History

The Socialist Party—the predecessor to SPUSA—has a rich American history. With roots reaching back to the early 1900s, and ties to the first socialist movements in the United States, lead by figures such as Eugene V. Debs.

while there is a lower class, I am in it; and while there is a criminal element, I am of it; and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

Eugene V. Debs, 1918, statement after being convicted of sedition

The Socialist Party of Washington was once one of the most influential and one of the largest Socialist Party chapters in the nation, boasting over 6,000 active members—more than any chapter west of the Mississippi River.

Campaign poster for the 1912 Socialist Party ticket promoting Eugene V. Debs for President and Emil Seidel for Vice President.

In modern history, SPUSA has served as a home to anti-capitalist pro-worker politics and socialist activists since our official formation in 1973. In our nearly 50 years, our candidates have been elected to public office with tens of thousands of votes in elections for national, statewide, and local offices.

For the 2016 general election, the Socialist Party nominated Mimi Soltysik and Angela Nicole Walker to be our presidential ticket. Other party members ran for office as well, including Jarrod Williams for United States Senate in Nevada, Seth Baker for Maine Senate and Michael Anderson for the Michigan House of Representatives.

In 2018, our chapter endorsed eco-socialist Andrew Saturn for the non-partisan office of Thurston County Public Utilities Commissioner. Andrew received 42% of the vote; a state record for a socialist running for county-wide office.

Our chapter was also involved in the 2019 re-election campaign of Kshama Sawant, a socialist currently elected to City Council in the City of Seattle. Kshama is a member of Socialist Alternative, and is the only socialist currently elected to a major citywide office in the United States.