Bringing Power Back to Voters

We know that a healthy democracy and a strong community depend on active, informed and interested citizens. This is why we have established the Washington State Debate Coalition. The Coalition will host free, nonpartisan, publicly accessible debates in 2018.

While debates between candidates are valuable opportunities for the public to hear directly from candidates and ask questions of them, unfortunately, in our region, they are increasingly infrequent and inconsistent in quality with little or no public participation. Instead, the bulk of information available to voters about candidates for our most important federal and state offices comes through highly partisan sources or advertising by the candidates and third parties.

2016 Gubernatorial and U.S. Senate Debates Seattle, Spokane, Pasco and Redmond, WA

People Registered to Attend


Audience Questions Submitted Online


Viewers Watched on TV/Online

+1 Million

Based on the enthusiasm generated in its inaugural year, we know the Washington State Debate Coalition is tapping into strong public desire across the state for direct access to those who hold and seek our state’s highest elected offices. We’re excited to serve voters again in 2018 and lead the nation in setting a higher standard for political debates.

Thank You to Our 2016 Debate Sponsors

We gratefully acknowledge the following companies and foundations whose generous support helped us bring free, nonpartisan, high-quality debates back to Washington State in 2016:

Presenting Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

The Henry M. Jackson Foundation

Debate Sponsors

PEMCO Insurance

Stokes Lawrence

WA State Debate Coalition Endorsements