Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and her most prominent Republican challenger, state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, are among dozens of candidates who officially filed to run for office this morning. Another Republican, Chuck Jackson, who has run unsuccessfully for Senate before, also filed.
State Sen. Derek Kilmer and Jesse Young filed to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, while U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert filed for re-election and already has two challengers in his new, more GOP-leaning district, Democrat Karen Porterfield and one from within his own Republican Party, Keith Swank of Puyallup. Republican Jim Postma of Steilacoom is challenging Rep. Adam Smith.
This week is decision time for anyone wanting to run. Filing began this morning, and some candidates chose to come in person to their local county auditor’s office or to the secretary of state’s office in person — starting with Dick Muri of Steilacoom at the state level. Muri was later joined in the race for an open congressional seat by a fellow Republican member of the Pierce County Council, Stan Flemming of University Place, and by Steve Hannon of Yelm, with no party preference. Others filed online or by mail. You can follow Pierce County and statewide filings here.
Most of the decisions lack drama, having been announced weeks or months ago, but there are often surprise additions or prominent candidates making a last-minute decision to bow out.
With Washington’s top-two primary, in which political parties don’t endorse on the ballot, it’s interesting to watch what party candidates identify with. Fall City Rep. Glenn Anderson, who is running for lieutenant governor, listed his affiliation as “Prefers Indep. Republican Party.” (Lt. Gov. Brad Owen filed as “Prefers Democrat Party.”)
In the Legislature Anderson was one of a few Republicans who voted to allow same-sex marriage, and repeatedly called for a corporate income tax to replace Washington’s current business-and-occupation tax. “My reputation really is as an independent Republican,” Anderson told me while filling out paperwork. “There are times when I don’t agree with the party.”
Baumgartner also came in personally to fill out paperwork, and also was touting bipartisan credentials from the Legislature, as well as his call for ending the Afghan war. He called both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars “poorly planned,” while also criticizing U.S. participation in attacks on Libya without congressional authorization.
Baumgartner said he wants to shore up the solvency of Social Security by increasing the retirement age and means-testing the program, weighting it toward the needy. He said just like a pension-benefit cut he supported in Olympia, his ideas would “keep promises to current members” of Social Security while scaling back future promises.
Both major candidates for governor plan to file later this week.
The statewide race that attracted the most names was secretary of state. Three Democrats came to the secretary of state’s office to file in person: former state Sen. Kathleen Drew, state Sen. Jim Kastama and former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, who talked up his worries about big money in elections, citing Costco “putting over $20 million in for something that affects their bottom line,” the liquor-privatization initiative that voters approved last year.
Sam Wright filed for secretary of state under the banner of the Human Rights Party and Karen Murray under the Constitution Party. (Republican Kim Wyman is also running.)
In other statewide races, Republican Reagan Dunn filed for attorney general, Republican James Watkins for auditor, and three incumbents for re-election: Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, Democratic Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark and Democratic Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.
UPDATED 5 p.m. to add more candidates and correct Drew’s title.