SEATTLE — The Washington gubernatorial race officially has another candidate in the mix. Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson made his campaign official on Saturday, several months after announcing an "exploratory" campaign.
“My goal is to work hard for the people, we have a hardworking state, they deserve hardworking governor that focuses on them and their concerns," Ferguson said. "That’s what I’ve done as attorney general, that’s what I’m going to do as governor.”
He held three events across the state on Sept. 9 to announce his run for governor with stops in Spokane and Pasco, ending the night in Seattle.
Gov. Jay Inslee endorsed Ferguson on Saturday evening at the campaign announcement party, held at Washington Hall.
“I’ve worked closely with Bob Ferguson and watched him work to hold powerful interests accountable and defend the core freedoms, including reproductive freedom, of every Washingtonian,” Inslee said, who is not seeking a fourth term. “He knows how to win and deliver for Washingtonians. I enthusiastically endorse Bob for Governor because he’s a proven leader ready to take on our toughest challenges and put the people of Washington first every day.”
Excitement is steadily building for the 2024 Washington governor's race with 24 candidates in the running. Many will be weeded out next year when voters decide the top two candidates in the 2024 August Primary Election who will then move on to the General Election.
On Sept. 9, a ballroom full of supporters showed out for Ferguson.
Alongside Ferguson is another top Washington official vying for the governor's seat, Public Lands Commissioner of Washington Hilary Franz.
In a statement regarding Ferguson's announcement, fellow gubernatorial candidate Franz said in part, "Anything I’ve ever done, whether it was running for city council or state lands commissioner or my law career, I’ve been told to sit quietly, wait my turn, and let the men ahead of me have theirs. Never stopped me."
Franz and Ferguson are joined by another Democratic candidate Senator Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), who represents the 5th Legislative District.
"That's why I decided to run for governor. Because I know our state can stay true to our Democratic values and make it easier for the middle class to thrive," said Mullet.
Meanwhile several Republican candidates are looking to flip the governor's seat, which has been held by a Democrat since 1985. "I'm running for governor to protect the vulnerable and to help businesses and keep people safe,” said Dave Reichert, Republican gubernatorial candidate. "I've spent an entire lifetime to those three things."
Reichert previously served as a former King County sheriff and as the U.S. representative for Washington’s 8th Congressional District from 2005 to 2019.
"We will bring unity, leadership, and solutions with action to Washington state,” said Semi Bird, another Republican gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Army Special Forces veteran. Bird, along with two other board members, was recalled from the Richland School Board in August after winning the seat in 2021.
According to the Public Disclosure Commission, which also has a full list of candidates who have filed to run for Washington's next governor, lists Ferguson has raised $3.8 million. Franz has fundraised over $406,000 and Mullet has collected $613,00. Reichert has raised over $236,000 and Bird has tallied $152,000 in donations so far.