Bob Ferguson

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Bob Ferguson
Bob Ferguson Head Shot.jpg
Attorney General of Washington
Attorney General
In office
January 16, 2013-present
Term ends
PredecessorRob McKenna (R)
Base salary$151,718
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Campaign $$1,686,939
Term limitsNone
Prior offices
Councilman, King County
High schoolBishop Blanchet High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Washington, Political Science (1983)
J.D.New York University School of Law (1995)
Place of birthQueen Anne Hill, Washington
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Bob Ferguson (b. in Queen Anne Hill, WA) is the 18th and current Attorney General of the state of Washington. A Democrat, he was first elected on November 6, 2012, and sworn in on January 16, 2013. The seat was open following Rob McKenna's decision to run for governor.

Ferguson defeated fellow King County Councilman Reagan Dunn (R) in the 2012 election by a margin of 53.5 percent to 46.5 percent.[1]

An attorney by trade, Ferguson entered politics in 2003 when he was elected to the King County Council. He served in this position until his election as attorney general.[2]


Ferguson is a fourth generation Washingtonian, born into a large family in Queen Ann Hill. He is one of seven children, and an internationally-rated chess champion. After high school, he considered pursuing a career as a chess player, but ultimately decided that "the solitary life wasn't for him."[3] Ferguson opted instead to attend University of Washington, where he earned a bachelor's degree in political science in 1983.

He left his home state to attend law school at New York University School of Law, but returned to Washington following graduation to launch his legal career at prestigious Seattle firm Preston, Gates & Ellis, which later became K&L Gates. Ferguson made his first bid for public office in 2003 when he campaigned for, and won election to, the King County Council.[3]


  • Bachelor's in Political Science from the University of Washington (1983)
  • J.D. from New York University School of Law (1995)

Political Career

Attorney General of Washington (2013-present)

Ferguson was first elected attorney general on November 6, 2012. He was sworn into office on January 16, 2013.

Ferguson's official profile lists his top priorities as attorney general as follows:[2]

  • "Protecting consumers and seniors against fraud by cracking down on powerful interests that don’t play by the rules"
  • "Keeping communities safer by supporting law enforcement"
  • "Protecting our environment"
  • "Standing up for our veterans by advocating for service men and women and their families"

Arlene's Flowers and Gifts

In April 2013, Ferguson filed suit against Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene's Flowers and Gifts, after she refused to provide flowers for a gay couple's wedding. He first advised her to reconsider her decision and then filed a consumer protection suit against her, stating "it is unlawful to discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation."[4] Stutzman's attorney questioned Ferguson's legal standing to sue. The case was seen as a test of the state's same-sex marriage law that went into effect in 2012. In response to the suit, Stutzman filed a counter suit, saying her rights were being violated.[5]

King County Councilman (2003-2013)

Ferguson's political background includes three terms, representing two districts, on the King County Council. Since his first election in 2003, in which he ran a grassroots campaign resulting in the ousting of a 20 year incumbent, he distinguished himself as a leader in creating reforms for increased government transparency and accountability of elected officials to taxpayers.[6]



See also: Washington attorney general election, 2012
Attorney General of Washington General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBob Ferguson 53.5% 1,564,443
     Republican Reagan Dunn 46.5% 1,361,010
Total Votes 2,925,453
Election Results via Washington Secretary of State.

Ferguson was elected Attorney General of Washington in the 2012 general election. Washington has a top-two primary system, in which the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, go on to the general election.[7] He faced two Republican challengers - fellow King County Councilman Reagan Dunn and Stephen Pidgeon - in the primary election on August 7, and received the highest number of votes, securing one of two available slots on the general election ballot.[8] The other slot went to Dunn (R), with whom he squared off on November 6, 2012.[9] The night after the polls closed, on November 7, 2012, the race was called for Ferguson.[10]

Attorney General of Washington, Primary, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBob Ferguson 51.7% 685,346
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngReagan Dunn 38.2% 506,524
     Republican Stephen Pidgeon 10.1% 134,185
Total Votes 1,326,055
Election Results via Washington Secretary of State (dead link)'


  • Voter-ID legislation

During a debate with primary challenger Reagan Dunn (prefers Republican party), Ferguson said he would like to address Washington's status as one of only two states (the other is New Mexico) to issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. He agrees with Dunn that Washington's leniency makes the state an unwanted attraction for non-citizens, and proposes a solution similar to the "Utah model," wherein undocumented residents can be issued a Driving Privilege Card, which "authorizes non–citizens to drive a vehicle, but the card cannot be used as government–issued ID. So, you couldn't use it to board a plane or set up a bank account."[11]

  • Transparency

According to his official campaign website, Ferguson wrote the law that reformed the county's public records process to ensure that citizens can easily obtain records and monitor their government, becoming "the first King County elected official to open up the details of the County budget to policy makers and citizens to see exactly how your tax dollars are being spent."[12]

  • Consumer Protection

At a campaign stop in Port Angeles in April, Ferguson said he wants the Attorney General's Office to be more active on issues such as large banks engaging in predatory behaviors, like robo-signing mortgage documents. “Folks are struggling, they need to have someone in office who is an advocate for consumers,” he said.

  • Marijuana

Ferguson interviewed with a reporter from a Seattle television station in June, in which he said he was against the legalization of marijuana. He explained that he supports the state's current medical marijuana law, but “I understand that and we have budget pressures at the state much like we do at the county, but I don’t think that’s reason enough to support a change that significant.”[13]

  • Same-sex marriage

In the same interview, Ferguson said that he supports marriage equality, a position he says he’s held that position ever since first campaigning for King County Council. “I will be supporting the state legislative action this year,” he said of the upcoming Referendum 74.[13]

  • Gun control

Prompted by the movie theater shootings in Colorado, The Seattle Times interviewed the attorney general primary candidates about their positions on gun control. While his competitors were outspoken in their opposition to any further restrictions on gun ownership, either on a state or federal level, Ferguson declined to provide his stance on the issue apart from affirming, "I strongly support the right to bear arms."[14] On specific gun control measures such as a proposed assault weapons ban, or compulsory background checks at gun shows, he remained adamant that he's running for attorney general and, "In that capacity, my job is to defend and enforce our existing laws. That's what I've been focused on."[15]


Ferguson was endorsed by Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire as well as this list of public and private sector individuals and organizations:[16]

Statewide Organizations for Ferguson

  • Washington State Patrol Troopers Association
  • Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest
  • NARAL Pro-Choice Washington
  • Washington Conservation Voters
  • Sierra Club

County Prosecutors for Ferguson

  • Andy Miller, Benton County
  • Russ Hauge, Kitsap County
  • Randall K. Gaylord, San Juan County
  • Dan Bigelow, Wahkiakum County
  • Steward Menefee, Grays Harbor County
  • Adam Kick, Skamania County
  • Karl Sloan, Okanogan County
  • Scott Rosekrans, Jefferson County
  • Tom Metzger, Pend Oreille County
  • David Burke, Pacific County
  • Greg Banks, Island County
  • Jon Tunheim, Thurston County
  • Sue Baur, Cowlitz County
  • Rich Weyrich, Skagit County

Labor Organizations for Ferguson

  • Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Washington Education Association
  • Washington State Nurses Association
  • Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council
  • Washington State Retired Public Employees Council
  • SEIU
  • International Association of Firefighters Local 29
  • International Association of Firefighters Local 1789
  • International Longshore Warehouse Union Local 23
  • Aerospace Machinists 751
  • IBEW Local 46
  • IBEW Local 48
  • IBEW Local 76
  • IBEW Local 77
  • IBEW Local 112
  • IBEW Local 191
  • IBEW Local 984
  • Sheet Metal Workers Local 66
  • The Laborer's Local 440
  • King County and Seattle Building and Construction Trades Council
  • United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers
  • Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council
  • IUOE Operating Engineers
  • Public Safety Employees Union
  • Unite Here Local 8
  • Central Puget Sound Carpenters Local 3
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, District 5
  • Joint Council of Teamsters
  • Asbestos Workers International Union Local 7
  • United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21
  • United Association Local 32
  • United Association Local 598
  • Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters

Public Safety Guilds for Ferguson

  • King County Corrections Guild
  • King County Juvenile Detention Guild
  • King County Court Protection Officers

Democratic Organizations for Ferguson

  • Kitsap County Democratic Women
  • Benton County Democrats
  • Clallam County Democrats
  • Grays Harbor County Democrats
  • Island County Democrats
  • King County Democrats
  • Klickitat County Democrats
  • Pacific County Democrats
  • San Juan County Democrats
  • Spokane County Democrats
  • Whitman County Democrats
  • Yakima County Democrats
  • 7th LD Democrats
  • 10th LD Democrats
  • 11th LD Democrats
  • 24th LD Democrats
  • 34th LD Democrats
  • 41st LD Democrats
  • 43rd LD Democrats
  • 46th LD Democrats

Statewide Leaders for Ferguson

  • Chris Gregoire, Governor
  • Patty Murray, Senator
  • Albert Rosellini, Former Governor
  • Mike Lowry, Former Governor
  • Peter Goldmark, Lands Commissioner

Members of Congress for Ferguson

  • Jay Inslee
  • Adam Smith
  • Jim McDermott

Sheriffs for Ferguson

  • John Lovick, Snohomish County

County Executives for Ferguson

  • Dow Constantine, King County

County Commissioners for Ferguson

  • Lynda Ring Erickson, Mason County
  • Steve Stuart, Clark County
  • Josh Brown, Kitsap County

County Councilmembers for Ferguson

  • Larry Gossett, King County
  • Joe McDermott, King County
  • Julia Patterson, King County
  • Larry Phillips, King County
  • Stephanie Wright, Snohomish County

State Senators for Ferguson

  • Margarita Prentice (11th District)
  • Karen Fraser (22nd District)
  • Derek Kilmer (26th District)
  • Karen Keiser (33rd District)
  • Sharon Nelson (34th District)
  • Jeanne Kohl-Welles (36th District)
  • Nick Harper (38th District)
  • Adam Kline (37th District)
  • Ed Murray (43rd District)
  • David Frockt (46th District)
  • Rodney Tom (48th District)

State Representatives for Ferguson

  • Luis Moscoso (1st District)
  • Derek Stanford (1st District)
  • Brian Blake (19th District)
  • Sam Hunt (22nd District)
  • Chris Rejkdal (22nd District)
  • Drew Hansen (23rd District)
  • Connie Ladenburg (29th District)
  • Mark Miloscia (30th District)
  • Cindy Ryu (32nd District)
  • Ruth Kagi (32nd District)
  • Dave Upthegrove (33rd District)
  • Joe Fitzgibbon (34th District)
  • Fred Finn (35th District)
  • Reuven Carlyle (36th District)
  • Eric Pettigrew (37th District)
  • Frank Chopp (43rd District)
  • Jamie Pedersen (43rd District)
  • Roger Goodman (45th District)
  • Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (46th District)

Mayors for Ferguson

  • Marilyn Strickland, City of Tacoma
  • Dave Hutchinson, City of Lake Forest Park
  • Michael McGinn, City of Seattle
  • Charlie Royer, Former Mayor, City of Seattle
  • Jean Garber, Former Mayor, City of Newcastle

City Attorneys for Ferguson

  • Pete Holmes, City of Seattle
  • Mark Sidran, Former City of Seattle Attorney

Regional Leaders for Ferguson

  • Rob Holland, Port Commissioner
  • John Creighton, Port Commissioner
  • Doug Lasher, Clark County Treasurer

City Councilmembers for Ferguson

  • Brian Bennett, City of Burien
  • Bob Hensel, City of Kenmore
  • Dwight Thompson, City of Lake Forest Park
  • Catherine Stanford, City of Lake Forest Park
  • Chris Eggen, City of Shoreline
  • Will Hall, Deputy Mayor, City of Shoreline
  • Shari Winstead, City of Shoreline
  • Chris Roberts, City of Shoreline
  • DeSean Quinn, City of Tukwila
  • Sally Clark, City of Seattle
  • Sally Bagshaw, City of Seattle
  • Tom Rasmussen, City of Seattle
  • Bruce Harrell, City of Seattle
  • Tim Burgess, City of Seattle
  • Peter Steinbrueck, former Councilmember, City of Seattle
  • DJ Wilson, City of Edmonds
  • Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, City of Edmonds
  • Don Fiene, City of Lake Forest Park
  • Donald Fiene, City of Lake Forest Park
  • John Wright, City of Lake Forest Park
  • Dave Asher, City of Kirkland
  • Jennifer Gregorson, City of Mukilteo

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Ferguson is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Ferguson raised a total of $1,686,939 during that time period. This information was last updated on May 7, 2013.[17]

Bob Ferguson's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Attorney General of Washington Won $1,686,939
Grand Total Raised $1,686,939


Ferguson won election to the position of Attorney General of Washington in 2012. During that election cycle, Ferguson raised a total of $1,686,939.

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Ferguson lives with his wife Colleen and their twins, Jack and Katie, in North Seattle.[2]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. Washington Secretary of State, "November 6, 2012 general election results," accessed April 29, 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Washington state office of the Attorney General, "About Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson," accessed April 29, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Peninsula Daily News, "Attorney general candidate addresses Peninsula Issues," April 6, 2012
  4. Washington Times, "Wash. state attorney general sues florist for refusing to supply same-sex wedding," April 11, 2013
  5. KNDO, "Richland Florist Sues WA Attorney General's Office in Gay Wedding Case," May 16, 2013
  6. Bob Ferguson for Attorney General, "About Bob," accessed May 19, 2012
  7. Washington Secretary of State, "Top 2 Primary: FAQ," accessed May 17, 2012
  8. King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson, "Bob's Bio," accessed February 9, 2012
  9. Washington Secretary of State, "2012 Primary Results," August 7, 2012 (dead link)
  10. Seattle's Q13 FOX, "Inslee maintains slim lead in governor's race; Ferguson wins attorney general contest," November 7, 2012
  11. ", "Washington Attorney General Debate Touches on Immigration, Driver's Licenses," June 15, 2012
  12. Elect Bob Ferguson for Attorney General, "About Bob," accessed June 29, 2012
  13. 13.0 13.1 Fox Q13, "One on one with attorney general candidate Bob Ferguson," June 8, 2012
  14. The Seattle Times, "Candidates for governor, attorney general talk guns," July 28, 2012
  15. The Seattle Times, "Candidates for governor, attorney general talk guns," July 28, 2012
  16. Bob Ferguson for Attorney General, "Endorsements,"accessed June 29, 2012
  17. Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for Bob Ferguson," Accessed May 7, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Rob McKenna (R)
Washington Attorney General
Succeeded by