|Attorney General of Washington|
|January 16, 2013-present|
|Predecessor||Rob McKenna (R)|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|First elected||November 6, 2012|
|Next general||November 8, 2016|
|Councilman, King County|
|High school||Bishop Blanchet High School|
|Bachelor's||University of Washington, Political Science (1983)|
|J.D.||New York University School of Law (1995)|
|Place of birth||Queen Anne Hill, Washington|
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.
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." Stutzman's attorney has questioned Ferguson's legal standing to sue. The case has been 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 are being violated.
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." 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.
- Bachelor's in Political Science from the University of Washington (1983)
- J.D. from New York University School of Law (1995)
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:
- "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"
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.
|Attorney General of Washington General Election, 2012|
|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. 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. The other slot went to Dunn (R), with whom he squared off on November 6, 2012. The night after the polls closed, on November 7, 2012, the race was called for Ferguson.
|Attorney General of Washington, Primary, 2012|
|Election Results Via: Washington Secretary of State|
- 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."
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."
- 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.
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.”
- 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.
- 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." 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."
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.
|Bob Ferguson's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||Attorney General of Washington||$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.
|Attorney General of Washington 2012 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Bob Ferguson's campaign in 2012|
|Washington State Democratic Party||$77,525|
|Robert Ferguson Surplus Funds||$12,040|
|Clark County Democratic Central Committee||$10,000|
|Spokane County Democrats||$9,000|
|Washington State Labor Council AFL-CIO||$7,200|
|Total Raised in 2012||$1,686,939|
|Total Votes received in 2012||1,564,443|
|Cost of each vote received||$1.08|
|Source:Follow the Money|
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Bob + Ferguson + Washington + Attorney"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says cities and counties can block ... - BreakingNews.com
- Washington state attorney general: Cities, counties can block licensed pot ... - Minneapolis Star Tribune
- Washington AG: Cities and counties can ban marijuana businesses - Seattle Post Intelligencer (blog)
- Wash. Attorney General Bob Ferguson: Cities, counties can block licensed pot ... - The Republic
- Washington: Cities Can Block Marijuana Operations - New York Times
- City bans pot shops in backlash against Washington state legalization - Reuters
- City & county marijuana bans: What is the attorney general thinking? - Crosscut
- Dope Decision - TheStranger.com
- Ferguson joins lawsuit against Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation in alleged ... - Access Washington
- Who's Paying? - Pacific Northwest Inlander
Ferguson lives with his wife Colleen and their twins, Jack and Katie, in North Seattle.
- Attorney General of Washington
- Former Washington Attorney General Rob Mckenna
- Washington attorney general election, 2012
- Washington State Office of the Attorney General
- King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson
- Elect Bob Ferguson Attorney General
- Project Vote Smart biographical profile
- Bob Ferguson on YouTube
- Ferguson for AG on Facebook
- Campaign contributions: 2012
- Washington Secretary of State, "November 6, 2012 general election results," accessed April 29, 2013
- Washington state office of the Attorney General, "About Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson," accessed April 29, 2013
- Washington Times, "Wash. state attorney general sues florist for refusing to supply same-sex wedding," April 11, 2013
- KNDO, "Richland Florist Sues WA Attorney General's Office in Gay Wedding Case," May 16, 2013
- Peninsula Daily News, "Attorney general candidate addresses Peninsula Issues," April 6, 2012
- Bob Ferguson for Attorney General, "About Bob," accessed May 19, 2012
- Washington Secretary of State "Top 2 Primary: FAQ," Accessed May 17, 2012
- King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson, "Bob's Bio", accessed February 9, 2012
- Washington Secretary of State, "2012 Primary Results," August 7, 2012
- Seattle's Q13 FOX, "Inslee maintains slim lead in governor's race; Ferguson wins attorney general contest," November 7, 2012
- "KUOW.org, "Washington Attorney General Debate Touches on Immigration, Driver's Licenses," June 15, 2012
- Elect Bob Ferguson for Attorney General, "About Bob," accessed June 29, 2012
- Fox Q13, "One on one with attorney general candidate Bob Ferguson," June 8, 2012
- The Seattle Times, "Candidates for governor, attorney general talk guns," July 28, 2012
- The Seattle Times, "Candidates for governor, attorney general talk guns," July 28, 2012
- Bob Ferguson for Attorney General, "Endorsements,"accessed June 29, 2012
- Follow the Money, " Career fundraising for Bob Ferguson," Accessed May 7, 2013
Rob McKenna (R)
|Washington Attorney General
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