Published on October 24th, 2016 | by 36th District Democrats


Endorsements & Voter Guide for the 2016 General!

Each election the 36th puts together a concise, packaged voter guide that’s distributed to thousands of doors across the district. It contains useful fantastic information about our endorsements, a sample ballot, a letter from our chair, and advertisements from endorsed campaigns.

Download the Voter Guide

Check out the full content of our voter guide below – and remember to mail in your ballot by November 8!

Sample Ballot - 2016 General

US President Hillary Clinton
US Senate Patty Murray
US Congress – Dist. 7 Pramila Jayapal & Brady Walkinshaw
Governor Jay Inslee
Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib
Secretary of State Tina Podlodowski
Treasurer None
Auditor Pat McCarthy
Attorney General Bob Ferguson
Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz
Superintendent of Public Instruction Erin Jones
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler
State Senate Reuven Carlyle
State House – Pos. 1 Noel Frame
State House – Pos. 2 Gael Tarleton
Supreme Court – Pos. 1 Mary Yu
Supreme Court – Pos. 5 Barbara Madsen
Supreme Court – Pos. 6 Charlie Wiggins
Superior Court – Pos. 14 Nicole Gaines Phelps
Superior Court – Pos. 26 David Keenan
Superior Court – Pos. 31 Helen Halpert
Superior Court – Pos. 44 Eric Newman
Superior Court – Pos. 52 Anthony Gipe
Superior Court – Pos. 53 Mariane Spearman
District Court – West – Pos. 1 Lisa Paglisotti
District Court – West – Pos. 4 Gregg Hirakawa
I-1433 Yes
I-1464 Yes
I-1491 Yes
I-1501 Yes
I-732 Yes
I-736 Yes
Advisory Vote 14 Maintained
Advisory Vote 15 Maintained
SJR 8210 Approved
King County Amendment 1 No
King County Amendment 2 Yes
I-124 Yes
Sound Transit Approved


Dear Neighbor,

When deciding how you will vote in the November 8th General Election, I hope you will consider the endorsements of the 36th District Democrats. We carefully screen the candidates for experience, effectiveness, and adherence to the Democratic Party platform. We dive into the policy minutia of ballot measures to determine whether they reflect progressive values.

Our endorsement process is extensive and involves hundreds of hours by dozens of volunteers to help vet the candidates and ballot measures. For more information about our endorsements and to join our organization please visit our website.


Jeff Manson's Signature



YES on Initiative 1433

Following Seattle’s lead, Initiative 1433 would increase the minimum wage to $13.50 per hour statewide, phased in over four years. Additionally, it would guarantee paid sick and safe leave for all Washington workers. Out of a workforce of approximately 3 million, it would raise the wages of about 730,000 inh3iduals and provide paid sick and safe leave to about 1 million. We believe this is an overdue common sense reform, greatly benefiting economic security and public health. Opponents cite faulty economic analysis and ignore Seattle’s strong economy despite a more generous policy implemented two years ago. Vote YES on I-1433.

YES on Initiative 1464

Initiative 1464 would implement some common sense good-government reforms that improve transparency and accountability, limit big money influence, and empower voters vis-a-vis special interests. Similar to an initiative approved overwhelmingly by Seattle voters last year, it would stop the “revolving door” of government officials leaving immediately for lobbying jobs, fund stronger enforcement of ethics and campaign laws, crack down on coordination between candidates and “super PACs,” and incentivize campaign fundraising from small donations from regular people. In a post-Citizens United era of limitless corporate and wealthy campaign spending, I-1464 would provide significant improvements and safeguards for our imperfect democracy. Vote YES.

YES on Initiative 1491

As mass shootings and other gun violence continue to make headlines, Initiative 1491 responds by closing a loophole in our existing judicial protection order system to help prevent people determined by a judge to present an extreme risk to themselves or others from accessing or retaining firearms. Opponents express concern that the initiative improperly stigmatizes people with mental illness as dangerous, a stereotype we agree is incorrect and demeaning. However, despite a misleading ballot title from the Secretary of State, the language of the law makes clear that dangerous behavior is the determining factor, not any psychological or other medical diagnosis. I-1491 is a carefully-written, responsible, measured response to the gun violence epidemic and will save lives. Vote YES.

YES on Initiative 1501

Senior citizens and other vulnerable adults are often targets of consumer fraud and identity theft. I-1501 would strengthen current laws, increasing both criminal and civil penalties when acts of consumer fraud or identity theft are perpetrated against vulnerable adults. This initiative is a reasonable change to existing law and should be approved.

YES on Initiative 732

Once implemented, I-732 would shift our energy consumption away from fossil fuels towards cleaner alternatives through a tax on carbon emissions. The initiative is designed to be revenue-neutral, so the carbon tax would be offset by a significant reduction in the sales and other taxes. Although not perfect, I-732 is a strong start to setting a price on carbon and can be strengthened by the legislature as necessary. Combating climate change is an issue where we cannot afford to wait for a perfect policy. Vote yes.

YES on Initiative 735

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has called the Citizens United ruling the worst in the court’s history, as it has unleashed unlimited campaign spending from corporate and wealthy interests. Several prominent leaders, including Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have called for amending the constitution to overturn Citizens United. If passed, I-735 would add the people of Washington State to that list, formally calling on Congress to start the constitutional amendment process. Overturning Citizens United is a necessary step to reclaiming our democracy. Vote yes.

MAINTAINED on Advisory Votes 14 & 15

A Tim Eyman-backed policy requires any tax increase to go before the voters for a non-binding advisory vote. The two decisions in 2016 involved narrow areas of the tax code, passed with bipartisan majorities, and increased government revenue in an era of never-ending budget cuts. Although nonbinding, please vote to MAINTAIN these tax decisions.

APPROVED on Senate Joint Resolution 8210

This state constitutional amendment makes a technical change to our decennial redistricting process, moving the deadline for the non-partisan redistricting commission’s proposal by a few weeks. This uncontroversial measure passed the legislature unanimously and should be approved.

NO on King County Charter Amendment 1

The King County Prosecutor is an elected political position with a significant amount of discretion. Besides hiring and supervising deputy prosecutors who represent the County in civil and criminal cases, the Prosecutor makes decisions such as whether to seek the death penalty, whether to charge inh3iduals for simple possession of drugs, and whether to seek remedial alternatives to incarceration. These are political decisions that fall along party lines in a polarized era. Currently, candidates for Prosecutor state their party preference when running for office, whether a major or minor political party or “Independent.” This is important information for voters who can see at a glance the political party platform with which the candidate most closely aligns. Charter Amendment 1 would remove the opportunity to see the party preference on the ballot, instead mischaracterizing the position as “nonpartisan.” Vote No.

YES on King County Charter Amendment 2

This measure would amend the County Charter itself to be gender-neutral, replacing words like “councilman” with “councilmember” and “chairman” with “chair.” Nearly a century after women were granted the right to vote and hold office, this no-brainer amendment would align our county’s charter with the county council’s current gender-h3erse composition.

Hillary Clinton for President

Without hesitation, we enthusiastically ask for your vote for Hillary Clinton for President. Secretary Clinton is running on a platform more progressive than that of President Obama or (the first) President Clinton. From the economy to the environment to social justice, her vision for American public policy is aligned with the country’s needs. While we are motivated to vote for Clinton, we also see Donald Trump as a threat to our values, our Republic, and world security. We hope for a landslide vote for Clinton that would send a message that Trump’s brand of politics is not welcome or viable. While a protest vote for a third party may be enticing, neither the Libertarian nor Green Party candidate is a serious option. Gary Johnson’s vision of a nearly government-free economy is to the right of the Tea Party, while Jill Stein has made comments about vaccines and WiFi signals suggesting policy views not grounded in science. In contrast, Clinton’s platform is grounded in reality and she has the policy and political experience to get it done. Vote for Hillary Clinton.

Patty Murray for U.S. Senate

Running for a fifth term, Patty Murray is a solid progressive and has reached a level of seniority in the Senate that benefits our state in countless ways. Although Democrats have been the minority party during her current term, Sen. Murray has successfully negotiated a fix to the broken No Child Left Behind law, expanded support for our nation’s veterans, and passed a historic budget deal with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan last year. Moreover, former Republican Party Chair Chris Vance, the most viable Republican candidate, must be prevented from sitting in the U.S. Senate. Like most Senate Republicans, Vance is opposed to Obamacare, common sense gun responsibility reforms, and regulating carbon emissions. Vote for Patty Murray and a Democratic Senate.

Brady Piñero Walkinshaw and Pramila Jayapal for U.S. Congress

After 28 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Jim McDermott is retiring this year. Either State Rep. Brady Piñero Walkinshaw or State Sen. Pramila Jayapal would continue and build upon Rep. McDermott’s progressive legacy. Either candidate would be the first person of color to hold the seat; Jayapal would be the first woman, and Walkinshaw would be the first openly gay Representative from Washington’s 7th. Both candidates are serving their first full term in the legislature and have been recognized for their talent and legislative successes early in their political careers. Either Rep. Walkinshaw or Sen. Jayapal would bring new perspectives and fresh energy to a dysfunctional Congress.

Jay Inslee for Governor

Taking office during a recession and facing obstructionism from a Republican-controlled Senate during his entire term, Governor Inslee has nonetheless successfully passed economic development legislation, a bipartisan transportation package, and some of the most progressive environmental policies in the nation. Coming from humble origins, Jay Inslee put himself through college and law school and rose to become a progressive Democrat in the U.S. Congress before running for Governor. He literally wrote the book on green jobs and the clean energy economy. Inslee’s opponent, Republican Bill Bryant, portrays himself as a moderate but his campaign contributions and political record say otherwise. As a Port Commissioner, Bryant was the loudest cheerleader for bringing Shell Oil drilling rigs to Seattle and the carbon-extraction industry is rewarding Bryant with donations. When other statewide Republicans were denouncing Donald Trump, Bryant refused to say whether he would vote for Trump for over a year. His decision may have been hard, but yours is easy: Vote to re-elect Jay Inslee.

Cyrus Habib for Lieutenant Governor

After 20 years as Lieutenant Governor, Brad Owen is retiring and State Sen. Cyrus Habib should be elected to take his place. While Owen is a centrist and has viewed the office in primarily parliamentary and ceremonial terms, Sen. Habib seeks to use the position to advance progressive policy goals. As a State Senator, Habib has focused on the progressive values of inclusivity and support for social services, and his personal story supports both. Born to Iranian immigrants, he is one of few Middle Eastern Americans elected to state office. Additionally, Habib lost his eyesight at age eight and was able to become a Rhodes Scholar and editor of Yale Law Review after the Washington State School for the Blind helped him learn to read. Cyrus Habib is the clear choice for Lieutenant Governor.

Tina Podlodowski for Secretary of State

Republicans have controlled the Secretary of State office for over 50 years and it is time to elect a Democrat. Tina Podlodowski is not just a Democrat, but a competent former Microsoft executive and Seattle City Councilwoman with a plan for a fair, accessible, and equitable voting system. The incumbent, Republican Kim Wyman, has maintained the status quo at best and wasted millions of dollars on a meaningless Presidential Primary. Podlodowski would use that money to support programs and elections infrastructure that increase voter registration and voter turnout. Vote Tina Podlodowski for Secretary of State.

Pat McCarthy for Auditor
Pay McCarthy is the first woman to serve as Pierce County Executive and is the former Pierce County Auditor. She has the experience and skills necessary to run the Washington State Auditor’s office after a very difficult term under the previous Auditor. She is running against Mark Miloscia, an anti-choice and anti-LGBT Republican who, if elected, could cause major headaches for government agencies involved with regulating and funding family planning services and enforcing non-discrimination laws. Vote for Pat McCarthy.

Bob Ferguson for Attorney General

Bob Ferguson has done an exceptional job as Attorney General; so good, in fact, he has drawn only token opposition for re-election this year. Bob Ferguson had already distinguished himself as an attorney when he ran his famous grassroots campaign for King County Council. On the Council, he continued to distinguish himself as a progressive reformer and leader. As Attorney General, he has focused on protecting consumers and taxpayers from insurance companies and other corporate interests, while competently running the largest law firm in the state. Bob Ferguson should be re-elected.

Hilary Franz for Commissioner of Public Lands

Hilary Franz would be an excellent Commissioner of Public Lands, replacing the retiring incumbent Peter Goldmark. She is a strong environmentalist, an important quality for the office which runs the Department of Natural Resources. Franz has advocated for the environment as the Executive Director of Futurewise, an environmental nonprofit focused on sustainable land use and transportation policies. The Commissioner of Public Lands is an important, if low-profile, office which needs an environmental steward with a truly global perspective. Hilary Franz is the clear choice for this position.

Erin Jones for Superintendent of Public Instruction

At a time when the State Supreme Court has held the Legislature in contempt for failing to adequately fund public schools, our state needs a Superintendent of Public Instruction who is willing to use the position as a bully pulpit to advocate for public education. Erin Jones is the best candidate to fill that role. She grew up in the Netherlands after being adopted by two educators and has experience in many aspects of our education system: as student, teacher, parent, policy advisor, and administrator. She currently serves in the administration she is running to lead, as Assistant Superintendent of Student Achievement. She previously served as Director of the Center of the Improvement of Student Learning after many years as a public school teacher. She has the energy, vision, and track record needed to revitalize our education system at a critical time. Vote Erin Jones.

Mike Kreidler for Insurance Commissioner

Mike Kreidler has served as our State Insurance Commissioner for 16 years and rarely makes the news, which is a sign he is doing a good job. A technocratic position, the Insurance Commissioner regulates the various insurance industries, including policies covering health care, automobiles, homes, and people’s lives. Kreidler has used the position to the benefit of consumers, allowing for increased competition, requiring transparency, and helping consumers recover denied or delayed insurance payments. Mike Kreidler is doing a good job and should be re-elected.

Reuven Carlyle for State Senate

After serving seven years in the State House where he developed a reputation as an innovative and principled legislator, Sen. Reuven Carlyle was appointed in January of this year to the State Senate to fill a vacancy after Jeanne Kohl-Welles was elected to the County Council and is running to complete the Senate term. He has called for an automatic sunset on all tax loopholes so wasteful ones can be closed. In 2011, he joined other legislators and citizens to sue to overturn Tim Eyman’s 2/3-supermajority rule. When Boeing demanded an historic tax exemption, Rep. Carlyle courageously fought to make it conditional on Boeing jobs remaining in our state, to be retroactively rescinded if Boeing did not comply. Although he is unopposed, take two seconds to fill in the bubble for Reuven Carlyle.

Noel Christina Frame for State House – Pos. 1

Appointed just two business days before the 2016 legislative session to fill the vacancy left by Reuven Carlyle, Noel Frame hit the ground running with a successful first legislative session. She is now running for a full term and deserves your vote, despite being unopposed. As a committed champion for public education, Frame has been an outspoken voice for tax reform and new progressive sources of revenue. Additionally, she successfully passed her first major legislation, a bill expanding access to outpatient mental health treatment signed by Governor Inslee in March this year. Besides her service in the State House, Frame is a communications, organizing, and management professional who has applied her skill set across the non-profit, private, public and political sectors for the past 15 years. Vote to elect Noel Frame to a full term in the State House.

Gael Tarleton for State House – Pos. 2

After serving on the Seattle Port Commission for five years, Rep. Gael Tarleton has completed two successful terms in the State House of Representatives. In her first session as a legislator, she successfully passed a rare amendment to the Landlord Tenant Act, providing additional protections for renters, a growing population in the 36th legislative district. She has also focused on protecting workers, sponsoring bills to increase the state minimum wage and require employers to provide paid vacation leave. She has brought her experience from the Port to the legislature, serving as a leader on maritime and working waterfront issues. She has quickly risen through the ranks of House Leadership and now serves as Majority Floor Leader. Also uncontested, Rep. Tarleton deserves an affirmative vote for re-election.

Mary Yu for Supreme Court – Pos. 1

Mary Yu was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2014 to fill a vacancy and is running for election to a full term. Justice Yu served with distinction on the King County Superior Court for 14 years, receiving high accolades from her colleagues and attorneys who practiced before her. In this capacity, she made history when she opened her courtroom at midnight on the first day marriage equality was legalized and officiated over the first same-sex weddings in Washington State. Justice Yu’s appointment to the Supreme Court was also historic, as she is the first Asian, the first of woman of color, and the first member of the LGBT community to serve on the Supreme Court. We enthusiastically endorse Mary Yu for election to the Supreme Court.

Barbara Madsen for Supreme Court – Pos. 5

In 1992, Barbara Madsen was the first woman popularly elected to the State Supreme Court. In 2009, she was unanimously elected by the other justices as the first woman to serve as Chief Justice, a position she still holds. She is well-regarded as an intelligent and insightful jurist, and has built consensus necessary for some remarkable 9-0 opinions, including the McCleary decision holding the State Legislature in contempt for failing to adequately fund public schools. Chief Justice Madsen’s opponent, Greg Zempel, is the elected Republican Prosecutor of Kittitas County and is running a campaign supported by right-wing activists upset at a court they see as too liberal. We think it’s just right. Vote to re-elected Chief Justice Madsen.

Charlie Wiggins for Supreme Court – Pos. 6

Justice Charlie Wiggins is a former Court of Appeals Judge and respected appellate attorney from Bainbridge Island who is completing his first full term on the Supreme Court where he has been one of the most progressive jurists on the bench. His opponent, Dave Larson, is a Federal Way municipal court judge who is attracting support from Republican and right-wing interests and uses dog-whistle terms like “judicial restraint,” indicating a far more conservative judicial philosophy. We believe Justice Wiggins is better suited to the court and should be re-elected.

King County Superior Court

Six of the 53 King County Superior Court positions are contested this year. We carefully studied all candidates, interviewed most of them, and inquired with the legal community about their backgrounds. We are confident that the following candidates have the experience, temperament, and values necessary to warrant a vote over their competitors: Nicole Gaines Phelps (Pos. 14), David Keenan (Pos. 26), Helen Halpert (Pos. 31), Eric Newman (Pos. 44), Anthony Gipe (Pos. 52), and Mariane Spearman (Pos. 53).

King County District Court

Both Lisa Paglisotti (Pos. 1) and Gregg Hirakawa (Pos. 4) were appointed to the District Court earlier this year to fill vacancies and have been doing the job for several months. Although both are uncontested, each has earned your vote through their hard work and sense of social justice.

YES on Seattle Initiative 124

Hotel worker positions are among the lowest paid and with the least benefits in our local economy. It is also one of the more dangerous positions, both in terms of on-the-job injury and risk of sexual harassment by hotel guests and others. Hotel workers are often women of color, many of them immigrants, and little political clout to seek necessary job protections. Initiative 124 would provide health, safety, and labor standards for hotel employees, greatly benefiting one of the most vulnerable groups of the working poor. It would mandate affordable family medical coverage, provide for protections against workplace injury and sexual harassment, and provide basic job protections when a hotel is sold to a new employer. It is overwhelmingly supported by the Seattle city councilmembers and groups representing labor, women, communities of color, and immigrants. Vote yes.

APPROVED on Sound Transit Prop. 1

Prop. 1, also known as “Sound Transit 3” would build on the current light rail and bus rapid transit network, providing fast, reliable transit access to Everett, Federal Way, Redmond, Ballard, West Seattle, and stops in between. In addition to the direct benefits to commute times and mobility, ST3 helps the regional economy, the environment, and low-income communities. We interviewed advocates for the No side and scrutinized their arguments in detail, but were not convinced. Instead, we are excited about the transit infrastructure ST3 will bring and are confident the financing plan smartly leverages federal grants and bonding opportunities. Whether we like it or not, people are moving to the Puget Sound Region at a rapid pace and we need a transit system to accommodate them. ST3 does the job and should be approved.

The 36th District Democrats also endorsed the following Superior Court candidates who will not appear on the ballot this year because they are uncontested: Johanna Bender (Pos. 28), Steve Rosen (Pos. 33), Matt Williams (Pos. 41), and John McHale (Pos. 43).

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