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.
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.