The Washington State Democratic Party will advance to the next round in the selection process to become one of the first states to hold an early presidential primary in 2024.
Seventeen state parties were selected to make a formal pitch June 22-24 in Washington D.C. to the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which oversees the application process and recommends a slate of proposed states, one from each region, for the full DNC to approve. Washington is one of the three states (Colorado and Nevada) under consideration for the Western spot. A final decision is expected by Aug. 6.
“It is an honor to advocate for Washington on the national stage and highlight the many reasons why our state continues to be on the forefront of progressive politics not only in the West, but the entire nation,” State Party Chair Tina Podlodowski said.
The state party was one of 20 that submitted an application to the RBC before the June 3 deadline. Officials sent a letter of intent in early May, noting a desire to seek an exemption to the standard presidential nominating calendar in 2024. States must demonstrate diversity, competitiveness, and feasibility to be selected. Washington state satisfies all three requirements, Podlodowski said, and provides “unique opportunities for candidates to demonstrate their ability to organize, compete, and appeal to a broad coalition of voters.”
The state party’s bid carries support from a number of Washington elected officials, community leaders, and labor organizations, including:
- U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, and Marilyn Strickland
- U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell
- Gov. Jay Inslee
- Lt. Gov. Denny Heck
- Secretary of State Steve Hobbs
- State Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins
- State Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig
- State Sen. Manka Dhingra, District 45
- Larry Delaney, Washington Education Association
- International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 5
- Jon Holden, International Aerospace Machinists Lodge 751
- Matt Swanson, Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters
- Dennis Eagle, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
- Julie Johnson, chair of the state party’s Native American Caucus
- Keoki Kauanoe, chair of the state party’s AAPI Caucus
Podlodowski said Democrats have worked hard to hold majorities in both the executive and legislative branches at the state level, and leaders are eager to work together to shift to an earlier primary date — something they also already have experience doing. In the 2020 presidential election, the primary date was moved from mid-June to March 10.
“Washington is one of the best positioned states to run the kind of high-profile and voter-accessible nominating contest a pre-window state requires. With the resources that often come with national attention, we can — and will — deliver big wins for the Democratic Party. This support will be critical to hold onto the gains we’ve made at home, throughout the West, and in helping neighboring states in the Pacific Northwest,” said Podlodowski, who also chairs the DNC Western States Caucus. “Washington state is highly organized and committed to Democratic leadership, but we cannot continue to be overlooked.”