The Washington State Democratic Party formally made its case to become one of the first states to hold an early presidential primary in 2024.
State Party Chair Tina Podlodowski gave an official pitch Thursday 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.
Out of 20 total applicants, 17 states were chosen to present before the RBC this week in Washington D.C. Washington is one of three states (Colorado and Nevada) in the running for the western spot. A final decision is expected by Aug. 6.
“No matter the outcome, we are deeply grateful to have participated in this process, and look forward to the DNC’s ultimate decision,” said Podlodowski, who also chairs the DNC Western States Caucus. “It is an honor to advocate for Washington state.”
The state party learned it would advance to the next round of the selection process June 13. Officials submitted an application June 3, as well as a letter of intent in early May, noting a desire to seek an exemption to the standard presidential nominating calendar in 2024.
To be chosen, states must demonstrate diversity, competitiveness, and feasibility. Washington not only satisfies the three requirements, Podlodowski said, but is one of the best positioned states to run the kind of high-profile and voter-accessible nominating contest required of a pre-window state. In the Thursday presentation, she specifically highlighted Washington’s diverse communities of color and geographic landscape, broad union membership, high-turnout vote-by-mail system, and strong Democratic-controlled government.
Since 2017, Democrats have flipped both state legislative branches and captured all statewide offices, including the offices of the governor and Secretary of State. Podlodowski said leaders are eager to work together to shift to an earlier date — something they did in the 2020 presidential election, moving the primary from mid-June to March 10.
“We’ve gained ground in Washington state through years of hard work and grassroots organizing, enabling us to turn popular support for Democratic policies into Democratic majorities. Yet, we are consistently overlooked nationally, and that cannot continue,” Podlodowski said. “We can — and will — deliver big wins for the party, but need the additional resources that often come with national attention to continue to break ground at home, throughout the West, and in neighboring Pacific Northwest states.”
Washington Democrats’ pitch can be viewed at youtube.com/watch?v=PoUkZIt9P9s.