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Since January, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed 17 lawsuits against the Trump Administration over issues including Trump's travel ban in January, his decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), and an executive order to ban transgender soldiers from the military.


Ferguson's anti-Trump lawsuits have attracted local and national attention, and he's using this attention as a fundraising opportunity for his reelection campaign. Since mid-July, he's raised over $300,000 for his 2020 campaign for a third term as attorney general. This is all for an election happening more than two years from now, with no opponent declared yet. Because of this, people are speculating that Ferguson is running for something else—like governor, the News Tribune reports.

If he decided to run for governor or another position in 2020, Ferguson could use all the money he's raised by then as long as he gets written permission from his donors.

It's clear to some that this is Ferguson's plan. “The aggressiveness of the lawsuits, the aggressiveness of the fundraising on the lawsuits, is not in keeping with running for AG,” Republican political consultant Alex Hays told the News Tribune. “This feels like he is currently campaigning for governor.”

"Political insiders from both parties see the lawsuits and the fundraising flurry as a plain prelude to a gubernatorial run," according to the News Tribune.

Comparing the amount of fundraising Ferguson has done this year to his fundraising for his 2016 campaign might support the idea that he's running for something bigger. For his 2016 run, Ferguson started a few years early, as he's doing now. But he didn't raise nearly as much so quickly.

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Between August and September of 2013, Ferguson raised a total of $28,000, according to campaign finance reports and the Tribune. In the same two-month period of this year, Ferguson raised $144,000.

If this is Ferguson's plan, it wouldn't be unique. Attorney generals before him have mounted attention-getting lawsuits before running for Governor. As AG, Christine Gregoire successfully sued tobacco companies before running for governor, and Republican Rob McKenna sued the Obama administration over Obamacare before his failed run for governor in 2012.

But, Ferguson has filed or joined more legal actions against the federal government than his predecessors, as the Tribune notes.