Washington Legislative Update: Dissecting the Washington Primary Results

Ninety-four of 98 credit union-supported candidates advanced to the November general election after last week’s Washington State primary, giving credit unions a preliminary 96-percent success rate in the state.

Democratic Congressional candidates Derek Kilmer (D-6) and Denny Heck (D-10) each received credit union backing this summer and were among the top two selected by voters to advance to the general election in November. Kilmer received 53.49 percent of the vote in the seven-candidate race to replace retiring Congressman Norm Dicks and will face Republican Bill Driscoll in the fall.

Heck received 39.65 percent in the six-candidate race to become the first member of the House to represent Washington’s new 10th Congressional District. He will face Republican Dick Muri in the general.

Two Washington State Supreme Court Justices will run unopposed in November after earning more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary. In Washington State Supreme Court races, Supreme Court candidates appear on the primary election ballot. If a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the votes cast in the primary, that candidate appears on the general election ballot without opposition. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent in the primary, the top two candidates appear on the general election ballot.

This year, Justice Susan Owens, who has been on the State Supreme Court since 2001, and Justice Steven Gonzales, who was appointed in 2012 by Gov. Christine Gregoire to replace the retiring Justice Gerry Alexander, each received more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary. Owens visited several credit unions in July, including visits to iQ Credit Union, Fibre Federal Credit Union and Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union. Both Owens and Gonzales received campaign support from the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) Credit Union Legislative Action Fund (CULAF).

Credit unions were also supporting Steve Hobbs, who receiving 6.83 percent of the vote and finished fifth in the seven-candidate race to replace Democrat Jay Inslee. Inslee resigned his House seat representing in the newly redrawn 1st Congressional District in March to focus on his candidacy for governor.

Republican Kim Wyman, a candidate for secretary of state and chair of TwinStar Credit Union’s supervisory committee, finished first in yet another crowded primary election, receiving 39.65 percent of the vote in the seven-candidate race. She will face Kathleen Drew in the general.

Mark Miloscia, whom the Association was supporting to replace retiring state auditor Brian Sonntag, finished fourth in the four-candidate race, receiving 9.82 percent of the vote.

“It hurts to lose in a race that you’ve become invested in,” said NWCUA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Mark Minickiello. “You have to remind yourself that you got in for the right reasons, your support was appreciated, and your support did not go unnoticed. Whenever we stand up for credit union supporters during the elections, we prove that we are a serious part of the political process. We are helping credit unions just by being involved.”

The Hobbs and Miloscia losses were among the four losses of primary candidates receiving support from the Credit Union Legislative Action Fund (CULAF) at the state level, and the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) at the congressional level. In the 11th Legislative District, Democrat Stephanie Bowman finished third in a five-candidate race with 22.62 percent of the vote, and in the 35th Legislative District, Democrat Jeff Davis finished third in a four-candidate race with 23.44 percent of the vote. Bowman is the head of the Washington Asset Building Coalition, and Davis is a former credit union board member.


Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Stacy Augustine, Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Posted in Advocacy News.