This morn­ing, a num­ber of Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates for statewide and fed­er­al office woke up to the real­i­ty that they are not run­ning close enough behind the top two-vote get­ters in their respec­tive races to hold out hope of being able to go on to the Novem­ber gen­er­al elec­tion (which is in actu­al­i­ty just a runoff, since we don’t have a real pri­ma­ry in Washington).

Among those can­di­dates are Greg Nick­els and Craig Pride­more, who filed to run for the offices of sec­re­tary of state and audi­tor, respec­tive­ly. Each man has bowed out of his race in a classy, grace­ful fash­ion… by con­grat­u­lat­ing the win­ners and thank­ing sup­port­ers via Face­book, while say­ing noth­ing neg­a­tive about anybody.

Nick­els is the for­mer may­or of Seat­tle; Pride­more is the incum­bent state sen­a­tor from the 49th LD (Van­cou­ver and urban Clark County).

Here’s what Nick­els had to say about his third-place fin­ish ear­li­er today:

They say if you are thrown from a horse you should get back on. In a sense that is what I was doing in my run for Wash­ing­ton Sec­re­tary of State and, while the results were not what I had hoped, I am very glad I did! It was a great expe­ri­ence and I am grate­ful for the oppor­tu­ni­ty and for the won­der­ful sup­port so many of you gave me.

I con­grat­u­late the two can­di­dates who are advanc­ing, Kim Wyman (R) and Kath­leen Drew (D), both ran pos­i­tive and effec­tive campaigns.

Pride­more, mean­while, post­ed the fol­low­ing state­ment late last night, after the ear­ly returns were all in (which showed him in third place):

Thanks to every­one for four­teen amaz­ing years. Few peo­ple get the chance to expe­ri­ence what I’ve had the chance to expe­ri­ence. You all mean more to me than I’ll ever be able to express.

This evening, he added:

I do for­mal­ly con­cede the State Audi­tor’s pri­ma­ry to James Watkins and Troy Kel­ley. They have my sin­cere best wish­es in all their endeav­ors in the months and years ahead.

Pride­mor­e’s loss to Kel­ley and Watkins gives him the unfor­tu­nate dis­tinc­tion of being the only can­di­date the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty nom­i­nat­ed for statewide or fed­er­al office in 2012 who did not sur­vive the win­now­ing elec­tion. Wash­ing­ton does not cur­rent­ly have a real pri­ma­ry, so vot­ers don’t get to pick the par­ties’ nom­i­nees as they do in near­ly every oth­er state.

Instead of a real pri­ma­ry, Wash­ing­ton has a goofy, poor­ly con­ceived “Top Two“system, where the top two vote get­ters (as the name sug­gests) advance to a runoff regard­less of par­ty. Con­se­quent­ly, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty select­ed its 2012 nom­i­nees by con­ven­tion instead of through a primary.

We at NPI believe the “Top Two” sys­tem is uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, and the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty does so as well. The par­ty is ask­ing the U.S. Supreme Court to declare the “Top Two” sys­tem uncon­sti­tu­tion­al, so Wash­ing­ton can read­opt a real pri­ma­ry sys­tem that pro­tects vot­er choice in the gen­er­al elec­tion and respects every­one’s First Amend­ment right to free assembly.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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One reply on “Greg Nickels, Craig Pridemore bow out of races for Secretary of State and Auditor”

  1. I’m a lit­tle dis­a­point­ed that Greg put Kath­leen and her Repu­pli­can oppo­nent in the same line. I knod of sup­port for Kath­leen would have been more appreciated.
    He could have con­grat­u­lat­ed Kim in a dif­fer­ent context.

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