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Washington lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012

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The Washington lieutenant gubernatorial election took place on November 6, 2012, following a primary on August 7th. Unlike many partisan primaries, Washington uses a "Top 2" primary system, also known as a blanket primary, in which all candidates run in one race, regardless of party affiliation. Candidates may indicate which party they prefer, but their preference "does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party, or that the party approves of or associates with that candidate."[1] The two candidates who receive the most votes then advance to the general election.

But the Evergreen State's primary election is non-traditional in more ways than one.

Voters in Washington do not physically go to a polling place to cast their votes. Voting takes place via mail - ballots are mailed out to voters at least 18 days before each election and in order to be counted, ballots must be:

  • postmarked no later than Election Day; or
  • returned to a designated ballot drop box by 8 p.m. on Election Day;
  • returned in person to the county elections department by 8 p.m. on Election Day

Democratic Party Brad Owen (D) Incumbent Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Bill Finkbeiner (R)

Incumbent Brad Owen (D) finished first in the primary. Bill Finkbeiner (R) finished second. The two faced off in the general election in November. The night after the election, on November 7, 2012, Finkbeiner conceded the race to Owen. [2]


General election

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.

Primary results

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)'

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Key dates

  • Administrative deadlines are at close of business (5:00) unless otherwise noted.
Deadline Event
May 14 - May 18 Candidate filing period
July 9 Last day for mail-in and online voter registrations for the primary
Aug. 7 Primary election
Aug. 28 Primary results certified
Oct. 8 Last day for mail-in and online voter registrations for the general election
Nov. 6 General election

General election candidates

Democratic Party Brad Owen Incumbent Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Bill Finkbeiner

Primary candidates

Candidates are listed in the order in which they appeared on the ballot, according to Washington's lot draw system.[3]


Brad Owen vs. Bill Finkbeiner
Poll Brad Owen (D) Bill Finkbeiner (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Elway Research
(September 9-12, 2012)
Elway Research Poll
(October 18-21, 2012)
AVERAGES 42.5% 29.5% 27.5% +/-4.75 428
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Finkbeiner and Anderson

On Thursday, June 21, the two Republican candidates met in a debate, organized by the Issaquah-Sammamish Tea Party, that reporters likened to a conversation between two "like-minded men."[4] Though all candidates were invited, Owen asked that the date be changed to accommodate a prior engagement.

Both Finkbeiner and Anderson voiced their support for gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna but noted that if they were elected alongside a governor from another party, they would work together. Finkbeiner, echoing one of the core platforms of his campaign, vowed to work to create cooperation among both parties in the state legislature. He said he would push for an online public comment process for bills introduced in the legislature. Anderson accounted for his high missed-vote count as a state Representative, noting a divorce caused him to miss days in the legislature. He highlighted the facts that he is not taking money from special interest groups to fund his campaign and does not participate in the public servant pension plan - an option available to state Representatives.[4]

Finkbeiner and Owen

The two candidates met for a debate hosted by the Association of Washington Business on September 12, 2012. Candidate Debates (Video) - 2012 Informed Voter Guide

Bill Finkbeiner

  • Washington Conservation Voters[5]
  • Service Employees International Union 775 Northwest[6]
  • Herald Editorial Board[7]

Brad Owen

  • The Seattle Times[8]

Due dates for reports

The Washington Public Disclosure Commission administers campaign finance law and maintains all records online.[9]

For the primary election:

  • First report -- due by July 17, 2012
  • Pre-Primary report -- due by July 31, 2012
  • Post-Primary report -- due by September 10, 2012

For the general election:

  • First report -- due by October 16, 2012
  • Pre-general report -- due by October 30, 2012
  • Post-general report -- due by December 10, 2012


Brad Owen Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
First Report[10]July 17, 2012$0.00$42,201.48$(7,860.40)$69,729.11
Pre-Primary ReportJune 31, 2012$69,729.11$38,250.00$(1,799.06)$106,180.05
Post-Primary Report[11]September 10, 2012$106,180.05$27,520.00$(121,632.22)$12,067.83
First GeneralOctober 16, 2012$12,067.83$59,074.00$(61,730.98)$9,410.85
Pre-GeneralOctober 30, 2012$9,410.85$30,130.00$(33,185.60)$6,355.25
Running totals
Bill Finkbeiner Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Pre-Primary Report[12]July 17, 2012$0.00$22,692.23$(25,104.81)$58,875.99
Second ReportJune 31, 2012$58,875.99$1,427.00$(7,118.70)$52,184.29
Post-Primary Report[13]September 10, 2012$52,184.29$20,181.00$(38,543.72)$34,821.57
First GeneralOctober 16, 2012$34,543.72$55,276.89$(27,375.38)$62,723.08
Pre-GeneralOctober 30, 2012$62,723.08$60,109.42$(48,207.28)$74,625.22
Running totals

See also

External links

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