On Friday, the Washington State Democratic Party officially applied to become one of the first states to hold an early presidential primary in 2024.
The bid was sent to the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which oversees the application process and recommends a slate of proposed states for the full DNC to approve. If chosen to move forward, the state party will make a formal pitch before the RBC June 22-24 in Washington D.C. A decision is expected sometime by Aug. 6.
“Washington state remains one of the best positioned states to run the kind of high-profile and voter-accessible nominating contest that a pre-window state requires,” State Party Chair Tina Podlodowski said. “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.”
To be chosen, states must demonstrate diversity, competitiveness, and feasibility. Washington state satisfies all three, 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 submitted a letter of intent last month, noting its desire to seek an exemption to the standard presidential nominating calendar in 2024. It was signed by Podlodowski, as well as state Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins and state Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, both of whom sent letters in support attached to the official application.
The bid also carries support from several Washington state and federal elected officials and prominent community and labor leaders, including:
- U.S. Reps. Suan 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 Sen. Manka Dhingra, Legislative District 45
- Larry Delaney, Washington Education Association
- Elizabeth Rockett, 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
- Julie Johnson, Julie Johnson, chair of the state party’s Native American 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 in. In the 2020 presidential election, the primary date was moved from mid-June to March 10.
“Washington state is highly organized and committed to Democratic leadership, but we cannot continue to be overlooked,” said Podlodowski, who also chairs the DNC Western States Caucus. “With the resources that often come with national attention, we can — and will — deliver big wins for the 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.”