About Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
Bob Ferguson is Washington State’s 18th Attorney General. As the state’s chief legal officer, Bob is committed to protecting the people of Washington against powerful interests that don’t play by the rules. He is a fourth-generation Washingtonian, a graduate of the University of Washington and New York University law school. Bob and his wife, Colleen, are the proud parents of 14-year-old twins, Jack and Katie.
Interesting facts about Bob Ferguson
Bob has hiked hundreds of miles of Washington trails and climbed many of the state’s highest peaks. Bob has summited the highest point in 45 of the 50 United States.
His family homesteaded on the beautiful Skagit River, which may explain why Bob is such an enthusiastic mountain climber, backpacker, and birder.
Bob is an internationally rated chess master and twice won the Washington State Chess Championship.
Bob is an avid baseball fan and once took a trip with a college buddy to see a baseball game in every major league stadium.
Bob began his legal career in Spokane. He clerked for two federal judges before returning to Seattle to join Preston, Gates, and Ellis (now K&L Gates) where his civil litigation practice included work on behalf of taxpayers, corporations and small businesses.
In 2003, Bob was elected to the King County Council. In 2005, after the council was reduced from 13 to nine and Bob’s district was eliminated, he was re-elected. He was unopposed in 2009.
As Attorney General, Bob Ferguson has
Successfully blocked President Trump’s first executive order barring travel from seven Muslim-majority nations.
Won an important case for the rights of same-sex couples in Washington when he filed a consumer protection lawsuit against a Richland florist for refusing to provide flowers for a same-sex wedding. Bob personally argued this case in front of the Washington State Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously in favor of the state.
Won a major lawsuit against the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, an association of large corporations that attempted to shield the identity of the true source of contributions to an initiative campaign, and thereby intentionally violated Washington campaign finance laws. A Thurston County Superior Court Judge ordered the organization to pay $18 million in punitive damages and $1.1 million in attorney costs and fees – the largest campaign finance judgment in United States history, ever.
Formed the Wing Luke Civil Rights Division, the first office within the Attorney General’s Office dedicated to protecting the civil rights of everyone in Washington.
Filed multiple legal actions against the U.S. Department of Energy regarding the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, first for delaying cleanup of nuclear waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and then for putting hundreds of Hanford workers at risk of exposure to harmful toxic waste. Both lawsuits led to successful outcomes.
Created the Counsel for Environmental Protection within the Attorney General’s Office to protect our environment and the safety and health of all Washingtonians.
Created the Office of Military and Veteran Legal Assistance within the Attorney General’s Office to help current and former service members find pro bono legal assistance.
Awards & Honors
- Time 100 Most Influential People of 2017
- Crosscut Courage in Elected Office Award
- Victory Fund Champion for Equality
- Washington State Labor Council Power of the People Award
- University of Washington Political Science Department Distinguished Alumni
- Loren Miller Bar Association 2017 Excellence in the Law Award
- Ceasefire 2017 Ancil Payne Civic Leader of the Year
- Council on American-Islamic Relations Ally for Justice Award
- Council on American-Islamic Relations Defender of Liberty Award
- University of Washington Center for Human Rights Justice Award
- AARP 2016 Fraud Fighter of the Year
- Metal Trades Honoree of the Year, 2016
- Washington State Association of Justice Public Official of the Year, 2016
- Washington Alliance for Retired Americans 2017 Senior Champion Award
- SEIU 775 2017 Elected Official of the Year Award
- GSBA Special Recognition: Voice of Social Justice
- Charles A. Goldmark Distinguished Service Award
- American Cancer Society Courage Award
- White Center CDA Smackdown Award
- National Association of Social Workers Public Citizen of the Year
- Washington Wild Conservation Voices Award
- UFCW 21 Elected Official of the Year, 2018