OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state will have a new political position up for grabs in 2024, as Gov. Jay Inslee announced at the beginning of May that he does not intend to seek reelection for a fourth term.
Inslee was last reelected in 2020, becoming the second governor in Washington state to be elected to a third consecutive term. After thinking "long and hard" about not running for reelection, the governor said he decided over the last week of April.
Inslee said he hasn't made any decisions about who he might endorse to follow him as governor.
First, a look at the Democratic contenders:
Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz launched her campaign on May 10.
In a video announcing her candidacy, Franz highlighted her accomplishments with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and her top priorities if elected, which include climate change, housing and wages.
Franz has served as the Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands since 2016 and is the second woman to be elected to that office. During her time with DNR, she has introduced policies surrounding wildfire prevention, water and land protection and climate resiliency.
Although he's not yet an official candidate, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced he has launched an exploratory committee as the first step to a possible run, shortly after Inslee said does not intend to seek reelection.
The exploratory campaign allows Ferguson to begin collecting campaign donations without formally entering the race for Governor.
Ferguson was first elected as Washington’s Attorney General in 2012. He previously served on the King County Council.
As far as Republicans, state party chair Caleb Heimlich said his party has a chance to reclaim the governor’s office.
No Republican has been Governor in Washington since John Spellman left office in 1985.
State Sen. Mark Mullet announced his candidacy for governor on June 1.
Mullet, D-Issaquah, has represented the 5th Legislative District since 2012. Originally from Tukwila, Mullet served on Issaquah's City Council from 2009-2013.
In his campaign announcement, Mullet said he is focused on education issues, affordable housing, ensuring streets and neighborhoods are safer and combating climate change.
Here's a look at the Republican candidates:
Former U.S. Representative and King County Sheriff Dave Reichert said he is ready to return to public service as Washington’s governor.
“I want to be there as a servant. I want to be a listener,” Reichert said. “We all say, ‘Government needs to be transparent and open.’ Nobody ever keeps their word with that.”
In his first interview since filing for the office on June 30, Reichert said after leaving Congress in 2019, he has been frustrated with what he sees as partisanship and government becoming too powerful.
Reichert is the biggest Republican name to enter the race so far.
Reichert is best known for solving the Green River killings.
Misipati Semi Bird
Misipati Semi Bird, a Richmond School Board member, announced his candidacy in November.
Bird said in his announcement video that he is running for "safe communities, quality in education and economic opportunity for all."
Other Republican candidates include James Daniel, Laurel Khan, Kristin Schuler, and Martin Wheeler. Yakima doctor Raul Garcia dropped out of the race in July.