With Governor Jay Inslee having announced yesterday that he won’t be seeking a fourth term in the state’s top position of public responsibility, Attorney General Bob Ferguson has wasted no time in jumping into the race, making his candidacy official with a PDC filing, campaign website, launch video, and press statement.
“I have never been afraid to take on big challenges, and I’ve never forgotten who I’m fighting for,” Ferguson said in a statement. “I look forward to listening and learning from Washingtonians in every county and corner of this great state.”
Ferguson says he considers his campaign to be in the “exploratory” phase right now, implying that he intends to put together a launch event of some sort in the weeks to come. While “exploratory” has a legal meaning attached to it for federal candidates, at the state level, it doesn’t. You’re either a candidate or you’re not — and Ferguson is a declared candidate for Governor, the first credible candidate on the Democratic side to officially toss his hat into the ring.
During this exploratory phase, Ferguson says he will:
Pursue these goals
- Visit every corner of the state;
- Earn 5,000 grassroots contributions from Washingtonians in all 39 counties;
- Earn 200 endorsements from elected officials.
Statewide Listening Tour
Ferguson will begin his listening tour this month with a trip to Eastern Washington. The listening tour will include public appearances, house parties, meetings with tribal governments, business leaders, and elected officials.
Ferguson visited every Washington county as a candidate for Attorney General, and visited every county again during his first term. As Attorney General Ferguson also visited every Rotary club in the state – approximately 200 clubs across 103 different Washington cities.
Ferguson is already most of the way towards his third goal, at least if he’s counting what he’s starting with. He unveiled a long list of early endorsers, including five Democratic members of the state’s congressional delegation: Suzan DelBene, Pramila Jayapal, Derek Kilmer, Rick Larsen, and Adam Smith and Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti from the executive department. A huge number of state legislators are also behind Ferguson, including Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig.
Here’s Ferguson’s launch video:
Democratic Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz is expected to join Ferguson in the contest soon, perhaps within days. King County Executive Dow Constantine took himself out of the running several weeks ago, announcing his focus will be on his current job running the state’s largest locality.
On the Republican side, ultra MAGA Republican Semi Bird is running, having already raised over $50,000. Yakima doctor Raul Garcia, State Representative Jim Walsh, and State Senator John Braun have been mentioned as possible candidates. Republican Bruce Dammeier, the term-limited Pierce County Executive, has said he has no interest in running for Governor.
Dammeier and Constantine were part of a hypothetical gubernatorial field we polled on about two months ago in our winter statewide survey. Dammeier was the only Republican in the poll and received 35%, which is the same as what Jaime Herrera Beutler got in a theoretical matchup against Maria Cantwell and what we believe in any Republican could get in a head-to-head contest.
Constantine got 7%, tying with Hilary Franz and trailing Ferguson, who got 21%.
We will be polling the gubernatorial race again next month, and this time, we’ll have an actual field to ask voters about rather than a hypothetical one.