Cast of thousands in run for governor

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

A cast of thousands file for office!

By Evan Smith

If you want to vote for the American Patriot Party, the New-Liberty Party, the Cascadia Labour Party, the Propertarianist Party, the StandupAmerica Party, or the Fifth Republic Party, you’ll get your chance in the Aug. 4 primary election.

Candidates claiming all of those party preferences were among the 33 candidates who filed last week to run for governor. One has withdrawn.

Among the 15 Republican candidates, two will appear on the ballot as preferring the “Trump Republican Party”; another the “Pre2016 Republican Party.”

Some candidates chose the “States No Party Preference” option, but others said they preferred the “Independent Party” Two claimed the “Independant Party.”

Both the Green Party and the Socialist Workers Party have candidates for governor, but the Libertarian Party’s only two statewide candidates are for lieutenant governor.

Four years ago the Libertarians had candidates for six of the eight statewide partisan offices and provided the general-election opponent for Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Many of this year's candidates took advantage of eased requirements to file during last week’s filing period.

Usually, candidates need to pay a filing fee of 1 percent of the office’s salary or submit an equivalent number of signatures. But, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Jay Inslee eliminated the minimum number of signatures requirement.

In addition to the 37 candidates who filed last week to run for governor, 12 filed for lieutenant governor before one candidate for each office withdrew.

Ordinarily, those candidates would need to pay the $1,821.79 filing fee or get the 1,822 signatures on petitions to run for governor, or come up with $1,111.80 or 1,112 signatures to run for lieutenant governor.

Filing for state offices ended Friday, May 15.

The 36 candidates for governor include incumbent Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee and four little-known Democrats and the 15 Republicans.

Among those 15 Republicans, state Sen. Phil Fortunato and former Bothell Mayor Joshua Freed are the only ones with significant fundraising. The best known Republican, however, is initiative promoter Tim Eyman, who has an established network of followers that he will use to promote his campaign, probably while he uses his campaign for governor to promote an initiative. Eyman, the longtime anti-tax activist, is making his first bid for elected office after decades of working to slash government funding through dozens of voter initiatives.

Perennial candidate Goodspaceguy is one of the candidates for governor who list their affiliations as “Trump Republican Party.”

The top two vote getters in each race in the Aug. 4 primary — regardless of party — will advance to the Nov. 3 general election.

Former Bothell Mayor and real estate developer Freed has raised more than $580,000, compared with about $180,000 for Eyman, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission. Freed’s fundraising totals include more than $190,000 of his own money.

Loren Culp, the police chief of Republic, Ferry County, who attracted attention for refusing to enforce a voter-approved 2018 gun-control initiative, has raised nearly $295,000, including $34,000 from small donors, the most of any GOP gubernatorial candidate.

The candidates who place in the top two in the Aug. 4 primary move on to the Nov. 3 general election.

CORRECTION: The number of candidates in an earlier post was incorrect.


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