Bob Ferguson is an experienced lawyer, independent leader, and fourth-generation Washingtonian. As Attorney General, he will work hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, stand up for our environment, and provide care for our veterans.
Bob is a fourth-generation Washingtonian. His family homesteaded on the Skagit River, and his grandparents owned the local meat market in Everett. Bob’s mother, Betty, was a public school teacher, and his dad, Murray, worked for Boeing. Bob is the sixth of seven kids and was born and raised in the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle.
Today, Bob lives in the Maple Leaf neighborhood of Seattle with his family. He is happily married to his wife Colleen and together they have two twins, Jack and Katie. Jack and Katie are 4 years old.
Bob attended the University of Washington, where he was elected to serve as student body president. He is an avid Husky fan, and a strong advocate for maintaining Washington’s proud tradition of quality education for our students.
From the Inland Empire to the Olympic Peninsula, Bob has hiked hundreds of miles of Washington trails and climbed many of the state’s highest peaks. An enthusiastic mountain climber and backpacker, Bob enjoys teaching his two children about the mountains, rivers, and beaches that make our State great. He is committed to protecting Washington’s environment for generations to come.
Bob is the right lawyer for the job of Attorney General. Bob has legal experience in our courts, in private practice, and as an elected official. After graduating from one of the nation’s top law schools, New York University, Bob worked in the highest levels of our Federal Court system. As a young attorney, he was selected for a prestigious clerkship with Judge Nielsen, then Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Washington, in Spokane. He was then hired as chief clerk to Judge Myron Bright on the U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit.
He returned to Seattle to join the litigation department at Preston, Gates and Ellis – one of the state’s top law firms. At Preston, Gates and Ellis, Bob represented small and large businesses, municipalities, and the people of Washington State. He fought to protect taxpayers from cost overruns at Safeco Field and was part of a legal team that successfully overturned two Eyman-initiatives as unconstitutional.
He cracked down on software piracy, successfully suing those that stole intellectual property from Washington companies. He donated hundreds of hours of pro bono legal advice working to preserve open space, assist non-profits, and advance tribal rights.
In 2003, Bob ran for the King County Council against a 20-year incumbent and won in an astonishing grassroots effort, knocking on 20,000 doors to share his ideas for better government. On the King County Council, Bob has been recognized for his hard work and bi-partisan approach to reforming government—from greater government transparency to protecting our environment and caring for our veterans.
As Chair of the Council’s Law, Justice, and Health and Human Services Committee, Bob has worked to improve public safety and strengthen our communities. He fought for greater resources for law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office. He focused on combatting gang violence and preventing the release of dangerous criminal defendants. He established citizen oversight of the Sheriff’s office to guard against police misconduct. He spearheaded efforts to reduce recidivism and lower criminal justice costs by increasing mental health and chemical dependency services.
Bob is a hard-working and independent leader. Throughout his career, Bob has been unafraid to tackle tough challenges. While some candidates talk about reducing the size of government, Bob has done it. Splitting with his party, he supported reducing the size of the King County Council from 13 members to 9 to save taxpayers millions of dollars. Even though he knew his district would be eliminated, Bob believed it was the right thing to do. He won re-election in another grassroots effort to the downsized Council, and his leadership has helped save over $10 million in tax payer dollars.
On the King County Council, Bob puts the public interest above partisan politics. He was elected Chair by a unanimous vote of his colleagues from both parties. As a three-time member of the bi-partisan budget leadership team, he produced balanced budgets that help earn the County an AAA bond rating. Bob has partnered with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reform government—from eliminating automatic pay increases for county employees to overhauling the elections department. He has reformed the county's public records process to increase access and allow citizens to monitor their government, and he was the first King County official to open up the details of the budget to enable the public to see exactly where tax dollars are spent.
Bob has been recognized as one of the most outstanding young leaders in America. He was selected to join the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship, a public leadership program that brings together the nation's most promising political leaders. Each year 24 elected officials - 12 Democrats and 12 Republicans - are selected for their "reputations for intellect, thoughtfulness, and commitment to civil dialogue.