Modeled after LCV Victory Fund’s federal Dirty Dozen, the Dirty Dozen: Washington highlights 12 of the worst environmental candidates in Washington state. Members of the Washington State Dirty Dozen have sided with corporate polluters against environmental justice, and are a danger to our democracy. These candidates are chosen regardless of party affiliation and are running in races in which Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund has a serious chance to affect the outcome.

Simon Sefzik (R) – 42nd Legislative District Senate:

A year after graduating from a college that teaches creationism, Simon Sefzik was appointed to the 42nd LD Senate seat where he worked against environmental justice and sided with corporate polluters at every opportunity. In 2021, a time fraught with unprecedented attacks on voting access, Sefzik voted against a bill to strengthen the Washington Voting Rights Act. Sefzik has also been an adamant supporter of increased oil pipelines and tankers in the region, seeking to undo many of the community protections lawmakers have put in place. Sefzik also proudly states his opposition to reproductive freedom.

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Jesse Young (R) – 26th Legislative District Senate:

As a House Representative, Jesse Young has been one of the most extreme legislators in the state. He voted against bills promoting cleaner fuels, environmental justice, and the protection of voting rights. Young’s campaign for Senator is focused on rolling back common-sense laws that protect communities and the environment against dangerous oil-transportation and other fossil fuel limitations. Young is also Washington’s predominate opponent to reproductive choice, sponsoring 13 bills to eliminate access to abortion in Washington. During the pandemic, Young was spotted in Arizona supporting Trump’s election lies and spreading inflammatory COVID-19 disinformation.

Kevin Waters (R) – 17th Legislative District Representative:

As Vancouver community groups celebrate their long-time-coming victory to ban new large-scale fossil fuel facilities, it’s no surprise that Big Oil is funding Kevin Waters against our community’s environmental champion, Terri Niles, in the 17th Legislative District. Waters is endorsed by Marathon Oil, a known corporate polluter who attempted (and thankfully, failed) to put the largest oil terminal in North America in Vancouver at the expense of community health and safety. He also proudly promotes his views against reproductive freedom.

Phil Fortunato (R) – 31st Legislative District Senate:

Instead of serving his constituents, Phil Fortunato has spent the majority of his time in the State Senate leading an extreme right-wing contingent of legislators who deny the existence of climate change and spread harmful disinformation. In 2021, he openly opposed efforts to limit carbon pollution by saying efforts might “starve the rainforest” and boldly claimed CO2-emissions are not substantial contributors to climate change.  He also denied that the climate crisis is disproportionately impacting people of color. Fortunato continued his anti-science and anti-public health crusade during the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic claiming the COVID safety guidelines caused more deaths than the virus itself. Fortunato continued to engage in unfounded conspiracy theories around election security and sponsored a bill to end mail in voting in Washington State. 

Dan Johnson (R) – 42nd Legislative District Representative:

Dan Johnson is light on solutions to the climate crisis, yet heavy on offensive rhetoric. When asked directly if he “believed climate change was real” Johnson refused to answer and accused the legislature’s pro-climate actions of “causing harm to Washington’s forest and air”. When he’s not massively over-inflating Washington’s substance use deaths, Johnson is constantly advocating against police reform. He used anti-semitic rhetoric on social media in 2020 to defend his stance against COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Deryl McCarty – Pierce County Auditor:

Despite running for County Auditor – the job that administers elections in the county – Deryl McCarty still refuses to say who won the 2020 Presidential Election.  He continues to stoke distrust in our election system and is running on a platform of MAGA conspiracies of election fraud. He is a clear threat to democracy and to our fight in ending voter suppression and injustice.

Greg Gilday (R) – 10th Legislative District Representative:

Greg Gilday is a wildly out-of-touch Representative that puts public health and environmental progress at risk. As an anti-choice legislator, he voted against legislation that gave patients the option of legal action if they are denied medical care for miscarriages and other pregnancy complications. Gilday has also spent his one term in office fighting against the low-carbon fuel standard, which is no surprise as his campaign is funded by Marathon Oil, an out-of-state corporate polluter who tried to build a massive refinery in Washington.

Kim Plese (R) – Spokane County Commissioner:

During her run for Spokane County Commissioner, Kim Plese has been nothing but a consistent opponent of sensible climate action. Plese referred to climate action as using ‘faulty models’ and called her opponents’ support of electric vehicles ‘ridiculous’. Plese continues her campaign against clean-energy by opposing development of all-electric buildings.

Timothy Hazelo (R) – Island County Commissioner:

Timothy Hazelo is a Trump-like politician who presents a serious danger to Island County’s environmental and racial justice efforts. During his failed run for Congress, he dismissed climate change as a hoax and suggested sea level rise due to climate change was not real. He further embodies Trump by down-playing the existence of police violence, calling the Gorge Floyd Justice in Policing Act “disgraceful” and attacking COVID-19 public health guidelines as “a cure worse than the cancer”.

Michelle Caldier (R)  – 26th Legislative District Representative:

Supported by corporate polluters, it’s no surprise that Representative Caldier is a consistent obstacle to climate action in Olympia. Caldier firmly voted against a 100% clean energy transition, measures to limit climate pollution, and clean fuel standards. Caldier also has a notable campaign of restricting women’s access to healthcare and opposing workplace rights. She opposed paid family and medical leave, attempted to make contraceptives inaccessible, and voted against the formation of the state’s Women’s Commission. Caldier has proven herself as an antagonist for the environment and families.

Bob McCaslin Jr. (R) – Spokane County Auditor:

“I don’t have any proof of wrongdoing”. That’s what retiring Representative and Spokane Co. Auditor said when confronted about his baseless claims of voter fraud. This hasn’t stopped him from co-sponsoring a bill in 2021 for a manual recount of only “legitimate votes” of the 2020 election and amplifying Trump’s Big-Lie conspiracy across the state. As a legislator, McCaslin leaves a disgraceful legacy of anti-environmental voting, scoring the lowest possible grade on our legislative scorecard. We also did not forget when McCaslin co-sponsored a bill to divide the state in two. The position of County Auditor remains critical in maintaining a fair election process and preventing voter suppression. Clearly, McCaslin’s extreme and dangerous track record proves himself as incompetent to oversee Spokane County Elections as Auditor.  

Ballot Measure – IA Approval Voting:

The 12th member of the Dirty Dozen is not a candidate but the Seattle’s 1A ballot measure for approval voting. Approval voting is a largely untested election method that doesn’t deliver on true voter representation and participation. Because voters cast multiple unranked votes in approval voting, voting for multiple candidates may inaccurately reflect a voter’s preferred choice. While equitable voting reform is necessary, Seattle voters will be better served by 1B ranked-choice voting supported by WCV and local racial and voting justice advocates and organizations.