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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Write-in candidate will run for lieutenant governor

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 20, 2020

A Republican who ran unsuccessfully for governor in the primary is setting his sights lower for the general election.

Joshua Freed, the former mayor of Bothell, announced Thursday he will run for lieutenant governor as a write-in candidate.

Freed’s decision gives the state GOP a faint hope of capturing the seat after it was shut out of the race earlier this month.

U.S. Rep. Denny Heck and state Sen. Marko Liias, both Democrats, finished first and second in the top two primary, qualifying them for the November election ballot. The race had 11 candidates, and none of the five who listed themselves as Republicans was able to get enough votes to advance to the general election.

Freed was in the even more-crowded governor’s race with 36 candidates. Incumbent Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, got 50% of those votes, with Republic Police Chief Loren Culp, a Republican finishing second with about 17.5%. Freed finished third, with about 9% of the vote.

Freed didn’t finish first in any county, but he did finish second to Inslee in King County and second to Culp in Lincoln County.

State law doesn’t allow a candidate eliminated in the primary to run as a write-in in the general election. But it doesn’t prevent a candidate eliminated in a race for one office from running as a write-in candidate for another office.

Candidates have occasionally mounted successful write-in campaigns in a primary then won in the general election when their names were on the ballot. Spokane Republican Rob Chase did that in 2010 for Spokane County treasurer and Republican Linda Smith did it in 1994 for southwest Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.

But no candidate in Washington has run a successful write-in campaign for a statewide office in a general election.

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