36th District Democrats Voter Guide for the 2016 Primary

Endorsements & Voter Guide for the 2016 Primary!


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 August 2nd!



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 John Comerford
Auditor Jeff Sprung
Attorney General Bob Ferguson
Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz & Dave Upthegrove
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. 28 Johanna Bender
Superior Court – Pos. 31 Helen Halpert
Superior Court – Pos. 33 Steve Rosen
Superior Court – Pos. 41 Matt Williams
Superior Court – Pos. 43 John McHale
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-123 (Elevated Park) Reject
Prop. 1 (Housing Levy) Approve


Dear Neighbor,

When deciding how you will vote in the August 2nd Primary 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



Patty Murray for U.S. Senate

We proudly endorse Patty Murray for a fifth term in the U.S. Senate. Sen. 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 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. Of the five Democrats running to fill his shoes, 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

Governor Jay Inslee should be elected to a second term. 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 are denouncing Donald Trump, Bryant refuses to say whether he will vote for Trump. His decision may be 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 help 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.

John Paul Comerford for Treasurer

John Paul Comerford is the best candidate to replace retiring State Treasurer Jim McIntire. Comerford has a substantial background in public finance and has served as a personal financial advisor for the U.S. Marine Corps. Besides being a competent steward of public funds, Comerford plans to leverage the position to advocate for new progressive revenue sources to help fund public education. Additionally, he supports a State Bank and divesting our state portfolio from fossil fuels. Vote for John Paul Comerford for State Treasurer.

Jeff Sprung for Auditor

Jeff Sprung has the right experience to serve as our next State Auditor. After five years an assistant U.S. Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Sprung has represented whistleblowers against governments and small businesses against price-fixing multinational corporations. In his career, he has helped return over $750 million of taxpayer money. Additionally, he has served as President of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii. As a first-time candidate who has not previously held elected office, Jeff Sprung is able to independently audit government agencies, while remaining committed to his strong progressive values.

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 and Dave Upthegrove for Commissioner of Public Lands

Either Hilary Franz or Dave Upthegrove would be an excellent Commissioner of Public Lands, replacing the retiring incumbent Peter Goldmark. Both are strong environmentalists, 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. Upthegrove served in the State House of Representatives as Chair of the Environment Committee and continues to advocate for the environment on the King County Council. Commissioner of Public Lands is an important, if low-profile, office which needs an environmental steward with a truly global perspective. Either Hilary Franz or Dave Upthegrove should be elected to the 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. 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. Washington State citizens are well-served with a common-sense financial watchdog in the State Senate. 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.

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 only serious 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.

Eric Newman for Superior Court – Pos. 44

Of the 53 King County Superior Court positions up for election this year, only position 44 has three or more candidates and appears on the Primary ballot. Of the three candidates running, Eric Newman is the clear choice with the right combination of experience, temperament, and compassion to do the job and do it right. He is already an experienced judge, serving as a judge pro tempore on the King County Superior Court. In addition to a distinguished career in private practice, Newman has been a regular volunteer at a legal clinic largely serving immigrants at El Centro de la Raza. Eric Newman would be a superb addition to the Superior Court bench and has earned your vote.

NO on Initiative 123 (Elevated Park)

Seattle Initiative 123 would construct an ill-conceived and poorly-planned elevated park on the waterfront in place of where the State Route 99 viaduct stands now. Originally planned to use the existing viaduct structure, after studies showed it could not be safely retrofitted, I-123 is now written to actually rebuild a viaduct-like structure after the viaduct is taken down. Supporters point to the popular and successful Highline in New York City, but the architect of the Highline has called the I-123 plan “dumb” and “silly.” The current plans for Seattle’s waterfront, while not necessarily perfect, have been developed through years of public input and deliberation. I-123 would replace and likely defund these efforts while rebuilding an eyesore and psychological barrier between Seattle’s downtown and waterfront. Vote NO on I-123.

YES on Proposition 1 (Housing Levy)

Seattle is experiencing a housing affordability crisis which effects most residents, but in particular lower-income and working families. Seattle Proposition 1 would renew and expand the existing 2009 Housing Levy which was passed overwhelmingly by Seattle voters. This new seven-year housing levy focuses on helping working families, young people, and seniors to continue to live in the city, while providing important funding for supportive housing for our neighbors transitioning from homeless to housing. Specifically, the levy will fund at least 2,150 permanently-affordable homes, provide emergency rental assistance to prevent homelessness for 4,500 households, and provide short-term loans for developers to purchase and preserve existing “market” affordable housing. At only an estimated $5 per month more than current taxes for the median homeowner, Prop. 1 is a pragmatic and compassionate investment for maintaining an affordable Seattle.