Commissioner of Public Lands

WA lands commissioner race heats up with former GOP congresswoman’s entry

BY: - October 10, 2023

Former congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler entered the race for Washington’s Commissioner of Public Lands on Tuesday, giving Republicans a top-flight candidate in what’s shaping up as one of next year’s hottest electoral contests. Herrera Beutler, whose decision had been the subject of speculation for months, said she would focus on reducing the risk of catastrophic […]

A low angle photo of an unfinished four-story apartment building, showing exposed plywood and other lumber

How a Washington agency is trying to get housing built on public land

BY: - October 9, 2023

A half-acre concrete lot in Spokane. A 655-acre expanse of cropland in Pasco. Sixty acres off the side of Interstate 90 in Benton County.  Washington’s Department of Natural Resources owns more than 7,000 acres of “transition land” scattered across the state. Most of this property is surrounded by development, leaving it unsuitable for timber sales […]

Washington Lands commissioner race gets even more crowded as Dave Upthegrove jumps in

BY: - September 25, 2023

King County Council Member Dave Upthegrove entered the race for Washington Commissioner of Public Lands on Monday, becoming the fifth Democratic candidate vying for the job of managing state public lands and forests. Upthegrove, a former state lawmaker who ran unsuccessfully for the lands chief job in 2016, created a campaign committee in May but […]

More Democrats lining up to be Washington’s next public lands commissioner

BY: - September 13, 2023

The job of managing Washington’s public lands and forests is opening up next year and the number of Democrats who want it is growing. Democratic state Sen. Rebecca Saldana of Seattle announced her candidacy for commissioner of public lands on Wednesday and said in an interview she wants to ensure the benefits of state policies […]

Franz opens up about her childhood kidnapping, how it drives her public service

BY: - July 19, 2023

When she was 3 years old, Hilary Franz says she was taken from her bed, her house, her friends and her toys. And she recalls being told she would never see her father again.  In the weeks that followed, Franz remembers eating a lot of dates – a snack she hated, encountering a rattlesnake at […]

Battle for Washington public lands commissioner begins

BY: - June 21, 2023

Democratic state Sen. Kevin Van De Wege on Wednesday launched a campaign to become Washington’s next commissioner of public lands. Van De Wege, a moderate Democrat, is the first person to formally enter next year’s contest to succeed Commissioner Hilary Franz who is forgoing re-election to run for governor. He said he’ll focus on making […]

Why Hilary Franz sees a path to victory in the 2024 governor’s race

BY: - June 7, 2023

Olympia may be the center of government power in Washington but when Hilary Franz talks about why voters next year should send her to the governor’s office there, she points to credentials she’s gained in other parts of the state. Now in her second term as state public lands commissioner, Franz says the job has […]

Candidates will be forced to reveal donors of money shifted to new campaigns

BY: - May 11, 2023

The state’s campaign finance watchdog on Thursday called for ending the practice of allowing candidates to shift surplus money from prior races into new campaigns without disclosing the source of those dollars. A unanimous Public Disclosure Commission issued new guidance requiring candidates to identify the donors and treat their contributions as if they are for […]

Public lands chief Hilary Franz joins race for governor

BY: - May 10, 2023

Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz almost ran for governor in 2020. This time around she’s all in. Franz, a Democrat, launched her campaign Wednesday to succeed Gov. Jay Inslee, who said last week he would not seek a fourth term in 2024. If elected, she would be the state’s third woman to serve in the […]