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The Impact  – Political Strategists Debate 2024 Election Dynamics in WA

Mike McClanahan profile by Mike McClanahan

Now that the 2024 Legislative Session is over, the election will take on more of the spotlight. This fall there are nine state executive offices on the ballot.

2024 State Executive Races

  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Attorney General
  • Secretary of State
  • Auditor
  • Treasurer
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Public Lands Commissioner 
  • Insurance Commissioner

Washington State House of Representatives – All 98 seats are up for election  

Current Balance of Power – 58 Democrats | 40 Republicans 

Washington State Senate – 25 seats are up for election  

Current  Balance of Power – 29 Democrats | 20  Republicans  

Washington Supreme Court – 3 Positions on the Ballot

Federal Offices Up for Election


             U.S. House  – 10 Seats

             U.S. Senate – 1 Seat

There are three initiatives that will appear on ballots across the state this year. There were 6 initiatives to the legislature initially, but the other three were passed by state lawmakers during the final few days of the 2024 legislative session.

Initiatives On The Ballot This Fall

I-2117 Cap-and-trade prohibition, Climate Commitment Act repeal

I-2124 Long-term care program opt-out choice

I-2109 Capital gains tax repeal

The three that passed were: 

I-2113 Removal of legislative restrictions on police pursuit

I-2081 Parental Rights/Schools

I-2111 Income Tax Ban

Initiatives passed by the legislature bypass the governor and become law 90 days after the end of the session. The three that passed will take effect in early June.

The presidential primary was March12, but filing week for state candidates isn’t until May. Some of the state executive offices don’t have any official candidates yet, but there is already a crowded race for Governor. That’s just one of several races this year with no incumbent. 

A number of state lawmakers and two members of congress have announced they are not seeking reelection. There are also statewide executive office holders who are either running for different positions or retiring. 

The March 12 presidential primary in Washington cemented Donald Trump’s nomination as the Republican candidate for president. Joe Biden reportedly clinched the Democratic nomination with the Georgia results. An August primary will determine who appears on the November General Election ballot for many contests. Two professional political strategists joined us this week to talk about the races to watch and political trends in play this year. 

“The New York Times was just in Clallam talking about one of the last bellwether counties in the country where Clallam goes, the presidential race goes,” said Justin Matheson, Northwest Director of Axiom Strategies, a Republican campaign firm. “I think the biggest thing you’re going to see is a lot of new faces. From our side, I mean there’s big mega shifts with the congressional races and retirements in the legislature.”

“It looks to me like a continuation of that sort of exodus of the moderates,” said Sandeep Kaushik, Partner at Sound View Strategies, a Democratic campaign firm. “And the most likely outcome, I think, is the kind of trend towards greater polarization that we’re seeing here in the state and in our national politics.”