Candidates file for office amid the pandemic

May 8, 2020
Written by Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs

Candidates for elected office will soon begin signing on the dotted line and paying their filing fees – if any – all amid the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is a brave new world – especially for folks running for office. How do you ring doorbells comfortably? Or hold a rally or host a fundraiser?

Candidates are having to adapt and try new methods. Technology is playing a major part in getting their messages out. Many incumbents both nationally and locally will be judged at how they addressed and reacted to the pandemic. Unfortunately, you can already see the politics and finger pointing being played out on many levels.

Thankfully, Washington State is entirely vote by mail. Other states are grappling with this concept. Some are claiming that vote by mail is less safe than going to the ballot boxes – and many are refuting this notion.

For Washington Retail, the pandemic will force us to conduct business differently as well for our two political action committees. Normally, we would personally interview prospective endorsees. But this year, we will likely be doing Zoom interviews or using some other tech platform for a conversation. Also, weighing heavily is the amount of PAC funds we will likely have.

With the economic slowdown and many retailers closed, fundraising for our PACs, as expected, will be challenging.

One thing is for sure amid all this uncertainty. This will be an election year to remember.