Want choice? Democrats will have 13 for presidential primary

Not surprisingly, President Donald Trump will be the only candidate for Republicans to consider.

OLYMPIA — Thirteen Democratic candidates will be vying for votes in the state’s presidential primary March 10.

Only one will be on the Republican ticket, not surprisingly.

Leaders of the state Democratic and Republican parties on Monday confirmed which names they submitted to Secretary of State Kim Wyman to be on the ballot.

For Democrats, all of those currently occupying space on the leader board will appear, with one exception. Marianne Williamson did not submit signatures of 1,000 Democratic voters and pay a $2,500 fee as required and thus won’t be on the ballot.

Those who did, in alphabetical order, are Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.

Kamala Harris and Julian Castro also submitted the required documents but have since requested not to appear as they have ended their respective presidential campaigns.

President Donald J. Trump will be the only choice for Republican voters.

Party rules didn’t preclude others from getting on the ballot but “he was the only candidate to meet the criteria,” said Caleb Heimlich, chairman of the state party.

This year’s primary is the earliest ever held in Washington. Lawmakers moved it up from May to give Washington voters greater prominence in this national selection process. It will take place a few weeks after the Iowa caucuses and one week after Super Tuesday, when primaries are slated in California, Texas and 12 other states.

But voters need remember there’s a slight catch.

To have their ballot counted, they will need to mark a box saying, at least for this election, they are a member of the political party of the candidate they are backing. And that information is a public record.

If a voter does not pick a party, or marks boxes for each party, their vote will not be counted.

This year’s primary will be the first in Washington in which both parties will use the results to allocate delegates.

For Democratic candidates, 107 delegates are at stake.

Of the total, 58 will be apportioned by congressional district using a formula tied to the number of votes cast for Democratic candidates in the 2016 presidential and gubernatorial elections. The largest bloc, 11 delegates, will be doled out in the 7th District, most of which lies in Seattle.

There are 19 at-large delegates to be allotted based on the statewide primary results. A candidate will need to get at least 15% of the statewide vote to be eligible for any of these. However, there’s a process to follow if no candidate clears the 15% threshold.

There are 18 automatic delegates for top party leaders and elected officials including Democratic members of the congressional delegation — two U.S. senators and seven House members — and Gov. Jay Inslee. There also are 12 pledged delegates set aside for other party and elected officials.

The Republican Party has 43 delegates. Ten will be awarded based on statewide results. There are three allotted in each of the state’s 10 congressional districts. Heimlich, as party chairman, and the state’s two representatives on the Republic National Committee, are automatic delegates.

Though the outcome for Republicans is clear, it doesn’t lessen the value of the primary, Heimlich said.

“It will be an important organizing tool and a means to build momentum for the president heading to the general (election),” Heimlich said. “People are going to look at the results.”

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos

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