Five Senate races we’re watching

As nurses, we know it’s important to elect candidates who support patient safety and who will help makes gains for our profession.

Meet the WSNA-PAC endorsed candidates

As nurses, we know it’s important to elect candidates who support patient safety and who will help makes gains for our profession. This election cycle, there are 17 House seats in play and five Senate races that will not only determine the balance of power in Olympia, but also have the potential to help advance WSNA’s 2019 Legislative Priorities.

If you are in one of these “districts to watch,” we hope you will consider supporting the candidates endorsed by the WSNA-PAC. Help us build a pro-nurse majority in Olympia!

Not sure which district you're in? Visit https://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder.


6th Legislative District – Spokane

Senator Michael Baumgartner is stepping down, providing an opportunity to elect a pro-nurse candidate in the 6th Legislative District in Spokane. Current State Representative Jeff Holy (R) is running for this open seat and faces Democrat Jessa Lewis.

Given his 100% voting record on nursing and patient safety issues in the House, WSNA-PAC endorsed Jeff Holy in this race.

Jeff Holy currently represents Spokane’s 6th Legislative District in the State House of Representatives. He is a veteran of the U.S. Army and a retired Spokane police officer. Outside of his legislative duties, Rep. Holy currently works as an attorney in private practice.

Rep. Holy is an active member of his community. He has served as a board member of Spokane Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and is a current board member of Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP). He also serves as a board member of Law Enforcement & Fire Fighter Retirement system (LEOFF II).

During his time in the House, Rep. Holy voted to support uninterrupted rest and meal breaks for nurses in both 2017 and 2018. We look forward to his strong support in the Senate!


26th Legislative District - Gig Harbor

Longtime Senator Jan Angel is retiring, making the 26th one of the top races to watch in Washington state.

WSNA-PAC endorsed candidate Emily Randall (D) in this race. While this district has had three Republican state legislators in recent years, the primary election showed strong potential for this district to flip politically in the 2018 election.

Emily Randall grew up on the Kitsap Peninsula in a union household and is now running for the State Senate, with health care and education as her top priorities. Emily says, “For 10 years I have held professional roles at Planned Parenthood, Children’s Hospital, and Wellesley College, helping people access the health care they need and the education opportunities they deserve.”

Emily is active in her community, serving as an Advisory Committee member to Olympic College’s Organizational Leadership & Resource Management Program. She serves on the CTE Trades Council for the Peninsula School District and is a Board Member for Q Youth Resources, an organization supporting gender and sexual minority youth.

During her interview with the WSNA-PAC Board, Emily shared that her advocacy for health care is personal. Her sister was born with severe developmental and physical disabilities, and Emily credits her sister’s access to Medicaid with allowing her to live a happy life for 19 years in their family home.


30th Legislative District - Federal Way

Senator Mark Miloscia (R) has served the 30th Legislative District since 1999. He has a strong voting record on nursing and patient safety issues. The WSNA-PAC Board interviewed Senator Miloscia in May and were impressed with his strong support on issues such as rest breaks, mental/behavioral health and surprise billing.

Mark Miloscia has represented the 30th Legislative District as a State Senator since 2014 and as State Representative from 1999–2013. He currently serves as ranking member on the State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee and is a member of both the Human Services & Corrections Committee and the Higher Education & Workforce Development Committee. Outside of his elected capacity, Senator Miloscia works as a substitute teacher in the Auburn School District.

He is a retired Air Force officer and was a B-52 pilot and contract manager in the service for 10 years. Senator Miloscia holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Air Force Academy, a master’s in clinical psychology from Chapman University, and an MBA from the University of North Dakota.

During his interview with the WSNA-PAC Board, Senator Miloscia expressed his support for the rest breaks bill, as well as for solutions to address workplace violence and surprise billing. He has been very active in conversations to address the opioid epidemic both in his district and in Olympia.


42nd Legislative District - Bellingham

Former president of the Bellingham City Council Pinky Vargas (D) is challenging longtime State Senator Doug Ericksen in the 42nd Legislative District, which runs from Bellingham east into rural Whatcom County. While this Senate seat has been long held by a Republican, Democratic candidates received 54 percent of the vote in 2018 Primary Election — making this district ripe to elect a new Senator.

Pinky Vargas has served two terms on the Bellingham City Council, including a stint as council president. She has worked for Puget Sound Energy for eight years, traveling throughout Whatcom County to collaborate with businesses and communities on energy efficiency. She currently serves as a board member for the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce and is on the Board of Whatcom County Parks & Recreation, as well as for Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism.

Pinky says, “Health care should be a right not a privilege. No Washington family — regardless of their financial situation — should go bankrupt or lose their home because they have been in an accident or have medical needs.”

Pinky spent an hour with the WSNA-PAC Board and is extremely supportive of WSNA’s priority issues.


48th Legislative District - Bellevue

WSNA-PAC is proud to endorse Senator Patty Kuderer (D) in the 48th Legislative District. Senator Kuderer received 60 percent of the 2018 primary election vote and will face former 48th district Senator Rodney Tom in the general election.

Senator Kuderer has served the 48th Legislative District since 2015, first as State Representative, and then in 2017 she was appointed to the Senate. Senator Kuderer believes that health care is a right and serves as vice chair of the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee. She also serves as the vice chair of the State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee and sits on the Financial Institutions & Insurance and Labor & Commerce committees.

Outside of her elected capacity, Senator Kuderer has practiced law for more than 30 years. She currently sits on the Board of the Anti-Defamation League Seattle, serving on its Civil Rights Committee. Senator Kuderer has volunteered with many community-based organizations including Sacred Heart Social Concerns, Congregations for the Homeless, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Virtue’s Children Nepal and Chrysalis Domestic Violence Clinic.

Senator Kuderer has been a strong advocate for nurses and patient safety in Olympia, and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the 2019 Legislative Session.