The Washington State Democratic Party's marquee 2022 candidates
The Washington State Democratic Party's marquee 2022 candidates: Patty Murray, Steve Hobbs, Kim Schrier

With vot­ing in Wash­ing­ton’s August Top Two elec­tion now begin­ning, the state’s largest dai­ly news­pa­per has pub­lished the remain­der of its endorse­ments in this cycle’s major races. In what may come as a pleas­ant sur­prise to the major­i­ty of its read­ers, The Seat­tle Times is rec­om­mend­ing a Demo­c­ra­t­ic-only slate of can­di­dates in each of the mar­quee con­tests that’s on the 2022 ballot.

For Unit­ed States Sen­ate, the Times is back­ing Pat­ty Mur­ray. For Unit­ed States House, in the 8th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, the Times has embraced Kim Schri­er’s bid for a third term. And for Sec­re­tary of State, the Times is call­ing on vot­ers to retain Steve Hobbs to fin­ish the term begun by Repub­li­can Kim Wyman.

“Vot­ers should enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly return Mur­ray to the Sen­ate,” the board said. “As her stature has grown, she is able to wield influ­ence for Wash­ing­ton not seen since the days of the late Sens. Hen­ry M. Jack­son and War­ren Magnuson.”

“If elec­tions are a job review,” the board added, “Mur­ray can be well-judged by what she has deliv­ered to the state, and the val­ues and expe­ri­ence she brings to the nation­al debate. Wash­ing­to­ni­ans should reelect Murray.”

Of Hobbs, the board said: “In his months in the office, Hobbs has proved adept at address­ing its wide range of needs. His agen­da includes a statewide text-mes­sage sys­tem to alert vot­ers of reject­ed bal­lots, con­struct­ing a long-planned state library and archives build­ing in Tumwa­ter, and mak­ing the office’s cor­po­ra­tions divi­sion more acces­si­ble for busi­ness­es across the state with new satel­lite offices.”

“He has earned faith he will see these plans through.”

“Hobbs’ ster­ling cre­den­tials, demon­strat­ed inde­pen­dence, con­stituent-focused ser­vice and proven abil­i­ties makes him the best choice for Sec­re­tary of State,” the board con­clud­ed after men­tion­ing Pierce Coun­ty Audi­tor Julie Ander­son­’s can­di­da­cy. (Ander­son is chal­leng­ing Hobbs as an independent.)

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kim Schri­er also received a glow­ing review.

“Schri­er should con­tin­ue to rep­re­sent the 8th Dis­trict. In this dif­fi­cult year for Democ­rats, her focus on con­stituent ser­vices and find­ing prac­ti­cal solu­tions are need­ed here, but espe­cial­ly so in the oth­er Wash­ing­ton as well.”

In the final para­graphs of the Schri­er rec­om­men­da­tion, the board laud­ably rec­og­nized its his­to­ry of back­ing Repub­li­cans like Dino Rossi and Rob McKen­na for high office and explained why they aren’t doing that this year.

“Repub­li­can con­trol of the House would like­ly embold­en the worst instincts of the cur­rent GOP lead­er­ship,” the board not­ed. “Expect con­gres­sion­al hear­ings on Hunter Biden, the exit from Afghanistan, alleged elec­tion fraud and a host of oth­er issues that don’t make the life of a sin­gle Amer­i­can any bet­ter. Expect leg­is­la­tion to ban abor­tion across the nation, state pro­tec­tions be damned.”

“This edi­to­r­i­al board has a record of endors­ing Repub­li­can can­di­dates, and has done so in sev­er­al state leg­isla­tive races this year,” the edi­to­r­i­al went on to say. “But the lan­guage and pri­or­i­ties of nation­al GOP lead­ers prompt an imper­a­tive this Novem­ber: Keep Democ­rats in charge of Congress.”

“Vote for Kim Schrier.”

The Times has also endorsed Schri­er’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic col­leagues Prami­la Jaya­pal, Mar­i­lyn Strick­land, Adam Smith, and Derek Kilmer. Endorse­ments of Suzan Del­Bene and Rick Larsen have not yet been pub­lished but could be forthcoming.

In pre­vi­ous midterm cycles, as the board freely admit­ted, the Seat­tle Times Com­pa­ny has tried to get vot­ers to elect Repub­li­cans. In 2006, for exam­ple, the board backed Mike McGav­ick, Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers, and Dave Reichert over Maria Cantwell, Peter Gold­mark, and Dar­cy Burn­er. It rec­om­mend­ed that Dino Rossi and Rob McKen­na be elect­ed gov­er­nor in 2008 and 2012.

And, four years ago, dur­ing the mid­dle of the Trump error, the Times went with Rossi again, pass­ing over Schri­er dur­ing her first cam­paign for Con­gress.

“While Schri­er wants to fight, Rossi promis­es not to,” the Times inex­plic­a­bly wrote four years ago. “He wants to go to D.C. and put his bud­get exper­tise to use. Giv­en his two past statewide elec­tions and nation­al rep­u­ta­tion in GOP cir­cles, there’s a bet­ter chance he will advance more quick­ly onto com­mit­tees and posi­tions where he can make a dif­fer­ence than Schri­er would if elected.”

Giv­en the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty’s prospects in the 2018 midterms, it was actu­al­ly Schri­er who was best sit­u­at­ed to advance more quick­ly onto com­mit­tees and posi­tions where a dif­fer­ence could be made. Not Rossi.

It’s only because vot­ers ignored the Times’ 2018 advice and sent Schri­er to Con­gress that she was able to start deliv­er­ing the rep­re­sen­ta­tion for the dis­trict that the board is now so hap­py with. Pleased with her record as a first ter­mer, the Times endorsed her in the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion over Repub­li­can Jesse Jensen, who is one of three Repub­li­cans chal­leng­ing her now.

In endors­ing Schri­er for a third term, the board wrote: “Schri­er deserves reelec­tion for rep­re­sent­ing her dis­trict well, putting polit­i­cal par­ti­san­ship aside and help­ing peo­ple nav­i­gate fed­er­al bureaucracies.”

Most of the Times’ leg­isla­tive endorse­ments thus far have also been for Democ­rats, includ­ing in the 30th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict, where Repub­li­cans are hop­ing to pick up seats. The Times did endorse a Repub­li­can in one of the con­tests in the bat­tle­ground 47th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict — Car­men Goers — but has oth­er­wise most­ly rec­om­mend­ed Demo­c­ra­t­ic candidates.

Seat­tle Times own­er Frank Blethen, a vocal oppo­nent of the estate tax, is said in past years to have insist­ed on endors­ing Repub­li­can can­di­dates for impor­tant statewide and fed­er­al offices. So far this year, that has­n’t hap­pened, sug­gest­ing that per­haps Blethen is now more con­cerned about the sur­vival of Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy and the future of the free press than tax cuts — as he should be.

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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