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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Duane Davidson (R) 1,405,930 58.23%
Michael Waite (R) 1,008,706 41.77%

* 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

Even if Kim Wyman doesn’t win re-election as secretary of state, there will be at least one Republican in statewide office next year. That’s because the two candidates who advanced in the primary for state Treasurer were both Republicans. A Republican has not held the office since 1957.

The candidates are Benton County Treasurer Duane Davidson and Michael Waite, who worked for four years at the private investment firm of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

Waite said the treasurer should work with Wall Street to get the best deal for the state on its money. The state is managing $20 billion in debt, Waite said. “Not all that debt is bid competitively,” he said. “We need to get the best deal for taxpayers.”

Waite also said he would focus on state pension plans, working to keep management costs low. He also wants to reduce the state’s debt and be involved in the political process. “I believe it is time for a treasurer who believes that increasing taxes and taking on more debt should be the last resort, not the first option,” Waite said.

Davidson said his work as a county treasurer is much different from his opponent’s work as a financial executive for Gates. “I have 187,000 bosses, not just one,” Davidson said.

Davidson said he succeeded in making the Benton County treasurer’s office more efficient, producing clean audits and modernizing the office. “I know how to work in a bipartisan fashion,” Davidson said, noting he has endorsements from every county treasurer in the state. State Senate GOP leader Mark Schoesler and Democratic Minority Leader Sharon Nelson have both endorsed Davidson.

The Candidates

Duane Davidson

Richland, Washington

Education: Graduated from Tolt High School. Earned bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Washington University.

Political experience: Elected state treasurer 2016. Elected Benton County treasurer 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Former president of the state Association of County Treasurers.

Work experience: Former chief financial accountant for Benton County; former auditor for the Washington State Auditor’s Office, where he was assistant audit manager in the Tri-Cities and also led the Walla Walla regional offices.

Family: Widower. Has three children.

Campaign Funds: Raised $157,000 as of Sept. 7, according to the Public Disclosure Commission; among top donors are NW Credit Union Assn., Community Bankers Association and Washington Society of CPAs, with $4,000 each.

Michael Waite

Bothell, WA

Age: 39

Education: Earned a bachelor’s in business administration at Columbus State University and MBA at Emory University.

Political experience: First run for political office.

Work experience: Senior vice president at Bentall Kennedy, an investment company; spent four years with Cascade Investment, the private investment firm of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Former professional tennis player.

Family: Married. Has two children.

Complete Coverage

Davidson is safe choice for treasurer

Policy aside, a look at each candidate’s resume tips the scales to Davidson. He received the endorsements of every county treasurer, except for one who remained neutral.

Washington state treasurer race a GOP showdown

It’s a foregone conclusion that a Republican will be the next state treasurer in Washington state. That’s because the two candidates running in the November election – Duane Davidson and Michael Waite – are both Republicans. It’s the first time in state history that two GOP candidates have advanced to the general election in a statewide office race.

For the first time, the ‘top-two’ system advances candidates from same party for statewide office

Two Republicans will face off for state treasurer, a unique situation in Washington political history.

Fisken tops strong treasurer field

Fisken says he likes McIntire progressive tax proposal, and would want to be part of any discussion on changing the code, but he would be more diplomatic about it. We are impressed with his intellect, background and overall vision. In a strong field of candidates, he earned our endorsement