Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the 2024 Democratic frontrunner for governor according to NPI's electoral polling, speaks at a press conference in Seattle urging two rival Robert Fergusons recruited by Republican operative Glen Morgan to back out of his criminal enterprise before the Monday, May 13th candidate withdrawal deadline (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Joined by for­mer King Coun­ty Pros­e­cut­ing Attor­ney Dan Sat­ter­berg, Attor­ney Gen­er­al and 2024 Demo­c­ra­t­ic guber­na­to­r­i­al fron­trun­ner Bob Fer­gu­son today held a press con­fer­ence in Seat­tle to urge two oth­er men also named Robert Fer­gu­son to with­draw their eleventh hour can­di­da­cies and avoid crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion. Fer­gu­son and Sat­ter­berg empha­sized that the pre­tenders, recruit­ed by Repub­li­can oper­a­tive Glen Mor­gan, are at risk of becom­ing the tar­gets of an inves­ti­ga­tion into whether they com­mit­ted a Class B felony pun­ish­able by up to ten years in prison if they do not stand down by 5 PM today.

On Fri­day evening, short­ly after Mor­gan sub­mit­ted the fil­ings for his two pre­tenders and bragged to The Seat­tle Times about recruit­ing them, I wrote here that the tri­o’s actions appeared to be in vio­la­tion of RCW 29A.84.320, the Wash­ing­ton State statute that con­cerns dupli­cate, nonex­is­tent, and untrue names in can­di­date elec­tions.

“I believe a strong case can be made, based on the evi­dence, that these two indi­vid­u­als have com­mit­ted a felony facil­i­tat­ed by Glen Mor­gan,” I wrote.

Fer­gu­son’s cam­paign and Sat­ter­berg — a long­time King Coun­ty Pros­e­cut­ing Attor­ney who used to belong to the Repub­li­can Par­ty — are in agree­ment with that analysis.

They also crit­i­cized Dave Reichert for refus­ing to con­demn Mor­gan’s ille­gal chicanery.

“Wash­ing­ton’s democ­ra­cy has been assault­ed by a right-wing con­ser­v­a­tive who paid the fil­ing fee for two oth­er ‘Bob Fer­gu­sons’ to run for Gov­er­nor. But my Repub­li­can oppo­nent Dave Reichert lacks the polit­i­cal courage to con­demn this assault. When crimes ben­e­fit Dave Reichert, he is silent,” said Ferguson.

To ensure that Mor­gan’s recruits under­stand the legal jeop­ardy they face if they don’t with­draw, the Fer­gu­son cam­paign sent both cease and desist let­ters over the week­end, which were hand-deliv­ered to the hous­es of both men in Gra­ham and Yakima.

To NPI’s knowl­edge, nei­ther have spo­ken pub­licly or to reporters. The con­tact info in their can­di­date fil­ings was sup­plied by Mor­gan, includ­ing a tele­phone num­ber that he con­trols and a UPS Store address he set up and pays for. Mor­gan has also admit­ted to sup­ply­ing the funds to pay the fil­ing fee. There is plen­ty of evi­dence that this is a con to dupe voters.

It’s not a crime for some­one who has the same name as a per­son already active and well known in the polit­i­cal sphere to file for office. But it is a crime to sub­mit a dec­la­ra­tion of can­di­da­cy “with intent to con­fuse and mis­lead the elec­tors by cap­i­tal­iz­ing on the pub­lic rep­u­ta­tion of the can­di­date who had pre­vi­ous­ly filed” — as these men have. They did not file of their own voli­tion — Glen Mor­gan goad­ed them into it.

Fer­gu­son said he does­n’t want the oth­er Fer­gu­sons pros­e­cut­ed if they do the right wing and with­draw by 5 PM today. His belief is that they did­n’t know what they were get­ting them­selves into when they agreed to par­tic­i­pate in Mor­gan’s scheme. And that could well be true. As for Mor­gan, it’s my view that he should be sub­ject­ed to a crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion even if his pre­tenders back out. Effec­tive enforce­ment of our state’s elec­tions statute is nec­es­sary and appro­pri­ate to ensure that the law has mean­ing and isn’t just a bunch of words on a web­site or book of laws.

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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