2023 statewide General Election update

Nov 9, 2023
Written by WR Communications


Eyes were on the Seattle and King County elections. However, WR has been monitoring several key races and initiatives across the state.

Elected Officials:

The larger body of elections will occur in 2024, but several local elected races stood out as critical to retailers.

Seat: Spokane Mayor

Candidates: Incumbent Mayor Nadine Woodward vs. Lisa Brown.

Outcome: Lisa Brown won with 51.8% of the vote.

WR Position: Although WR supported and endorsed Mayor Woodward, we look forward to being able to begin working with Mayor-elect Brown to advocate for retailers in Spokane.


Seat: Burien City Council, Position #4

Candidates: Councilman Kevin Schilling vs. Patricia Hudson.

Outcome: Kevin Schilling will maintain his position on the city council.

WR Position: WR endorsed Councilman Schilling because of his strong support of businesses and retailers, along with his history on the city council.


Seat: Port of Olympia, District 4

Candidates: Rose Chiu Gundersen vs. Maggie Sanders.

Outcome: Votes are still being processed. Outcome is to be determined.

WR Position: WR’s Rose Chiu Gundersen ran for one of the newly expanded commissioner seats – District #4. Rose has long been a strong advocate for retailers in Washington State. In addition, her experience of working with lawmakers to create bi-partisan solutions makes her the standout candidate for this position.


Ballot Measures & Initiatives:

Renton and Bellingham both had ballot measures regarding minimum wage increases.

Renton’s “Raise the Minimum Wage” ballot measure sought to increase the minimum wage to match next-door neighbor Tukwila’s $19.06 per hour.

Outcome: Votes are still being processed. Outcome is to be determined.


Bellingham’s initiative 2023-01 called for Bellingham’s minimum wage to be $1 above the state minimum wage of $15.74 an hour on May 1, 2024, and would increase to $2 above the state minimum wage on May 1, 2025.

Outcome: The initiative passed with 54.9% of the vote.


Thurston County’s Proposition 1 is a public safety tax. Proposition 1 would impose a nominal increase in sales tax to 2/10ths of 1%. For reference, tax would increase by 2 cents for every $10.00 spent within Thurston County. The tax revenue would fund public safety efforts in Thurston County.

Outcome: Proposition 1 passed with strong support from voters. WR believes this initiative is one of many solutions to address public safety concerns in Thurston County.


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