NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate provides the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Filing Week surprise: Fundamentalist Mark Miloscia jumps into Secretary of State contest

Ex-leg­is­la­tor Mark Milos­cia, who has spent the years fol­low­ing his loss to Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tor Claire Wil­son run­ning the Fam­i­ly Pol­i­cy Insti­tute of Wash­ing­ton, has decid­ed to jump back into the elec­toral are­na as a Repub­li­can can­di­date for Sec­re­tary of State, FPIW announced in an email to its list today.

Here’s FPI­W’s email:

The Board of Direc­tors at the Fam­i­ly Pol­i­cy Insti­tute of Wash­ing­ton (FPIW) announced today that Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Mark Milos­cia will resign from his posi­tion at the orga­ni­za­tion as he pre­pares a bid to serve as Wash­ing­ton State’s next Sec­re­tary of State.

“The FPIW Board is thrilled to see Mr. Milos­cia step into the race for Sec­re­tary of State here in Wash­ing­ton,” said Board Chair­man Lar­ry Sundquist. “This is the year for us to chal­lenge the sta­tus quo, push back on an over­reach­ing exec­u­tive branch, and return an expe­ri­enced, prin­ci­pled fight­er to Olympia to serve as Sec­re­tary of State.”

Mr. Milos­cia has served as Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of FPIW since 2019, after serv­ing six­teen years as a mem­ber of the Wash­ing­ton Sen­ate and House of Representatives.

“I’m so proud, and blessed, to have had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to lead this orga­ni­za­tion dur­ing such con­se­quen­tial times,” said Mark Miloscia.

“With an enor­mous vic­to­ry for life on the hori­zon, I’m con­fi­dent that FPIW will con­tin­ue to do the crit­i­cal work of chang­ing hearts and minds on issues impor­tant to Chris­tians and fam­i­lies here in Wash­ing­ton. For now, I feel that God is lead­ing me in a new direc­tion, where I hope to car­ry that momen­tum for­ward bold­ly in deal­ing with issues of integri­ty and truth, which is why I’ve cho­sen to run to serve as the next Sec­re­tary of State.”

FPIW’s sis­ter orga­ni­za­tion, FPIW Action, will release endorse­ments for statewide and dis­trict-lev­el races this summer.

FPIW Board Chair­man Lar­ry Sundquist also assured sup­port­ers that FPIW’s goals will remain the same and that the orga­ni­za­tion will remain ful­ly staffed dur­ing the search for a new leader. “FPIW will con­tin­ue to be a steady, bold voice for truth in Wash­ing­ton State,” he added. “Our mis­sion has not changed, our vision remains the same, and the ener­gy lev­el has nev­er been higher.”

Milos­ci­a’s sud­den entrance into this race is an odd devel­op­ment. If his heart was set on run­ning for office again, why did­n’t he declare six months ago and start lay­ing the ground­work? Only two months remain until bal­lots show up in vot­ers’ mail­box­es. That isn’t much time in which to build a statewide campaign.

Milos­cia will be vying with sev­er­al oth­er con­tenders to take on incum­bent Sec­re­tary of State Steve Hobbs, the first Demo­c­rat to hold the office in over half a cen­tu­ry. Hobbs was appoint­ed to the exec­u­tive depart­ment by Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee last Novem­ber fol­low­ing the depar­ture of Repub­li­can Kim Wyman for an impor­tant posi­tion with CISA in the Biden administration.

There are already sev­er­al Repub­li­cans run­ning for Sec­re­tary of State, includ­ing two who have filed dec­la­ra­tions of can­di­da­cy this week: State Sen­a­tor Kei­th Wag­oner (R‑39th Dis­trict) and Bob Hag­glu­nd. Wag­oner has been in the race since Novem­ber 27th, while Hag­glu­nd has been in the race since Decem­ber 10th. (Those are the dates of their respec­tive PDC filings.)

Also run­ning is Pierce Coun­ty Audi­tor Julie Ander­son. Unlike Hobbs, Wag­oner, Hag­glu­nd, and now Milos­cia, Ander­son is not affil­i­at­ed with a polit­i­cal party.

Mark Miloscia's campaign website

Mark Milos­ci­a’s cam­paign web­site (Screen capture)

Milos­cia has not yet filed his own dec­la­ra­tion of can­di­da­cy (he has until Fri­day after­noon to do so), but did reg­is­ter with the Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion this morning.

He also put up a cam­paign web­site that empha­sizes he’s a Repub­li­can and has a love of minutiae.

“When it comes to the office of Sec­re­tary of State, Wash­ing­ton trusts Repub­li­cans,” the site says.

“It’s time to send a check on sin­gle-par­ty pow­er back to Olympia; and who bet­ter than a name Wash­ing­to­ni­ans know and trust, Mark Miloscia.”

Yeah, so, about that: It’s doubt­ful that many Wash­ing­to­ni­ans know or trust Mark Milos­cia, and it’s even more doubt­ful that many vot­ers out­side of the far right will want to know or trust him after they hear what he’s been up to dur­ing his time at the Fam­i­ly Pol­i­cy Insti­tute of Wash­ing­ton. The list of hate­ful, big­ot­ed, and non­sen­si­cal com­ments that Milosi­ca has made as FPI­W’s top fig­ure is extensive.

For exam­ple, Milos­cia is on record as hav­ing said: “Oh, I will get push­back from some folks on this, but real­ly, can any­one real­ly deny that the Democ­rats’ full sup­port of human sac­ri­fice (abor­tion, sui­cide, child muti­la­tion and sac­ri­fice) is any dif­fer­ent than the geno­ci­dal human sac­ri­fice prac­ticed by Hitler, Stal­in, Pol Pot, or the Aztecs?”

Milos­cia has also said he regrets “silent­ly” vot­ing for Trump in 2016 and not being out­spo­ken about his approval of the Repub­li­can Par­ty’s trans­for­ma­tion into a neo­fas­cist cult.

“I silent­ly, and some­what cow­ard­ly, just filled in the cir­cle for Trump for Pres­i­dent, and the rest was his­to­ry. I lost my Sen­ate seat, Don­ald Trump won the Pres­i­den­cy over Hillary Clin­ton, and then half the nation formed the ‘resis­tance’ and seem­ing­ly lost its mind in regard to Trump and Chris­t­ian values!”

“Today, I regret remain­ing silent.”

Milos­cia is com­plete­ly and total­ly opposed to repro­duc­tive rights, LBGTQ+ rights, death with dig­ni­ty, and com­pre­hen­sive sex­u­al health edu­ca­tion, to name a few pro­gres­sive pol­i­cy posi­tions that are pop­u­lar with Washingtonians.

Though he used to be a Demo­c­rat, Milos­cia is more extreme and mil­i­tant on many issues than sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of peo­ple who have been involved in Repub­li­can pol­i­tics for decades. Fun­da­men­tal­ist rhetoric may not impair Milos­ci­a’s stand­ing with the far right and the Trump base, but to get elect­ed statewide in Wash­ing­ton State, you have to earn the sup­port of vot­ers who lean Democratic.

Kim Wyman, Sam Reed, and Ralph Munro came across to vot­ers as rea­son­able Repub­li­cans who had elec­tions expe­ri­ence as coun­ty audi­tors. They attract­ed bipar­ti­san sup­port for their cam­paigns. Milos­cia will not be able to do like­wise. His extreme beliefs are incred­i­bly out of sync with most Wash­ing­to­ni­ans’ values.

The Trump base may ral­ly to him, and it’s pos­si­ble he gets through to the gen­er­al elec­tion in a crowd­ed Top Two envi­ron­ment that has weird elec­toral dynamics.

But even sup­pos­ing he man­ages to pull off that feat, he’s not well posi­tioned to build the kind of coali­tion that Kim Wyman assem­bled to win three con­sec­u­tive cam­paigns against cred­i­ble Demo­c­ra­t­ic rivals dur­ing the Oba­ma and Trump years.

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  1. […] At the time, Wag­oner looked like he might be Hobbs’ gen­er­al elec­tion oppo­nent. But his ane­mic fundrais­ing and lack of vis­i­bil­i­ty left us won­der­ing how well posi­tioned he was to actu­al­ly get through the Top Two. So we opt­ed to ask respon­dents about the whole field of can­di­dates, which now includes a cou­ple of hope­fuls who entered the race only recent­ly, like Mark Miloscia. […]

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