republican Party.

In this year’s election, Thurston County voters will be deciding on county commissioners, superior court judges, a public utility district commissioner, as well as a couple of county and local measures.