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What is the WSNA-PAC?

The Washington State Nurses Association Political Action Committee (WSNA-PAC) was established to contribute support for statewide and state legislative candidates who have demonstrated their belief in and commitment to the legislative and regulatory agenda of the Washington State Nurses Association.

This story was published in the Spring-Summer 2022 issue of The Washington Nurse magazine.

The Washington State Nurses Association Political Action Committee (WSNA-PAC) was established to contribute support for statewide and state legislative candidates who have demonstrated their belief in and commitment to the legislative and regulatory agenda of the Washington State Nurses Association. The WSNA-PAC is run by nurses appointed by the WSNA Board of Directors.

Decoding WSNA-PAC’s endorsement process

How do we decide?

Each election cycle, WSNA-PAC receives dozens of requests for endorsement. Why? Because candidates value the support of nurses, and WSNA-PAC’s endorsement sends a strong message to voters.

WSNA-PAC supports candidates and incumbents who are strong on nursing and patient safety issues, regardless of political party affiliation.

As nurses, we value transparency and integrity – and our endorsement process reflects that.

Outreach to all candidates

As part of a fair endorsement process, WSNA-PAC reaches out to all candidates who file with the Secretary of State to run for the state legislature or statewide office, such as Governor or Attorney General.

Each candidate is emailed a candidate questionnaire, which they are invited to complete and send back to the WSNA-PAC board. Not all candidates choose to respond to the WSNA-PAC, but all candidates are invited to participate in the endorsement process.

Candidate evaluation

The WSNA-PAC board evaluates candidates based on:

  • Candidate questionnaire - The first step of WSNA-PAC’s endorsement process is the candidate questionnaire. This is an opportunity for candidates to share their story, experiences and beliefs with the WSNA-PAC. Each questionnaire that is returned to the WSNA-PAC Board is reviewed, and candidates are invited to interview.
  • Candidate interview - Candidates who choose to interview with WSNA-PAC board members and nurses have an opportunity to engage in deeper conversation about their backgrounds, experiences and priorities. These interviews also give candidates the opportunity to hear directly from nurses about the budget and policy issues that affect nurses and patients. WSNA-PAC board members and nurses who participate in candidate interviews complete an evaluation of each candidate interview.
  • Legislative voting record (incumbents only) - Candidates currently serving in the legislature (referred to as “incumbents”) are also evaluated on how they voted on nursing priorities and key issues. WSNA’s 2021 and 2022 Legislative Voting Records are available online and illustrate that most nursing issues have bipartisan support.

In addition to these evaluation tools, WSNA-PAC also takes into account the makeup of the legislative district, political viability and past voting patterns. Once candidate evaluation is complete, WSNA-PAC announces the endorsements to the successful candidates and to WSNA members.