The definitive look at Washington’s key midterm election races

Nov 5, 2022, 4:54 PM | Updated: Nov 8, 2022, 9:42 pm

2022 election...

You have until Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. to drop off your ballot at a dropbox location near you. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Tuesday is election day and half of the 4.8 million registered voters in Washington state have yet to vote. If you are complaining about the current situation, this is your chance to provide your voice.

“Read the pamphlet, exercise your power, and – very important (since at last check, 18,698 ballots were under challenge, usually because an envelope signature didn’t match) — sign your ballot the way you signed your voter registration!” KIRO Newsradio host Dave Ross said. “It would be sad to do all that work only to blow your John Hancock moment.”

Click here for updated Election Results

MyNorthwest has identified five key races for KIRO and KTTH hosts. We gave you some background, edited from their statements in the Voters Pamphlet. Each race is listed in alphabetical order of the candidate’s last name.

No race has been more contentious than Sen. Patty Murray battling against political newcomer Tiffany Smiley.

U.S. Senate: Sen. Patty Murray (D) vs. Tiffany Smiley (R)

Sen. Patty Murray (D)

I led the Senate in passing legislation last year to get our kids back into the classroom safely, made COVID vaccines available to everyone who needed them, and helped small businesses and families make ends meet through difficult times. Right afterward, I got to work to help pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will create good-paying union jobs in every part of our state, improve public transit, expand lower-cost clean energy, establish universal broadband, and upgrade our bridges, ferries, and ports to strengthen supply chains. And I negotiated a bipartisan budget that funds local priorities Washington workers and families like you have told me about, like helping veterans find housing and expanding job training.

Elected Experience: Shoreline School Board, State Senator, United States Senator

Tiffany Smiley (R)

Her experience with the military bureaucracy highlighted the challenges facing many service members and their families. Tiffany became their voice, going to Capitol Hill and meeting with anyone who would listen to her. She built coalitions with members from both sides of the aisle, which ultimately resulted in real reform of the VA to help the catastrophically injured and their caregivers. Drawing on her experiences as a veteran’s advocate, Tiffany will build coalitions and work for policies that improve public safety and protect Washington families, combat spiraling gas prices and the inflation that’s hurting the middle class and address the homeless crisis plaguing our communities.

Elected Experience: None

MyNorthwest’s Take

Dori Monson, host, The Dori Monson Show, KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM

  • It’s time to retire Patty Murray. After 30 years in the Senate, Murray has a shockingly-short list of accomplishments. Murray seems to be far more interested in Washington, D.C., than Washington state. Smiley tells me she will limit herself to two terms. Murray worked hard to pass the pork-filled “infrastructure” bill, a huge contributor to our sky-high inflation.

Jason Rantz, host, The Jason Rantz Show, KTTH 770 AM

  • Tiffany Smiley is a no-brainer. She’s passionate, smart, and motivated — and she can help fix the problems Patty Murray caused. Unlike Murray, Smiley actually has a track record of taking on the establishment and winning. Murray is the establishment.

Ursula Reutin, co-host, The Gee & Ursula Show, KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM

  • In the US Senate race, I voted for Patty Murray because she has accomplished more than she gets credit for, especially on issues that are important to me: Women’s rights, education, health care, and advocating for LGBTQ communities. I get that she’s not the most exciting person, but she wields a lot of power in Congress and that’s a good thing for Washington.

Gee Scott, co-host, The Gee & Ursula Show, KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM

  • The fact Smiley only accepted the results of the 2020 election 60 days ago is concerning. She has good talking points, but has not been in neighborhoods where crime is an issue. Murray was not wise to not debate Smiley. She did not run an aggressive campaign. Despite that, I like Murray.

U.S. Congressional District 3

Joe Kent (R)

My priorities are: Fighting inflation by ending wasteful ‘omnibus’ spending and restoring energy independence, investigating the 2020 general election, election integrity laws, and impeaching Biden and Harris immediately. Inflation is robbing our families of 9% of their take-home pay. Standing up for the right to life and the 2nd Amendment; securing our border and ending illegal immigration; and enacting an America First economic agenda that will restore our local manufacturing and timber industries and create good-paying jobs.

Elected Experience: None

Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D)

I’m running to take on politicians who are bought and paid for by large corporations who refuse to pay their fair share while working families who follow the rules fall further behind.  In Congress, I’ll make expanding career and technical education a priority to empower more Washingtonians to obtain family-wage jobs they can be proud of. Finally, I’ll stand up to politicians who try to tell women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies. We cannot assume our rights will be protected here in Washington state any longer.

Elected Experience: Underwood Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors ‘16, ’22; Elected Member Democratic National Committee

Our Take

Dori Monson

  • As an Army Ranger, who also lost his warrior-wife as she fought for our country, Joe Kent brings a perspective of restraint as the U.S. funds war in Ukraine and as Joe Biden and his party has brought us closer to a nuclear war with Russia. Joe also has a very welcome America First perspective on all international issues.

Jason Rantz

  • Joe Kent will put Washington and America first. He’s aligned with the values of his district — unlike his far-left Democrat challenger. He will help keep us out of unnecessarily conflict and will back the police.

Ursula Reutin

  • I would never vote for someone who propagates ‘The Big Lie.” It’s a shame that Joe Kent beat the incumbent Jamie Herrera Butler in the primary. She lost her seat because she dared to tell the truth. Sad. I hope voters in  that district get it right and vote for Perez.
Gee Scott
  • I’m on the side of human decency. Anyone who runs against Joe Kent has my vote. I like Perez.

U.S. Congressional District 8

Matt Larkin (R)

Washington is heading in the wrong direction. Enabling policies and our crisis at the border have led to skyrocketing crime, homelessness, and drug abuse. Our state desperately needs a leader to tackle these issues. We need to give parents back their voices in their children’s education. We need to lower inflation so families can pay their bills and fill their gas tanks. We need to ensure free, fair elections and a strong national defense which starts with energy independence. Together we will reign in federal spending, Make Crime Illegal Again, take back our streets and parks, and restore hope for everyday Americans.

Elected Experience: None

Kim Schrier (D)

I’ve helped pass laws to bring down costs for working families, to get Veterans the quality healthcare they deserve, and to support training and resources for local police because everyone deserves to feel safe in our community. As the only pediatrician in Congress, I’ve helped pass laws to actually bring down the cost of lifesaving prescription drugs, like insulin. I will work to make healthcare and other everyday costs more affordable for middle-class families. As a doctor, I will always fight to protect a woman’s right to choose and to keep politicians out of private decisions between a woman and her doctor. I am the only member of Congress from the Pacific Northwest on the Agriculture Committee.

Elected Experience: U.S. Representative, 2019-Present, Committees on Energy & Commerce and Agriculture

Our Take

Dori Monson

  • Kim Schrier has stood with Joe Biden on every disastrous issue. Trillions in spending, leading to 40-year-record inflation. Our open-Southern border has helped flood her 8th District with fentanyl and other cartel drugs. It is time for a change in Congress.

Jason Rantz

  • Matt Larkin represents the district and will help bring sanity back to DC. Kim Schrier is better suited for Seattle; a candidate more interested in telling you she’s a doctor than diagnosing and treating the problems she’s helped to cause. She defunded and smeared cops, she passed legislation she knew would lead to inflation, and she does whatever Nancy Pelosi wants. Larkin deserves hour vote.

Ursula Reutin

  •  I don’t live in the 8th Congressional District, but if I did, my pick would be Kim Schrier. In her first two terms, she has proven that she can work with both sides of the aisle. She’s a moderate and we need more candidates who are focused on getting things done that benefit ALL Americans. Her Republican opponent, Matt Larkin, supports a federal abortion ban and that’s a non-starter for me.
Gee Scott
  • Larkin says he wants to lower the minimum wage. He says he’s for small businesses, but here’s the deal. Rents in Seattle are up 32% since 2019. Has your pay gone up 32%? Again, whoever is running against Larkin is fine with me. Schrier has my vote.

Secretary of State

Julie Anderson (non-affiliated)

The Secretary of State has the critical job of running trustworthy elections, as well as providing public records access, business registry, and library services. This demands experience. Partisanship has no place in the Secretary of State’s office. I’ve been Pierce County’s nonpartisan Auditor for 12 years, leading a nationally recognized, award-winning office that has increased voter access, enhanced election security, and improved auditing procedures. I’ve provided oversight and statewide leadership in elections, increased access to public records, and streamlined business licensing. I hold national and state certifications in election administration and am a certified public records officer.

Elected Experience: Nonpartisan Pierce County Auditor, 2009 to Present; Nonpartisan Tacoma City Councilmember, 2004 to 2009

Steve Hobbs (D)

As your current Secretary of State, my top priority is to ensure our elections are secure and accessible to every eligible voter. I am proud of my career in public service working alongside Democrats, Republicans, and Independents advocating for all Washingtonians. With bipartisan support from state lawmakers, I am leading work that safeguards our election systems from cybersecurity threats, confronts malicious disinformation, and engages underrepresented communities. The Secretary of State must possess the highest standards of integrity and leadership and serve as a strong advocate for voting rights in Washington.

Elected Experience: Appointed to Secretary of State position by Gov. Jay Inslee. In the state Senate, Hobbs chaired the Transportation Committee and earned a reputation as a champion of bipartisan solutions.

Our Take

Jason Rantz

  • I like Brad Klippert, but I’m concerned a write in campaign will only help the Democrat. Julie Anderson has vowed to keep politics out of the Secretary of State’s office and I believe her. She seems reasonable and is clearly competent — much more so than the incumbent Steve Hobbes. He owes his position to Jay Inslee and isn’t trustworthy.

Ursula Reutin

  • For Secretary of State, I voted for Julie Anderson, who is running as a non-partisan. This race is the one that was not so clear cut for me because both of them are great candidates. Steve Hobbs has done a good job since he was appointed by Governor Inslee to fill the spot left open by Republican Kim Wyman. Anderson is highly qualified because she has worked many years as the Pierce County auditor. With all the distrust in elections, I think it would be good to have someone who is not affiliating herself with either party, so, ultimately, I voted for her.
Gee Scott
  • This is the toughest race. I compliment each one. You can’t go wrong with either one. I like Anderson’s non-affiliated rationale. Anderson is a sharp lady.

King Co. Prosecutor

Jim Ferrell

As Mayor of a city of 103,000 residents, I see first-hand how the policies and actions of the prosecutor have impacted our quality of life throughout this region. We need leadership with a common-sense approach to rehabilitation and an office that partners with local officials to ensure public safety. I am the only candidate who has ever tried a criminal case. The backlog of felony cases in the prosecutor’s office has reached crisis levels – nearly 5,000 felony cases, 500 sexual assault cases and 230 murder cases await prosecution while victims await justice. With 19 years of experience as a prosecutor, I will utilize diversion programs to rehabilitate those who commit crime and return people to healthy and productive lives.

Education: University of Washington – Bachelor of Arts; Gonzaga University – Law Degree

Leesa Manion

Under my leadership as Chief of Staff, supervising a staff of 600 professionals, the Prosecutor’s Office charges violent crimes, sexual assaults, and property crimes every day – without exception – even when the pandemic closed Courts and halted jury trials. I’m the only candidate for this office who has developed criminal justice policies and led teams of prosecutors – building trusted partnerships with law enforcement, public defenders, business leaders, and advocates for equity and justice. My commitment to reducing gun violence is reflected in our state’s strongest Extreme Risk Protection Order policies – removing guns from troubled hands and homes.

Education: JD Seattle University School of Law; BA, Northern Kentucky University

Our Take

Dori Monson
  • The most important race on the ballot. Crime is out of control in our region. Jim Ferrell has assured me that he would go back to putting criminals in jail – I know, what a radical idea. His opponent – Leesa Mannion – is supported by the same forces that backed soft-on-crime prosecutors and DAs in SF, LA, and Philadelphia. She believes in the same criminal-friendly “restorative justice” approach that has led to so many violent criminals being unleashed on our streets.

Jason Rantz

  • If you like endless chances for criminals and an even more extreme version of the soft-on-crime policies that caused our current violent crime surge, go with Leesa Manion. If you want to end the culture of lawlessness, you’ll join me in voting for Jim Ferrell. He has experience and an interest in protecting victims — not treating criminals as if they’re the victims.

Ursula Reutin

  • I voted for Jim Ferrell. He worked as a deputy prosecutor for 16 years, so he understands how the office works.  His leadership experience as Federal Way Mayor will help him bring new ideas that could help fix our broken criminal justice system. I like his plans to address the huge backlog of felony cases and agree with him that there needs to be more accountability in programs that offer alternative sentences for juveniles and adults who commit felonies.

Gee Scott

  • I like Ferrell. Manion has been in the Prosecutor’s office for a long time. Ferrell is the mayor of Federal Way, and he would bring a greater sense of urgency to the office. If better is possible, good is never enough.

Whew! That’s a lot to digest. If you voted already, congratulations! If you haven’t, get to it.

As KIRO Newsradio’s Dave Ross said, “I don’t hassle people about voting, I just point out what happens when you don’t vote — which is that you surrender all your power.

“All that ad money to ‘buy an election’ doesn’t enrich the candidate (unless they’re breaking the law) — it’s aimed at getting your vote.”

So don’t surrender your power to set the agenda.

Full election coverage here on MyNorthwest.com and KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM.

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The definitive look at Washington’s key midterm election races