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Get The Facts Before You Vote!

The Washington Progressive Voters Guide compiles the information and analysis you need to make informed decisions every election. Remember to vote in every race on your ballot — it's our right and our responsibility as Americans. Please share this guide with your friends and family and return your ballot by November 4th.

Statewide Ballot Measures

Initiative #1351

Vote YES for smaller class sizes

Washington state was ranked as having the fourth most crowded classrooms in the country, making it hard for teachers to teach and students to learn. Like I-728, which was approved by voters in the 2000 election, I-1351 defines specific class size goals that would be reached over four years. It sets a goal of 15 students per teacher in K-3 grades in schools that have high rates of poverty, with higher ratios set for grades beyond third. To meet these goals, schools would have to hire 7,500 new teachers across the state. Some progressives oppose I-1351 because it is expensive, does not include a funding source, and could preclude other important investments. We are recommending a yes vote to send a strong message to the legislature to fully fund education.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

The Stranger, Washington State Labor Council, Service Employees International Union, Washington CAN!, Bellevue School Board, Walla Walla School Board, Tacoma Council PTA

Initiative #591

Vote NO on I-591

I-591 prevents Washington state from adopting any standards for background checks that are stronger than the relatively weak requirements in our Federal law. It would maintain the loophole that allows domestic abusers and other convicted criminals to purchase firearms over the Internet or in a parking lot. The gun lobby filed Initiative 591 to confuse and distract voters from supporting universal background checks. Vote no on Initiative 591.

Initiative #594

Vote YES on I-594 – Universal Background Checks

Initiative 594 is simple: it makes sure that anyone buying a gun in Washington state passes the same background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter whom they buy it from. It closes the loophole in our law that allows criminals, domestic abusers and other dangerous people to buy guns from strangers – in parking lots, on the Internet, and at gun shows – with no questions asked.

Criminal and public safety background checks dramatically reduce dangerous people’s access to guns. Supporters gathered more than 345,000 signatures to place this common sense proposal on the ballot after the legislature failed to act. Please vote yes on I-594 and ensure that we close the private gun sales loophole and help save lives.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

American Federation of Teachers - Washington, Children's Campaign Fund, Fuse, The Stranger, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, Legal Voice, Greater Seattle Business Association, Faith Action Network, Doctors for America, MomsRising.org, Washington Academy of Family Physicians, Grandmothers Against Gun Violence

Statewide Advisory Ballot Measure #8

Vote "Maintain" on Tax Advisory Vote No. 8

Thanks to a Tim Eyman initiative, the state legislature is required to submit any bill it passes that closes tax loopholes or raises revenue to a non-binding advisory vote. A bipartisan majority of legislators came together earlier this year to clarify that marijuana is not a farm product eligible for tax breaks like wheat or dairy. The uncontroversial Senate Bill 6505 passed the legislature 112 to 42. Vote to "maintain" this measure.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

The Stranger

Statewide Advisory Ballot Measure #9

Vote "Maintain" on Tax Advisory Vote No. 9

This is another Eyman advisory vote. An overwhelming majority of legislators came together earlier this year to clarify that federally recognized Native American tribes must follow the same tax rules as state and local governments when it comes to privately leasing land that is owned exclusively by the tribe. The uncontroversial House Bill 1287 passed the legislature 93 to 44. Vote to "maintain" this measure.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

The Stranger


Depending on where you live, you will have one of the below candidates on your ballot.

U.S. Representative, 1st Congressional District

Suzan DelBene

Suzan DelBene photoSuzan DelBene won a tough race in 2012 to represent the 1st Congressional District, which reaches from Kirkland to the Canadian border. A former executive at Microsoft and other technology companies, she has used her technology background to become a leader of protecting privacy rights against government surveillance. She has also been a strong advocate for job development, economic fairness, women’s health, and immigration reform.

Her opponent is Republican Pedro Celis, a retired Microsoft engineer who was a leader for the George W. Bush re-election effort in 2004. Celis recently earned national attention by making unfortunate comments comparing gay marriage to polygamy. DelBene’s experience and strong track record in her first term make her the clear choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Sierra Club, OneAmerica Votes, National Women's Political Caucus of Washington, Washington State National Organization for Women PAC, The Stranger, Washington State Labor Council, Teamsters Joint Council 28, EMILY's List, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

U.S. Representative, 2nd Congressional District

Rick Larsen

Rick Larsen photoRep. Rick Larsen is a moderate, pragmatic Democrat who has been a strong advocate for jobs, transportation, and infrastructure projects in the 2nd District since he was first elected to Congress in 2000. He has also led efforts to protect voting rights, fought to reform student loans, and has been a champion of Wall Street reform. Unfortunately, Larsen angered many progressives with his support of the new contract that eliminated hard-earned pension benefits for Boeing machinists. Before serving in Congress he served on the Snohomish County Council and worked on economic development for the City of Everett.

Larsen's opponent, BJ Guillot, is running on an extremely conservative Tea Party platform. Larsen’s experience, broad support, and generally progressive track record make him a good choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Washington State National Organization for Women PAC, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Bellingham-Whatcom County Firefighters, Snohomish County Democrats, Whatcom County Democrats, Washington State Young Democrats

U.S. Representative, 3rd Congressional District

Bob Dingethal

Bob Dingethal photoBob Dingethal is running for Congress because he supports a stronger middle class, equal pay for equal work, and investments in education, infrastructure, and good jobs here in the United States. Dingethal would bring more than 35 years of experience in the public, private and non-profit sector with him to Congress.

Dingethal faces a tough race against incumbent Jaime Herrera Beutler, an extremely conservative Republican. She has consistently sided with some of the most conservative members of her party on issues like health care, environmental protection, immigration reform, and economic fairness. Dingethal is the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Washington State Labor Council, Vancouver Firefighters IAFF 452, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555

U.S. Representative, 4th Congressional District

Dan Newhouse

Dan Newhouse photoThe only candidates in this race are conservative Republicans who are out of step with mainstream values on many issues. Nevertheless, Dan Newhouse is the better choice in this race. Newhouse is facing Clint Didier, who is an extreme right-wing Tea Party activist and failed candidate for state Commissioner of Public Lands. While we don't agree with Newhouse on his positions on women's health, the environment, or other important issues, he would bring a level of professionalism and rationality that Didier lacks. Newhouse is the best choice in this race.

U.S. Representative, 5th Congressional District

Joe Pakootas

Joe Pakootas photoJoe Pakootas is a community leader and businessman credited with turning around the Colville Tribe’s business enterprises during his time as CEO. He also served as an elected member and Chairman of the tribal council. He is challenging conservative Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who is a top member of the Republican leadership in the House. She helped lead the House Republican’s extremely partisan agenda — including blocking emergency benefits for the unemployed and cutting $40 billion from food stamps, which would have taken basic food supplies away from 4 million people including seniors, veterans and kids. McMorris Rodgers also opposed efforts to increase the minimum wage and blocked laws to end pay discrimination against women. Pakootas would be a refreshing change of leadership for the 5th Congressional District.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Washington State Labor Council

Campaign Information

U.S. Representative, 6th Congressional District

Derek Kilmer

Derek Kilmer photoDerek Kilmer is a moderate Democrat who is a reliable supporter of creating jobs and improving infrastructure. He has been a leader on small business development and protecting Puget Sound during his first term. A former state Senator, he worked as a business consultant and economic development official before becoming a legislator. Kilmer is being challenged by Republican Marty McClendon, a conservative Kilmer soundly defeated in 2010, who is running on a campaign of repealing Obamacare. Kilmer’s experience and ability to work across the aisle on behalf of the district make him the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Sierra Club, Washington State Labor Council, Teamsters Joint Council 28, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Campaign Information

U.S. Representative, 7th Congressional District

Jim McDermott

Jim McDermott photoRep. Jim McDermott has represented the 7th District since 1989 and is a champion of progressive values. McDermott is a member of the Progressive Caucus and serves on the House Ways and Means Committee. A physician by trade, he specializes in health care issues, particularly regarding the international fight against AIDS, his sponsorship of a bill to provide a single payer health care system, and women’s health. He has also been a vocal advocate fighting for working families who have been hurt by Wall Street, as well as fighting for alternative energy, and an official end to the war in Iraq.

McDermott's opponent, Craig Keller, is an anti-immigration reform Tea Party conservative. McDermott deserves your vote.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Sierra Club, The Stranger, Washington State Labor Council, Teamsters Joint Council 28, Jim McDermott

U.S. Representative, 8th Congressional District

Jason Ritchie

Jason Ritchie photoJason Ritchie is a rising star who is running an energetic campaign to defeat incumbent Dave Reichert. Ritchie started a business remodeling homes for people with disabilities after his father had a stroke and suffered from limited mobility. With a strong commitment to progressive values on issues such as immigration reform, protecting safe and legal access to abortion, and fully funding education, Ritchie would be a welcome change to the district.

Conservative Republican Dave Reichert has passed only one law in the last 10 years--renaming a post office--and is an ineffective representative for the district. Ritchie deserves your vote.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

The Stranger, Washington State Labor Council, UFCW 21

U.S. Representative, 9th Congressional District

Adam Smith

Adam Smith photoRepresentative Adam Smith has served in the U.S. House since 1997. Smith is a moderate Democrat who has been a reliable vote on progressive issues, including marriage equality and eliminating Don’t Ask, Don't Tell. Smith is also in favor of more progressive taxation and immigration reform. Smith has worked hard to connect with and represent his new constituents after this district changed considerably in the redistricting process. He continues to be an advocate for greater equality and fought House Republicans' efforts to slash food stamps in the most recent farm bill.

Smith faces Republican Doug Basler, who is not running a competitive campaign. Smith deserves your vote.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

OneAmerica Votes, The Stranger, Washington State Labor Council, Service Employees International Union, Teamsters Joint Council 28, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

U.S. Representative, 10th Congressional District

Denny Heck

Denny Heck photoDenny Heck has had a long, effective career in both the private and public sectors, most notably as a five-term state representative, House majority leader, chief of staff to former Gov. Booth Gardner, and TVW co-founder. As a Congressman for the last two years, he has fought to make college more affordable, worked to lower health care costs, ensure veterans get the benefits they deserve, and create middle class jobs.

Heck is being challenged by Republican Joyce McDonald, a Pierce County Councilwoman, former state legislator, and former Republican Party official whom he defeated by double digits in the primary. Heck’s track record, experience, and values make him the best choice in this race.

Progressive Endorsements & Supporters

Washington State Labor Council, Teamsters Joint Council 28, Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Campaign Information

Look Up Your Customized Guide

Don't stop now. Keep on voting! There's a reason why thousands of people in your district are voting in every race on the ballot. The races that remain — state legislators, State Supreme Court Justices, local judges and ballot measures, and others — will determine how we fund our schools, how fair our judicial system is, and many other issues that are very important to our communities and our future.

OR you can look up your customized guide manually. (You will need to know your legislative district, which is on your ballot.)