Evan Smith: The first (candidate) will be last (on the ballot), and the last will be….

Friday, June 5, 2020

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By Evan Smith

The candidates who filed first for places on the August primary-election ballot will be rewarded with the last position on the ballot, and the last will be first or second or fourth or 16th or…

It should be as easy as 1-2-3, but state elections officials have turned 1-2-3 into 37-24-2.

Except in Lake Forest Park and the rest of the 46th Legislative District, where King County elections officials have turned 1-2-3-4 into 2-4-1-3.

Candidate lot drawing
Photo courtesy WA Secretary of State

A state elections drawing in mid-May brought No. 37 up first (see graphic), followed by 24 and 2.

That puts the first candidate to file for each office into ballot position No. 37 (last), the second into position No. 24, the third into No. 2. Finally, the 37th (and last) candidate gets position No. 16.

There actually were 37 candidates for governor. Incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee was 31st to file; the drawing gives him 17th position on the ballot and in the voters’ pamphlet.

Of course, there weren’t 37 candidates filing for other positions.

Here’s how it works in the 7th Congressional District.

The first candidate to file, Republican Craig Keller, draws No. 37; the second, incumbent Democrat Pramila Jayapal, draws No. 24; the third, Republican Scott Sutherland, draws No. 2; the fourth, Democrat Jack Hughes-Hageman, draws No. 21; the fifth (and last), Independent Rick Lewis, draws No. 35.

So, with five candidates drawing positions 2, 21, 24, 35 and 37, here’s your 7th Congressional District ballot order -- 2- Sutherland; 21-Hughes-Hageman; 24-Jayapal,; 35-Lewis; 37-Keller:

Congressional District 7, U.S. Representative
  • Scott Sutherland (Prefers Republican Party)
  • Jack Hughes-Hageman (Prefers Democratic Party)
  • Pramila Jayapal (Prefers Democratic Party)
  • Rick Lewis (Prefers Independent Party)
  • Craig Keller (Prefers Republican Party)

Washington's 7th congressional district includes Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and Edmonds, along with most of Seattle and Burien, and all of Vashon Island and Normandy Park.

In the 32nd Legislative District, incumbent Democratic Reps. Cindy Ryu and Lauren Davis each drew two challengers, with each incumbent being the first to file.

For Position 1, Ryu draws No. 37; the second candidate to file, Democrat Keith Smith, making a second run for this position, draws No. 24; the third candidate, Democrat Shirley Sutton, a former Lynnwood city councilwoman, draws No. 2.

That leaves this 2-24-37 order:

Legislative District 32, State Representative Pos. 1
  • Shirley Sutton (Prefers Democratic Party)
  • Keith Smith (Prefers Democratic Party)
  • Cindy Ryu (Prefers Democratic Party)

Similarly, for Position 2, the first candidate to file, Davis, draws No. 37; the second candidate, non-partisan candidate Tamra Smilanich, draws No. 24; the third, Democrat Gray Petersen, draws No. 2.

That leaves this 2-24-37 order:

Legislative District 32, State Representative Pos. 2
  • Gray Petersen (Prefers Democratic Party)
  • Tamra Smilanich (Prefers Non Partisan Party)
  • Lauren Davis (Prefers Democratic Party)

The 32nd Legislative District encompasses Shoreline, part of northwest Seattle, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, south Edmonds, the city of Lynnwood and a small part of Mountlake Terrace.

Those 37-24-2 races are for governor and other statewide offices, for congressional representative and for legislative districts that cross county lines.

King County, however, did its own drawing (watch it here) that produced either a 2-4-1-3-5-6-7 ballot order or, when there are only two candidates, a 1-2 ballot order.

In the 46th Legislative District, which is completely in King County, the first of two candidates for each position, both incumbents, get the first ballot positions.

That’s true of the contest between Democratic incumbent State Rep. Gerry Pollet and Republican challenger Eric J. Brown:

Legislative District 46, State Representative Pos. 1
  • Gerry Pollet (Prefers Democratic Party)
  • Eric J. Brown (Prefers Republican Party)

It’s also true of the contest between Democratic incumbent State Rep. Javier Valdez and Republican challenger Beth Daranciang:

Legislative District 46, State Representative Pos. 2
  • Javier Valdez (Prefers Democratic Party)
  • Beth Daranciang (Prefers Republican Party)

Candidates for partisan offices appear on both the August primary ballot and the November general-election ballot, even when there are only one or two candidates.

The 46th Legislative District includes Lake Forest Park, Kenmore and northeast Seattle.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com


Anonymous,  June 5, 2020 at 3:34 PM  

Good to see the 32nd district continuing its march towards a one party state.

Unknown June 5, 2020 at 9:06 PM  

Great to see Evan contributing his reports. I hope that he continues throughout the election season!

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