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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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State Auditor

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Troy Kelley (D) 1,397,749 52.64%
James Watkins (R) 1,257,600 47.36%

* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.

About The Race

Republican James Watkins and Democrat Troy Kelley advanced from a crowded primary field to this general election faceoff and the chance to replace longtime Auditor Brian Sonntag, who is retiring after four terms as the state’s top watchdog. The state auditor runs the office that conducts financial and legal checks of all state and local government agencies to make sure they are following the constitution, state law, local ordinances and accounting standards. The position pays $116,950 a year plus health care and other benefits.

The Candidates

Troy Kelley

Party:
Democrat
Age:
56
City:
Poulsbo, WA
Occupation:
lawyer; owner of a document-tracking service

First elected to the state House in 2006, Kelley served as chair of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee from 2009-2011, and vice chair of the House Business and Financial Institutions Committee, which regulates the state’s financial institutions. In 2000, he founded a multi-state document-tracking service. He previously has served as a federal prosecutor, as a staff attorney for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and currently serves as a JAG lieutenant colonel in the Washington National Guard.

James Watkins

Party:
Republican
Age:
60
City:
Redmond, WA

Complete Coverage

Auditor candidates launching attacks

OLYMPIA – The race for Washington state auditor has escalated into the most hostile statewide campaign of the year. With the departure of longtime auditor Brian Sonntag, the two candidates seeking to replace him have focused on whether the other is fit to serve, not on their goals for the office.

Two state auditor hopefuls mix it up

The filing deadline is still a couple of weeks away, but candidates barked at each other Thursday night in their bid to become the state’s top watchdog. State Rep. Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, and Republican candidate James Watkins of Redmond did their best to show Spokane voters why they should replace the retiring Brian Sonntag as state auditor. Also in the race, but not attending the event, are State Rep. Troy Kelley, D-Tacoma, and State Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver.