A union guide to Washington’s November general election


It could be an interesting election year for Southwest Washington: Carolyn Long is running a strong campaign against incumbent Republican Congresswoman Jaime Herrera-Beutler.  If a candidate is listed in bold below, they’re backed by at least one labor organization. To keep the list as short as possible, union-endorsed candidates who are running unopposed or against only token opposition are not listed.



Three-term Democratic incumbent Maria Cantwell has voted in accord with the national AFL-CIO’s recommendation 91 percent of the time in her three six-year terms in office. She faces Republican Susan Hutchinson, a former Seattle TV news anchor and former state GOP chair.  WSLC Cantwell.com

Congressional District 3 (Vancouver)

Carolyn Long, a political science professor at Washington State University Vancouver, is challenging incumbent Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler. Beutler has voted in accord with the national AFL-CIO’s recommendation just 17 percent of the time in her four two-year terms in office. WSLC, SWCLC, AFSCME, AFT, ATU 757, IAFF 452, IBEW, IBT 58, ILWU, IUPAT, IW, LiUNA, LiUNA 335, UA 290, 26, UBC 146, UFCW, WFSE ElectLong.com


I-1631 (Clean Energy Jobs)

SUPPORT This measure would impose a fee on fossil-fuel emissions that are warming the planet, and use the proceeds to invest in solar and wind infrastructure, public transit, home efficiency upgrades, rural broadband, and in reducing river and lake pollution. Starting 2020, gas companies would pay $15 per metric ton of carbon emissions (about 14 cents to a gallon of gasoline.) The amount would grow over time and would be capped once the state was on track to meet greenhouse gas-reduction targets.  Opponents, led by Chevron, BP, and other oil companies, have contributed $16 million to try and defeat it. AFSCME,  AFT, IBT 117, OPEIU 8 SEIU 775NW, UAW 4121, 1199NW, UFCW 21, WPEA  YesOn1631.org

I-940 (Police Deadly Force)

SUPPORT Measure I-940 requires that police be trained for violence de-escalation, mental health, and first aid. It also removes legal immunity, adopts a standard of an objectively reasonable response to a situation, and requires independent investigations of police use of deadly force. WSLC, AFSCME-WFSE, AFT, UBC 30, ILWU 4, 19, 21, SEIU 6, 49, 775, 925, 1199NW, UFCW 21, WEA DeescalateWA.org


Pos. 2 Susan Owens WSLC

Pos. 8Steve Gonzalez WSLC

Pos. 9 Sheryl Gordon McCloud WSLC


17th Legislative District (Eastside Vancouver)

House 1Tanisha Harris is a foster child advocate at YWCA Clark County, and co-chaired a successful campaign to fund Evergreen School District. She’s challenging incumbent Republican Vicki Kraft, who used to work for the anti-union Freedom Foundation, a group that promotes “right-to-work” laws and says its mission is to “defund and discredit” unions. WSLC gave Kraft a 14 rating for her votes this year. She voted against paid family and medical leave, and against union prevailing wages in construction. WSLC, AFSCME-WFSE, AFT, ATU 757, IAFF 452, IBEW 48, 77, ILWU, LiUNA 335, SEIU 775, 49, 925, UBC, UFCW 555, 21, WEA, WSNA ElectTanishaHarris.com

House 2Damion Jiles, an Army veteran, is a Democrat challenging Republcian incumbent Paul Harris. Harris voted against raising the minimum wage and against paid sick leave, and had a 14 percent labor voting record in 2018.  WSLC, ATU 757, IBEW 48, 77, LIUNA 335, UBC, WEA DamionEJiles.com

18th Legislative District (Clark County)

House 1Chris Thobaben, a major in the Marine Corps reserves, is challenging incumbent Republican Brandon Vick, and got 48 percent in the primary. WSLC ChrisForThe18th.com

House 2 Kathy Gillespie won 52 percent of the vote in the top-two primary, so she’s got a good chance of beating Republican Larry Hoff for the seat now held by Rep. Liz Pike, who’s retiring  WSLC, AFSCME-WFSE, AFSCME-WSCCCE, AFT, ATU 757, BAC 1, IAM, IBEW 77, IBT, ILWU, IUOE 609, LIUNA 335, SEIU 775, 49, 925, 1948, SMART, UA 290, UBC, UBC 146, UFCW 555, 21, WEA, WPEA, WSNA KathyGillespieForHouse.org


Council Chair

Eric Holt is a safety manager for a limestone mining company, and a former shop steward in Teamsters Local 162 SWCLC, IBEW 48, UA 26, 290, WEA EricKHolt.com

Council, District 1

Temple Lentz is a community activist and local talk show host  SWCLC, ATU 757, IAFF 452, IBEW 48, LiUNA 335, UFCW 555 VoteTempleLentz.com

Public Utility District, Pos. 1

Incumbent Jim Malinowski is an electrical engineer and taught power utilities technology at Clark College  SWCLC, IBEW 48  Jim-Malinowski.com


Barbara Melton has worked at the county clerk’s office 17 years, and is president of her union, OPEIU Local 11 SWCLC, IBEW 48, LiUNA 335, OPEIU 11 ElectBarbaraMelton.com


Alishia Topper is tax service manager for the Clark County Treasurer’s Office and a current member of the Vancouver City Council SWCLC ElectTopper.com


Two-term incumbent Peter Van Nortwick faces a challenge from fellow Republican Darren Wertz, a member of Ridgefield City Council. SWCLC


City Council Position 1

Laurie Lebowsky, a planner for Clark County, was appointed to the Vancouver City Council in February. SWCLC, AFSCME-WSCCCE, ATU 757, IBEW 48, LiUNA 335, UBC  ElectLebowsky.com

OTHER PARTS OF WASHINGTON: See here for the full list of WSLC endorsements for rest of Washington. 


The acronyms below refer to statewide or regional bodies unless a local number is listed. 

WSLC  the state AFL-CIO, which is the federation that most unions belong to

AAUP university professors

AFSCME state, county, and municipal employees 

WFSE state

WSCCCE county and city

AFT AFT-Washington

ATU 757 transit

BAC 1  Bricklayers Local 1

IAFF fire fighters

  • 452 Vancouver 
  • 1805 Clark County FD6 
  • 2444 East Clark County 
  • 3674 Clark County 

IAM machinists

IBEW electrical workers

  • 48 Portland
  • 77 Seattle

IBT Teamsters

  • 37 Joint Council 37
  • 58 NW Oregon/SW Wash
  • 117 Local 117, Tukwila

ILWU longshore/warehouse

IUOE 609 Operating Engineers Local 609

IUPAT Painters District Council 5

IW Ironworkers Pacific NW District Council

LiUNA Oregon/SW Washington District Council of Laborers

  • 335 construction

OPEIU 11 office and professional employees

PTE 17 professional and technical employees

SEIU service employees

  • 775 home care
  • 925 school support
  • 49 hospital and janitorial
  • 1948 school employees

SMART Sheet Metal Local 16

SWCLC  SW Washington Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO

UA  plumbers and fitters

  • 290 OR/SW Washington
  • 26 Western Washington

UAW 4121  UW grad student workers

UFCW 21  grocery

UBC Pacific NW Regional Council of Carpenters

  • 146 exterior/interior
  • 30 Renton

WEA  teachers

WPEA Washington Public Employees Association (UFCW 365)

WSNA  nurses


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