Bill Finkbeiner

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Bill Finkbeiner
Bill Finkbeiner.jpg
Candidate for
Lieutenant Governor of Washington
Prior offices
Washington State Senate
Bachelor'sWhitman College
Master'sUniversity of Washington
Campaign website
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Bill Finkbeiner was a 2012 Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Washington in the 2012 elections.[1] The night after the polls closed, on November 7, 2012, Bill Finkbeiner (R) conceded the general election to incumbent Brad Owen (D).[2] He served previously in the Washington House of Representatives from 1992-1994 and in the Washington State Senate from 1994 until 2006.[3]


Finkbeiner is a lifelong resident of Kirkland, WA. He is an "entrepreneur specializing in sustainable development."[4] He worked as a contractor for Microsoft from 1995 to 2000, served in the Washington House of Representatives and Washington State Senate from 1992 to 2006, leaving politics in 2006 to help start up a company.[4]


  • BA, Anthropology, Whitman College[3]
  • EMBA, University of Washington[4]


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See also: Washington lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012

Finkbeiner ran for Lieutenant Governor of Washington in 2012. He finished second in the August 7th blanket primary behind incumbent Brad Owen, earning him a spot on the general election ballot in November.[5] He was defeated in the general election by Owen.[6]

Lieutenant Governor of Washington General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBrad Owen Incumbent 53.7% 1,575,133
     Republican Bill Finkbeiner 46.3% 1,359,212
Total Votes 2,934,345
Election Results via Washington Secretary of State.
Lt. Governor of Washington, Primary election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBrad Owen 48.5% 648,110
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBill Finkbeinder 26.4% 352,195
     Republican Glenn Anderson 17.2% 229,318
     No Party Preference James Robert Deal 4% 53,694
     Democracy Independent Mark Greene 3.5% 46,534
     Neopopulist Dave T. Sumner IV 0.5% 6,057
Total Votes 1,335,908
Election Results via Washington Secretary of State (dead link)'


On his campaign website, Finkbeiner pledges to "work to change the culture of the Senate and make our government more open to the public."[7] He also outlines a four-part plan to achieve that goal:

  • Decrease partisan bickering and improve the process[7]
Remove the aisle: "Senators should sit together and work together. Lincoln said 'A house divided cannot stand.' The aisle separates the parties and promotes division and decreases the sense that they are working together. No business would split a team working on its most important polices into two groups and we citizens shouldn’t allow this."
Act as a mediator: "I'll make the Lieutenant Governor's office into the 'Switzerland' of the legislature - a place where legislators can go to get help working out their disagreements. The Lieutenant Governor is not a part of either caucus and can work as a mediator on the issues facing the legislature."
Change the rules: "Right now, the rules are set up to promote single party control. Legislators are elected from around the state, and they should all have an equal say in conference committees and on standing committees like the rules committee (which the Lieutenant Governor chairs)."
Make a plan: "Last session, 4,000 bills were introduced; this points to a lack of priorities within the legislature. I will use my business training to work with legislative and committee leaders to help them develop a strategic plan for the state. It's not the Lieutenant Governor's role to tell them what the plan should be, but it is necessary to help them come up with a plan and a clear set of priorities."
  • Open up the legislative process to the public:[7]
Allow more public comment on legislation: "The public should get the same information legislators receive on legislation, and they should be able to comment on bills online."
Promote video testimony: "We live in a large state. Citizens shouldn't have to drive to Olympia to testify on a bill. They should be able to use a range of free and simple video tools to make their voices heard from where they live."
Allow the time: "Haste makes waste. It also makes for poor legislation. Rules should be changed to require 72 hours between a bill being proposed and any action taken on it."
  • Reduce special interest influence:[7]
Campaign finance reform: "Our campaign finance laws have been shredded by the courts. They need to be reviewed and strengthened. Legislators shouldn't be collecting checks the day after they are taking votes on bills."
Lobbyists not allowed in chambers: "No lobbyists should be allowed in the Senate Chambers while the Senate is in session voting on bills."
  • Manage our debt and pension liabilities:[7]
Strict discretion in issuing bonds: "The Lt. Governor sits on the Finance Committee with the Governor and the Treasurer. That committee issues all of the state's bonds and signs off on all of the state's debt. While some of the debt is appropriate (funding for capital and transportation budgets), some of it is used to fund current operations. I will ensure there is clear understanding of all the actions of this committee so that our debt burden doesn't fall on our children."
Limit borrowing from the future: "I will use all the powers of my office to push the Legislature to avoid borrowing from the future to fund current operations, whether this is underfunding pension obligations or creating mythical extra months in the budget cycle. Washington State government should abide by the same rules as each household does."
Raise awareness of state and federal debt: "As Lt. Governor, I will create a program to educate high school and college students about the amount of state and federal debt they owe."


  • Washington Conservation Voters[8]
  • Service Employees International Union 775 Northwest[9]
  • Herald Editorial Board[10]

Campaign donors


Finkbeiner lost the election to the position of Lieutenant Governor of Washington in 2012. During that election cycle, Finkbeiner raised a total of $271,344.

See also

External links

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