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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Commissioner of Public Lands

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Hilary Franz (D) 2,212,158 56.74%
Sue Kuehl Pederson (R) 1,686,320 43.26%

* 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.

The Candidates

Hilary Franz

Seattle, Washington

Education: Graduated from St. Mary's Academy in Portland, Oregon in 1988. Earned a bachelor's degree in English and government from Smith College in 1992. Earned her law degree from Northeastern University in 1997.

Political experience: Served four-year term on the Bainbridge Island City Council, 2008-2011. Served or has served on Washington State Climate Action Team, Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, Puget Sound Regional Council Growth Management Board, Puget Sound Regional Economic Board, Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Board and the Puget Sound Regional Council Transportation Futures Task Force.

Work experience: Executive Director of Futurewise, a non-profit liberal advocacy group. Practicing Environmental and Land Use Attorney from 1997 to 2011. Former board member of Washington Environmental Council, Conservation NW, Center for Environmental Law and Policy and Friends of the Farms. 

Family: Has three children.


Sue Kuehl Pederson


Education: Graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, Washington, in 1971. Earned her bachelor's degree in biology from Western Washington University in 1980. Earned her master's degree in public administration from the University of Washington in 2005.

Political Experience: Ran for the state Senate in Washington's 19th Legislative District in 2016. Elected as the chair of the Grays Harbor County Republican Party in 2016.

Family: Has two children.

Complete Coverage

After losing the town’s fire truck, commissioner of public lands presented Malden with a new one

On the fateful day of the Babb Road Fire that decimated Malden and Pine City, volunteer firefighter Dan Harwood had to make a choice.

Democratic incumbents capture new terms for Washington attorney general, auditor land commissioner, insurance commissioner

In down-ballot statewide executive races, Democrat incumbents prevailed on Tuesday night.

Investigate West: Nearly 1 million Washington homes are at risk from wildfires; here’s why we’re not winning the fire fight

Intentional burning of underbrush and dead trees – “prescribed fire” to those who practice it – is increasingly regarded as the key tool in making combustible forests fire-resistant and heading off “megafires.” But the technique is rarely used in the West, and prescribed fire rates actually decreased in the Northwest over the past two decades, one study showed.

Commissioner of public lands candidates clash on climate change, managing lands and wildfires in Thursday debate

In a debate for the commissioner of public lands position, candidates clashed over climate change, how best to balance land conservation and management, and wildfire prevention and fighting.

Northwest Passages: League of Women Voters hosts debate for Commissioner of Public Lands

The League of Women Voters of Washington organized a candidates debate for the office of Commissioner of Public Lands with incumbent Hilary Franz and challenger Sue Kuehl Pederson. Laurel Demkovich of The Spokesman-Review moderated the debate, which aired via the livestream of the Northwest Passages Virtual Forum.

Hilary Franz, Sue Kuehl Pederson focus on firefighting in Washington public lands race after devastating blazes

As fire season brings devastation across Washington, the role of commissioner of public lands has mostly focused on wildfire prevention and fighting. But the two candidates for the position disagree on best practices for each.

Two Democrats to face off for Washington lieutenant governor in November

A Democrat is almost guaranteed to be Washington’s next lieutenant governor.

Franz faces 5 challengers in commissioner of public lands primary

Climate change, potential over-regulation and preventing wildfires are among the top issues debated by six candidates competing to be Washington’s commissioner of public lands.

With Inslee running for re-election, other Democrats staying put

By running for a third term, Gov. Jay Inslee has kept more Democrats in place in the 2020 elections but energized Republicans.

Hilary Franz and Craig Curtis: Wildfire prevention proposal good for economy and environment

Instead of allowing too many trees to fuel the next megafire and release carbon and unhealthy smoke into the air, let’s put them to work storing carbon in our buildings and growing our housing stock.

Washington public lands commissioner pitching new home, auto insurance charge to pay for wildfire efforts

The new charges would go into effect in 2021, if passed, and provide the state a stable source of money for timber treatment, the purchase of new firefighting equipment and hiring of new personnel, said Hilary Franz, the state’s public lands commissioner.