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Billions Of Dollars At Stake In Low-Profile Race For Washington State Treasurer


Northwest News Network, Colin Fogarty

Washington’s state treasurer is a low-profile job with high stakes. It involves managing billions of dollars and guarding the state’s creditworthiness. The treasurer is responsible for selling billions of dollars of bonds to major institutional investors.

Five candidates are running in Washington’s August primary to replace outgoing state Treasurer Jim McIntire. The top two vote-getters in the primary will advance to the November election. The candidates for Washington state treasurer are:

Republican Michael Waite who currently works for a real estate investment firm and says Washington is over-leveraged.

“Sending Wall Street $2 billion per year in debt payments is not acceptable.”

Democrat John Paul Comerford is a pension consultant who says he wants to start a state bank of Washington to:

“Better meet our needs for affordable housing, student lending and local infrastructure.”

Democrat Alec Fisken is a former Port of Seattle commissioner who calls Washington’s tax system antiquated.

“The worst case is that we limp along the same path, looking for short-term fixes, kicking the can down the road.”

Republican Duane Davidson is the current Benton County Treasurer who says he won’t wade into issues like tax reform.

“I believe that the state treasurer needs to be above partisan politics and I’ll never use this office to promote an income tax.”

Democrat Marko Liias is a current state Senator who notes his family lost its construction business during the Great Recession.

“That experience brought home the need to have elected leaders who will ensure that our families have somebody looking out for their bottom line and the state’s bottom line.”

For more from the candidates, see TVW’s Video Voters’ Guide.

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