Election 2024 Update – May Filing Edition

Filing week in Washington has now passed and the election season has formally begun! During the months of March and April, we were able to speculate on races based on announcements and financials reported to the Public Disclosure Commission, but now we know who is officially in each race, according to the Secretary of State.

All attention now lands on the lead up to the August Primary. The Washington Top 2 Primary allows voters to choose among all candidates running for each office. Voters do not have to declare a party affiliation to vote in the Washington primary. Candidates for partisan office may state a preference for a political party, which is listed on the ballot. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the Primary Election qualify for the General Election. Candidates must also receive at least 1% of the votes cast in that race to advance to the General Election. The Top 2 Primary was passed by the people in 2004 as initiative I-872, and passed by almost 60%. This system was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2008 and used for the first time in the 2008 primary. It has been in effect for all partisan elections since 2008.

Statewide Races

Insurance Commissioner

 Senator Phil Fortunato (R-31) has joined the race for Insurance Commissioner. Previously he had been raising money for the Secretary of State race, but likely switched gears when a serious Republican contender did not appear to challenge Democrat frontrunner Senator Patty Kuderer (D-48). Fortunato and Kuderer could not have more opposite political positions on just about every issue. Several other contenders have filed, but none who will attract as much support as the above two.

Legislative Races

Yakima Redistricting Area & Southwest

 In the 12th, Senator Brad Hawkins (R-12) has retired and Representative Keith Goehner (R-12) is seeking the Senate seat. Two Republicans, former Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett and Monroe school board director Jennifer Bumpus will seek Goehner’s House seat alongside a Democrat. Representative Mike Steele (R-12) has a Republican challenger, former Cashmere City Councilmember Daniel Scott.

Representative Chris Corry (R-14) will now run in the 15th, leaving open his old seat, now sought by two Republicans and a Democrat. The Republicans who will duke it out in the 14th are Andy Kallinen and former Grandview mayor, Gloria Mendoza.

Gina Mosbrucker (R-14) has retired after redistricting and Deb Manjarrez (R), an accountant and past chair of the Wapato Chamber, has filed. Senator Curtis King moved after redistricting as his residence was eight blocks outside of the new boundary. He will face off against Maria Beltran (D) in a race that has gained much attention west of the mountains.

In the 15th, Representative Chris Corry (R-14) will run for the seat left by retiring Representative Bruce Chandler (R-15) and will face a no-party-preference opponent. Representative Bryan Sandlin retired prompting former Representative Jeremie Dufault (R) and fellow Republican Rich Bright to run.

Following Senator Lynda Wilson’s (R-17) retirement, Representative Paul Harris (R-17) filed for Senate, setting off an open seat in the House, where two Republicans, Hannah Joy and Washougal Mayor David Stuebe, and a Democrat will battle it out.

Senator Ann Rivers (R-18) was redistricted into the 20th and rather than taking on the minority leader, retired. Two Republicans, Representative Greg Cheney (R-18) and Brad Benton, son of former Senator Don Benton (R), will join a Democrat in the race to replace Rivers. That of course leaves an open seat vacated by Cheney, which has attracted two Republicans and a Democrat. The Republicans are Philip L. Johnson and John Ley. Ley was previously charged with felony voter fraud.

Spokane and Eastern Washington

The 4th legislative district has an astounding fifteen people running for three seats. Representative Suzanne Schmidt (R-4) will face two challengers, but will almost certainly prevail. Six candidates have filed for the House seat vacated by Representative Leonard Christian (R-4) who is running for Senate, including former Republican Representative Rob Chase. And finally in the Senate position, five people are running in addition to Christian.

In the safe Democrat 3rd legislative district, both Ben Stuckart (D) and Natasha Hill (D) will face off against a Republican in the race to replace Marcus Riccelli (D-3), who is running for the Senate seat vacated by retiring Senator Andy Billig (D-3).

In the 7th, three Republicans will face off to fill Representative Jacquelin Maycumber’s (R-7) seat vacated by her Congressional bid, and three Republicans will face a Democrat in the race for retired Representative Joel Kretz’s (R-7) seat.

South Sound

In a turn of events, the Yakima redistricting decision even touched the 2nd legislative district and the seat vacated by retiring JT Wilcox (R-2). Wilcox-backed candidate Joshua Penner was cut out of the 2nd and moved into the 31st. Representative Eric Robertson (R-31) did not file for reelection, so Penner will run in the 31st. The new Wilcox-backed candidate for the 2nd is former Republican Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza, who joins three other contenders for the seat. Also in the 2nd, Senator Jim McCune (R-2) has a Republican challenger in Ronda Litzenberger. Litzenberger has a record of school board service and serves as chair of the small schools committee for the Washington State School Directors Association.

Longtime Senator Sam Hunt’s (D-22) retirement prompted Representative Jessica Bateman (D-22) to run, and she was joined by fellow Democrat Tela Hogle. Former legislative assistant to Representative Steve Bergquist, Syd Locke (D), has switched races and will now run for Bateman’s vacated House seat against another Democrat, Lisa Parshley, a veterinarian and Olympia City Councilmember.

House Transportation Chair Representative Jake Fey (D-27) has a Democrat challenger this year, Devin Kelly. Kelly’s website lists him as a leader of the Tacoma & Pierce County Democratic Socialists.

Representative Melanie Morgan (D-29) has a Democrat challenger this year, Richard Miller.

Central Puget Sound

Former Republican Representative Chad Magendanz was recently forced to drop out of the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction after taking the GOP pledge not to run if not endorsed by the party at the convention in Spokane. He has pivoted and will now run in his home district for the Senate seat against Representative Bill Ramos (D-5). The crowded race to fill Ramos’ House seat got even more full during filing week with the addition of a familiar face, former Republican Representative Mark Hargrove. Hargrove previously represented the 47th before he was defeated by Debra Entenman (D-47) in 2018.

Representative Strom Peterson (D-21) has two challengers this primary season, including Democrat Mukilteo City Councilmember Jason Moon.

In the 32nd, Representative Lauren Davis (D-32) has a Democrat challenger, Dunia Wabenga.

In the 47th, incumbent Representative Debra Entenman (D-47) will face her 2022 Republican opponent, Kyle Lyebyedyev. She defeated him 57-42 in what was historically a swing district. Additionally, Chris Sterns (D-47) will face perennial Republican candidate, Ted Cooke and newcomer, Brian Lott. In 2022, Rep. Sterns defeated fellow Democrat, Shukri Olow 63-31.

Four Democrat candidates have filed to replace retired Speaker Emeritus Frank Chopp (D-43), Shaun Scott, Stephanie LLoyd-Agnew, Daniel Carusello, and Andrea Suarez.

Representative Larry Springer has a Democrat challenger this primary season, union organizer Melissa Demyan.

In the 46th, Representative Gerry Pollet has another Democrat to face in the primary, Ahndylyn Kinney.


The 23rd is shaping up to have a fair number of candidates in all races, but specifically, two Democrats are challenging newly appointed Representative Greg Nance (D-23), Dr. John Gibbons and Brynn Felix.

Because Senator Kevin Van De Wege’s (D-24) seat is up in 2024 and he is running to be the next Public Lands Commissioner, another moderate Representative Mike Chapman (D-24) is running for his Senate seat. Attorney, engineer, and fire commissioner Marcia Kelbon (R) has filed as well as James Russell (D). Chapman’s open House seat is a busy race, and has also attracted three Democrats including Van De Wege’s former legislative assistant Adam Bernbaum, Sequim School Board president Eric Pickens, and former Makah Tribal Chair Nate Tyler.

In the 26th, two Republicans have joined Democrat Adison Richards in the battle for Representative Spencer Hutchins’ (R) open seat. Former Representative Jesse Young (R) is attempting to rejoin the legislature. Young gave up his House seat to unsuccessfully challenge Senator Emily Randall (D-26) a few years ago. Young is joined by fellow Republican rental housing advocate Jim Henderson, who has been out campaigning with Representative Michelle Caldier (R-26). Caldier has four challengers, two Democrats, a Republican, and a no-party-preference candidate. This will surely be an expensive swing district.

Representative Travis Couture (R-35) has a Republican challenger this year in Shelton Mayor and former gas station/convenience store owner Eric Onisko.

North Sound

In what will be one of the most expensive swing districts at play this year, two Republicans, Yvonne Gallardo and Carrie Kennedy will face off against Representative Clyde Shavers (D-10). Additionally, Senator Ron Muzzall (R-10) will be challenged by Janet St. Clair (D) and Representative Dave Paul (D-10) will run against Coupeville builder Gary Wray (R).

In the 38th, Representative Julio Cortes (D-38) will face two Democrat challengers, Bryce Nickel and Ann Fitzgerald.

Former Representative Robert Sutherland (R) is taking on current Representative Sam Low (R-39) in 2024, after Low beat him in 2022. Representative Carolyn Eslick also has a Republican primary challenger, Jackie Huey.

In the 42nd, Representative Alicia Rule (D-42) faces two challengers, Janet Melman (D) and real estate agent Raymond Pelletti (R). Joe Timmons (D-42) has a Republican challenger, Kamal Bhachu.


  • July 19 – Start of an 18-day voting period (through Election Day). Ballots are mailed out and Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) are available at voting centers.
  • July 29 – Online and mail registrations must be received 8 days before Election Day. Register to vote in person during business hours and any time before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
  • August 6 – Deadline for Washington State voter registration or updates (in person only).
  • August 6Primary Election– Deposit your ballot in an official drop box by 8pm on Election Day.


  • October 18 – Start of an 18-day voting period (through Election Day). Ballots are mailed out and Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) are available at voting centers.
  • October 28 Online and mail registrations must be received 8 days before Election Day. Register to vote in person during business hours and any time before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
  • November 5 Deadline for Washington State voter registration or updates (in person only).
  • November 5General Election – Deposit your ballot in an official drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day.