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Friday, November 22, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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About this 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.

Treasurer, State of Washington

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.

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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.

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