Poll reveals top 2024 WA Governor candidates if Inslee doesn’t run

Mar 16, 2023, 4:57 PM | Updated: Nov 16, 2023, 1:10 pm


From left, Bruce Dammeier, Dow Constantine, Bob Ferguson, and Hilary Franz

Update March 17 at 2:04 p.m.:

Both King County Executive Dow Constantine and Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier announced Friday they will not be running for governor in 2024.

Original story:

If Jay Inslee chooses not to run for a fourth term as governor in 2024, a poll by the Northwest Progressive Institute revealed which candidates Washingtonians are most excited for.

The institute listed four options — Republican Bruce Dammeier, Democrat Dow Constantine, Democrat Bob Ferguson, and Democrat Hilary Franz — to choose from, with Dammeier receiving the strongest support.

Of the near-900 responders, 35% picked Dammeier, compared to 21% for Ferguson and 7% for Constantine and Franz. Thirty percent of respondents were not sure.

Smiley: We need strong leaders, we don’t need politicians

A Pierce County native, Dammeier served eight years as a Civil Engineer Corps Officer for the U.S. Navy before joining his family’s printing business. He served the House of Representatives and the state Senate for eight years and has been the Pierce County Executive since 2016.

“Dammeier’s 35% percentage is pretty much what we thought we’d most likely see,” Northwest Progressive Institute wrote in its ‘commentary and analysis’ portion of the poll. “In head-to-head questions in our statewide polling, we usually see declared or hypothetical Republican candidates in the mid to upper 30s.”

The Institute cited Susan Hutchison polling at 36% in 2018, Donald Trump at 37% in 2019, and Tiffany Smiley at 37% in 2021 as some of the more recent examples.

“The results suggest that Ferguson would have the advantage at the outset of a 2024 gubernatorial campaign among the three top Democratic officeholders in the state known to be interested in the job, but also indicates that there could be an opening for either Franz or Constantine to wage a competitive campaign,” Northwest Progressive Institute wrote.

Ferguson is Washington’s 18th Attorney General, graduating from New York University law school. Some of his more notable work came from filing multiple legal actions against the U.S. Department of Energy regarding the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Both of his lawsuits led to successful outcomes.

Constantine, meanwhile, has been the King County Executive — a role also known as county manager or county mayor — since 2009. Franz is a conservation attorney currently serving as the 16th Commissioner of Public Lands for the state, a title she’s held since 2017.

But this all remains conjecture until Inslee definitively answers whether he’s running for governor again. The Washington Observer’s Paul Queary, in an interview with the late Dori Monson, reported Inslee had a number of appointments and fundraising efforts that are consistent with the early stages of a presidential campaign all the way back to Nov. 2021.

From the Dori Monson Archives: Gov. Inslee could be in ‘early stages of another presidential run,’ political watchdog theorizes

If Inslee is to run for a fourth term, he would be the first to do so since Arthur Langlie, who ran four times in a row from 1940 to 1952, according to The Spokesman-Review. Langlie lost his first re-election bid but returned and won in 1948 and 1952.

Loren Culp, who ran opposite of Inslee in the state’s last gubernatorial election, is not among those running as his campaign is focused on Central Washington’s 4th District Congressional seat.

The 2024 Washington gubernatorial election will be held on November 5, 2024, with the primary being held on Aug. 6.

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Poll reveals top 2024 WA Governor candidates if Inslee doesn’t run