The candidates running to be Washington’s next governor

What comes after 12 years of Jay Inslee?

Andre Stackhouse
3 min readFeb 17, 2024

Jay Inslee is currently the longest-serving governor in the United States as he finishes up his third four-year term with no intention to run for reelection in 2024.

The end of his long and popular tenure leaves a significant power vacuum in Washington politics as candidates campaign in the first gubernatorial election with no incumbent in twelve years.

Let’s take an early look at this critical 2024 election.


  • 5/10 — Last day to file a declaration of candidacy
  • 5/13 — Final day to withdraw from the ballot
  • 5/12 — Deadline for candidates to submit Voters’ Pamphlet profiles
  • 8/6— Primary election day
  • 11/5— General election day
  • 1/13/2025 — Jay Inslee’s term ends

The candidates so far

There are currently 25 candidates in the race according to PDC filings. We will post an update after the filing deadline has passed for the final list.

Updated as of 2/18/2024

Withdrawn candidates

  • Hilary Franz — commissioner of public lands, now running for Congress in WA-10, the seat being vacated by Rep. Derek Kilmer.
  • Raul Garcia — now running to be a US Senator against incumbent Senator Maria Cantwell.


  • Attorney General Bob Ferguson is by far the highest fundraiser at over $5 million.
  • The standard bearer for the Republican party is Dave Reichert and has raised $1.6 million.
  • Mark Mullet (D) is the only other candidate in the same fundraising category with just over $1 million raised.
  • By all indications, Ferguson and Reichert are the only two candidates likely to make it through the top-two primary and onto the general election ballot — NW Progressive Institute has all other candidates polling in single digits.
  • While not a runaway favorite, Ferguson appears to be polling higher which aligns with the general expectation that Washington state will continue to elect a Democrat for governor.

Additional historical tidbits

  • Jay Inslee initially filed paperwork to run for a fourth term in this election, but announced he would not in May 2023.
  • While some governors have run for a fourth term, none have ever been elected to serve a fourth term in Washington state history.
  • Washington has had 23 governors, 12 of whom were Republicans, and 11 of whom were Democrats.
  • John Rankin Rogers is the only governor ever to be elected as a member of a third party (Populist Party), though he would switch to the Democratic party by the time he was elected to his second term.
  • The last five governors of Washington have been Democrats going back to 1985.
  • The last gubernatorial election with no incumbent candidate was twelve years ago in 2012 when Jay Inslee was elected to his first term as Governor.


While its conclusion may appear inevitable, this election is worth paying some attention to as it is likely to produce Washington’s executive for the next eight or more years.

Andre Stackhouse is a lifelong Seattle resident, political organizer, and writer with bylines at The Daily of the University of Washington and the International Examiner.

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Andre Stackhouse

An inventor, a pseudojournalist, a contrarian’s contrarian. Twitter: @CaptainStack