Who’s next for WA Governor? Top candidates to follow a decade of Inslee

May 1, 2023, 10:42 AM | Updated: 2:27 pm


A view of Olympia, with the state capitol building (Photo from Flickr)

(Photo from Flickr)

After Jay Inslee announced that he won’t seek re-election in the 2024 Washington Governor election after a decade in office, the question remains who’s next?

Inslee has been the governor of Washington State since 2013 and is the second elected official to serve three consecutive terms as the executive of the state’s government.

Gov. Inslee announces he won’t seek 4th term

According to a poll from the Northwest Progressive Institute, some of the top candidates include Republican Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, Democrat King County Executive Dow Constantine, Democrat Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and Democrat State Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz.

“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 in a preliminary poll of candidates.

Of the near-900 responders, 35% picked Dammeier, compared to 21% for Ferguson and 7% for Constantine and Franz. 30% of respondents were not sure. But Executive Constantine and Executive Dammeier both reported shortly after the poll was released that they aren’t planning to run for governor in the 2024 election, choosing instead to focus on their counties.

“Not infrequently, people kindly ask whether I would run for Governor in 2024 … I’ve made my decision. Having given it thorough consideration, I have concluded that the answer is no, I would not run,” Constantine wrote in an email to his supporters obtained by KIRO Newsradio. “I’m not willing to set aside all that we’re achieving right now — the full-time work that I’m passionate about — in favor of full-time fundraising and campaigning.”

Their announcements are not binding, though, and they can change their mind and throw their hat in the ring at any time.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson is the rumored front-runner for the position, but has not publicly announced an intent to run. 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.

Washington AG Bob Ferguson says it’s been a ‘slow recovery’ from COVID

Republican Loren Culp, who ran opposite of Inslee in the state’s last gubernatorial election, is also a contender for the seat but is unlikely due to his current campaign 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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Who’s next for WA Governor? Top candidates to follow a decade of Inslee