OLYMPIA — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are the most unpopular presidential candidates ever put forth by the Democratic and Republican parties.
That’s what pollsters say. What do candidates running in statewide and congressional races in Washington think about the torchbearers of their party?
Democratic hopefuls don’t seem too bothered with Clinton. Republicans are of many different minds with Trump, based on interviews, public statements and information garnered from the campaign trail.
Gov. Jay Inslee is on board with Clinton as he was in 2008 when she lost to President Barack Obama. U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Reps. Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene are too. Congressional candidates Brady Walkinshaw and Pramila Jayapal, who are dueling one another in the 7th District, agree on her.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler are in the Clinton camp. And so too are candidates Cyrus Habib (lieutenant governor), Tina Podlodowski (secretary of state), Hilary Franz (public lands commissioner) and Pat McCarthy (state auditor).
It’s more complicated in the Grand Old Party.
Marty McLendon, who is running for lieutenant governor, is the lone Republican candidate for a statewide office on board the Trump train.
“I’m still there,” he said Wednesday. “On the issues of foreign policy and economic policy, he is a better candidate.”
Marc Hennemann, who is challenging Congressman Larsen, said he intends to vote for the Republican nominee for president but didn’t mention Trump by name. It hasn’t been an issue, he said.
Public lands commissioner candidate Steve McLaughlin did endorse Trump until the hot mic video surfaced. Now he’s not.
“As a result of Mr. Trump’s conduct … I will not support my party’s nominee,” he wrote in a statement. “I cannot support Hillary Clinton either, so I will carefully evaluate the remaining candidates before I vote.”
Chris Vance, who is running for U.S. Senate, announced in May he would not vote for Trump. Gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant said the same in August.
Michael Waite, one of two Republicans competing for state treasurer, told KING-TV he will not vote for Trump. Duane Davidson, his opponent, wouldn’t say. In an email, he wrote that he’s purposely refrained from supporting or opposing any presidential hopeful.
Mark Miloscia, candidate for state auditor, told the Seattle television station he won’t endorse any candidate and might not cast a vote for president.
“I am very disheartened in all the choices,” he said.
Secretary of State Kim Wyman said as the state’s chief election officer she is not endorsing or opposing any candidate.
And insurance commissioner candidate Richard Schrock of Lynnwood won’t talk about Trump at all.
“I am only interested in being interviewed about the insurance commissioner’s race,” he said.
He then hung up the phone.
Time to vote
Ballots will be mailed to Snohomish County voters Thursday.
Once completed, they can be put postage-free in a designated drop box until 8 p.m. on Election Day.
If you mail it back, it must be postmarked no later than Nov. 8. You will need 68 cents of postage because the ballot is larger and heavier this year.
For more information, contact the Snohomish County elections office at 425-388-3444.