Elections 2024: Primary races top ballot in August

State and local races are packed with candidates heading into the Aug. 6 primary election as candidate filing week came to a close on May 10.

Washington has open primaries, but only the top two vote-getters move on to the general election Nov. 5. Races with two or fewer candidates will not appear on the August ballot.

Races with primaries

• Washington’s 6th Congressional District

When U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, announced last year he wasn’t seeking re-election, several candidates quickly announced they would seek the Congressional seat, which represents all of the Olympic Peninsula and part of Tacoma.

Five candidates had registered by Friday’s deadline: state Sen. Drew MacEwen, R-Union; Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz, D-Grays Harbor; state Sen. Emily Randall, D-Bremerton; Port Angeles lawyer J. Graham Ralston, an independent; and Federal Way nonprofit founder Janis Clark, a Republican.

• 24th Legislative District

With Franz leaving her position as Commissioner of Public Lands, state Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Lake Sutherland, announced his intention to run for her seat, leaving the 24th Legislative District’s Senate seat open. Shortly after Van De Wege’s announcement, Mike Chapman, D-Port Angeles, who holds the state Representative, Position 1 seat, announced he would run for Senate.

Chapman will be joined by Marcia Kelbon, R-Quilcene, a lawyer and engineer, and James Russell, D-Port Angeles.

Chapman’s open seat also quickly drew several prospective candidates including Adam Bernbaum, a Democrat who served as Van de Wege’s legislative assistant; Makah Tribal Council member Nate Tyler, a Democrat; Clallam County Deputy Prosecutor Matt Roberson, a Republican; and Sequim School Board President Eric Pickens, a Democrat.

The 24th’s Position 2 seat will also go to a primary this year with two Republicans trying to oust Democratic incumbent Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Port Townsend, who’s held the seat since 2011.

Running for the Position 2 seat are Hickory Grant, R-Forks, and Terry Roberts, R-Quilcene.

• Clallam County Public Utility District No. 1, District 3

Two of the three seats on the Clallam County PUD’s board were vacated early last year, and both positions are on the ballot, each with the interim board member running as a candidate.

District 2 interim Commissioner Jim Purvis is running unopposed, but there are three candidates running for the District 3 seat.

Candidates for the nonpartisan Clallam County PUD District 3 are interim District 3 Commissioner Phyllis Bernard, Kenneth Reandeau of Port Angeles and Ken Simpson of Port Angeles.

Races without a primary

• Clallam County Commissioner, District 2

Port Angeles Mayor Kate Dexter, a Democrat, announced her candidacy for the District 2 Clallam County Commissioner seat last month. The seat has been held by Randy Johnson, an independent, since 2016. Johnson announced his bid for re-election in March.

• Jefferson County Commissioner, District 1

Current District 1 Commissioner Kate Dean, a Democrat, announced in March she won’t seek re-election, and two candidates have stepped forward to represent the district that covers Port Townsend and part of the upper Quimper Peninsula.

Running for the District 1 seat are Heather Dudley-Nollette, Bayside Housing and Services executive director, and Port Townsend City Council member Ben Thomas.

District 2 Commissioner Heidi Eisenhour is running unopposed as is Jefferson County Public Utility District No. 1 District 3 Commissioner Daniel Toepper.

Statewide races

Several statewide positions will be on the ballot this fall, and some of the more high-profile races have more than 10 candidates heading into the August primary.

There are 10 candidates vying for Washington’s U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Seattle, including a mix of Democrats, Republicans, independents and one Socialist Workers Party candidate.

Twenty-four candidates have registered for the governor’s race with listed party affiliations including Democrats, Republicans, Trump Republicans, Libertarians, Standup-American, Nonsense Busters and independents.

Also on the ballot this fall are races for lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, commissioner of public lands, treasurer, auditor, superintendent of public instruction, insurance commissioner and three Supreme Court positions.

A list of candidates who have filed can be found at the Secretary of State’s website, sos.wa.gov.

Voter registration and additional voter information can be found at VoteWA.gov.