By LUKE PUTVIN | Last Updated February 21, 2020.
Starting February 21, registered voters will have their ballots mailed out for the 2020 Presidential Primary Election. 2020 marks the first time that a primary election, not a caucus, is held for both political parties in the state of Washington.
Though there are 13 democratic candidates on the ballot, some of those candidates are no longer running. The names on the ballot were decided by each party on January 7, and since then, multiple candidates have dropped out.
There is only one republican candidate, current President Donald Trump.
The following democratic candidates have dropped out, meaning if you vote for these candidates, your vote will not actually go toward them: Andrew Yang, Michael Bennet, John Delaney, Cory Booker and Deval Patrick.
The democratic candidates on the ballot that are still running, in alphabetical order of last name like in the voters’ pamphlet, are: Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer and Elizabeth Warren.
At the Iowa Caucus, Buttigieg came in first with 26.2% of the votes and 13 delegates. Sanders came in a close second with 26.1% of the votes and 12 delegates. Warren and Biden came in third and fourth with 18% and 15.8% of the votes respectively. Klobuchar came in fifth, receiving 12.3% of the votes and one delegate. No other candidates received any delegates in the Iowa Caucus.
For the New Hampshire primary, only 24 delegates were up for grabs. This election saw Sanders take first with 25.7% of the votes and Buttigieg come in second with 24.4% of the votes. The two each received nine delegates. Klobuchar came in third place with 19.8% of the vote and received six delegates. Warren and Biden came in fourth and fifth but received no delegates.
For the Washington primary, one will need to declare a political party and then vote for their preferred candidate. One cannot declare as one political party and vote for the other political party. Failure to declare your party on the ballot will result in your vote not being counted.
Candidate campaign responses
The Lynnwood Times reached out to all the campaigns asking why Washingtonians should vote for their candidate. At this time, we have only received a response from the Warren, Buttigieg and Trump spokespeople.
Maria Leininger, Elizabeth Warren’s Washington State Director, said that Warren knows how to fix what is broken in this county. “Her bold plans for big structural change will build a government that works for everyone, not just those at the top,” Leininger said. “Washingtonians should expect a President who is not afraid to fight for the big structural change we need to level the playing field for working families.” She also boasted that Warren is not a lifelong politician and has worked as a public school special education teacher and as a law professor.
Melanie Ryan, Grassroots Organizer with Snohomish County for Pete, said that in addition to Pete Buttigieg running a campaign of inclusion and belonging, he is a pragmatic progressive. “He has a progressive platform but understands that governing requires a pathway to get to your ultimate goal. Every plan allows the voter to clearly understand how he plans to fund it and how he plans to implement it.” Ryan also shared her favorite quote from Buttigieg: “You can’t love your country if you hate half the people in it.”
Samantha Zager, Trump Victory Spokesperson, provided this statement: “Across the board, Americans are better off now than they were four years ago as a direct result of President Trump’s unwavering leadership. While Democrats have spent decades offering nothing but lip service on important issues, this president has delivered for Washingtonians with a booming economy, fairer trade deals, a more secure border, historic tax cuts, and so much more – and that’s why President Trump will be reelected this November.”
Resident opinions of the candidates
The Lynnwood Times also posted on Facebook asking our followers who they were voting for in the election. On the democratic side, there were a few that said they were voting democrat no matter who was nominated, and there were several that said Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg.
One said that they love Warren’s policies, and another mentioned that Sanders will “change the system in favor of the little guy.”
Sue Averill said that Buttigieg is “smart, pragmatic, respectful and has practical experience working with multiple sides.” As many, if not more, than the overall democrat responses said they would be voting for Trump.
David Stach said, “Trump 2020, not because I like the person that Trump is, but because I support his entire policymaking platform.” Another said that “President Trump believes in America first and foremost.”
Information about the candidates
The following brief information about candidates is provided from their respective campaigns. The Lynnwood Times does not endorse a political candidate for the election. Campaign websites will be listed as well as a link to the Washington State Voters’ Pamphlet.
Joe Biden, former Vice President under President Barack Obama, sees a focus on rebuilding the middle class of the United States. “America is an idea,” his campaign website says. To see the full list of his ideas including a plan to end gun violence, a plan for rural America and a plan for education beyond high school, visit www.joebiden.com.
Michael Bloomberg, New York Mayor from 2002 to 2013, lists many focuses including climate change, election security, e-cigarettes and vaping, gun safety and many others. Bloomberg also states that he wants to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, support entrepreneurship and better connect rural communities to growth centers. For more information, visit www.mikebloomberg.com.
Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana from 2012 to 2020, sees his focuses on equal justice for all, equitable education and opportunity, strengthening the middle class and building a safer America. Some of his plans include gun violence protection, dignity and security in retirement, LGBTQ+ rights and others. For more information about Buttigieg, visit www.peteforamerica.com.
Tulsi Gabbard, Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, lists her issues as criminal justice and reform, American People and Nation Building, civil liberties and others. Gabbard also emphasizes the need to begin to build a 100% renewable energy economy by redirecting subsidies to the fossil fuel industry to renewable energies. More information about Gabbard can be found at her website www.tulsi2020.com.
Amy Klobuchar, current Minnesota Senator and former Hennepin County attorney, has a released an “Amy’s First 100 Days” in which she illustrates what the first 100 days of her presidency would hold. Some of these actions include getting the US back into the International Climate Agreement, suspend the Trump Administration’s effort to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, prioritize cybersecurity to protect elections and several other acts. To read more about Klobuchar, go to www.amyklobuchar.com.
Bernie Sanders, U.S. representative for Vermont from 1991-2007 and current Vermont Senator since 2007, is a self-described democratic socialist. Sanders’ main platform is “Medicare for All”, a national health insurance program, as well as “College for All”, which would guarantee tuition and cancel all student loan debt. Additionally, Sanders stands with the Green New Deal and would want to transform the US energy system to 100 percent renewable energy. For more information about Sanders, visit his website at www.berniesanders.com.
Tom Steyer, hedge fund manager and philanthropist among other things, advocates for structural reform, climate justice and “breaking the corporate stranglehold on our government.” His ideas for structural reform include repealing Citizens United, limiting Congressional terms, initiating a Vote-At-Home system and several others. Steyer also wants to improve and increase the supply of affordable housing by updating the low income housing tax credit, investing billions per year in affordable construction and other plans. To learn more about Steyer, visit www.tomsteyer.com.
Elizabeth Warren, current Massachusetts Senator since 2013, has plans to end Washington corruption, tackle the climate crisis and cancel student loan debt on day one of her presidency. She also wants to “make the rich pay their fair share” by introducing an ultra-millionaire tax and a real corporate profits tax. Additionally, she would want to get the US on a 100% clean energy system. Another one of her plans would be “Medicare for All.” For more information on Warren, visit www.elizabethwarren.com.
Current President Donald Trump’s website mentions his promises kept during his first term. These promises kept include and improvement to the overall economy, national security and defense, and protecting “the American homeland by enforcing immigration laws, so every American can feel safe in their community.” The website also mentioned Trump’s reversal of years of policies in reference to the environment that locked up American energy and restricted ability to sell to other countries. More information can be found at www.donaldjtrump.com.
Ballots will be mailed out February 21 and need to be in a ballot box by March 10. The full voters’ guide can be found at www.sos.wa.gov/elections/voters-guide.