King County Democrats endorse Tina Podlodowski for Secretary of State

Acting on a recommendation from its Endorsements Committee, the executive board of the King County Democrats tonight voted to make Tina Podlodowski its first endorsed candidate of the 2016 cycle. Podlodowski, a former Seattle City Councilmember and distinguished civic and nonprofit leader, is challenging Republican Kim Wyman for Secretary of State.

Tina Podlodowski

Tina Podlodowski

Wyman is the latest in a line of Republicans to have held the office since the 1950s. Since Wyman took office in 2013, Washington has experienced three straight general elections in a row with poor turnout.

Last year’s statewide turnout was the worst since Washington began registering voters in the 1930s.

“The King County Democrats believe our state needs a leader in our executive department who is committed to getting rid of barriers to voting and drastically boosting voter turnout,” said Rich Erwin, Chair of the King County Democrats. “Tina will be that leader. Unlike Kim Wyman, Tina supports the Washington Voting Rights Act and same-day voter registration. Tina is running because our state needs a chief voting officer, not just a chief elections officer.”

King County Democratic endorsement rules commit the party to supporting the candidates for executive and federal office that the Washington State Democratic Party nominates at the State Convention, scheduled for June 17th-19th, 2016 in Tacoma. King County Democratic leadership will be working to secure Podlodowski’s nomination for Secretary of State prior to and at the Convention.

Caucus and convention information for 2016

Each even-numbered year, the Democratic Party holds caucuses and conventions to elect delegates and hear from candidates, as well as adopt resolutions and agree on a platform at the county and state levels.

All Washingtonians who identify as Democrats are encouraged to attend these events. There will be five events in this year’s caucus and convention cycle:

  1. the precinct caucuses on Saturday, March 26th, at 10 AM;
  2. the legislative district caucuses on Sunday, April 17th at 1 PM;
  3. the King County Democratic Convention at Hazen High on Sunday, May 1st, at 1 PM;
  4. the congressional district caucuses on Saturday, May 21st (10 AM anticipated start time);
  5. the Washington State Democratic Convention from June 17th – 19th (all day) in Tacoma.
    1. Opening ceremonies like the banquet dinner will take place on Friday, June 17th
    2. The Convention itself will take place on Saturday, June 18th, starting at 9 AM
    3. Selection of delegates to the Democratic National Convention will take place on Sunday, June 19th

These events will be followed by the Democratic National Convention from July 25th – 28th, 2016, in Philadelphia.

What were the results of the March 26th presidential precinct caucuses?

The Washington State Democratic Party has a page that shows the results of the March 26th presidential precinct caucuses.

What is a caucus? What happens at a caucus?

Very simply, a caucus is a meeting of Democratic voters and activists. It’s a chance to meet your Democratic neighbors and discuss who would be the best candidate to succeed President Obama as our country’s next leader. Participants elect delegates to the next level of caucuses for their presidential candidate of choice (e.g. Hillary or Bernie). Any Washingtonian who will be eighteen by November 8th, 2016, who considers themselves to be a Democrat, and is willing to publicly identify as a Democrat may participate in the caucuses.

I haven’t turned eighteen yet. Can I participate in the caucuses and conventions?

If you will turn eighteen by Election Day, November 8th, 2016, then yes, you may participate. Note that you can only vote at the upcoming congressional district caucuses and state convention if you were elected as a delegate or alternate to go to those events. You can run for delegate to the National Convention, but you must submit your declaration of candidacy by May 6th (to run at the congressional level) or June 10th (to run for a statewide at-large position). You may register to vote exactly as if you were already eighteen and King County Elections will simply hold your registration for activation on your birthday.

I am not a United States citizen. Can I participate in the caucuses and conventions?

You may attend as an observer/guest, but you may not vote unless you are a U.S. citizen and resident of Washington who is of age (or will be by November 8th).

King County Democrats’ statement on retirement of Congressman Jim McDermott

The King County Democratic Party released the following statement after Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) announced his retirement from Congress.

“Jim McDermott has been a dependable, principled advocate for the people of our region for nearly three decades in Congress,” said King County Democratic Chair Rich Erwin. “Representative McDermott took a firm stand against George W. Bush’s unwarranted invasion of Iraq when few others were willing to do so. He has worked to reform our nation’s mental health system, helped secure badly needed funding to improve mass transit in greater Seattle, and strengthened ties between the United States and the nations of Africa. We are incredibly grateful for his years of public service, and we wish him the very best in retirement. We look forward to honoring him for his many accomplishments in the near future.”

King County Democrats remember George Zander

This morning, we lost former King County Democratic Chair George Zander, a pioneering advocate for LGBT rights. George led KCDCC in the early nineties; he resided in Palm Springs, California during the last years of his life. Tragically, he was the victim of a hate crime last month. The King County Democrats extend our deepest condolences to George’s husband Chris, George’s family, and all of George’s many friends. He will be missed.

King County Democrats choose nominees to succeed Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Reuven Carlyle in 36th District

In anticipation of 36th District State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles’ resignation from the Legislature to serve on the King County Council, the King County Democrats tonight selected State Representative Reuven Carlyle, Belltown community organizer Liz Campell, and small business owner David Kaplan as its nominees to fill the forthcoming vacancy that Kohl-Welles’ departure will create.

The party also drew up a list of nominees to take Carlyle’s place in the event the Metropolitan King County Council selects Carlyle to fill the Senate vacancy. The list consists of former Progressive Majority Executive Director Noel Frame, 36th District Democratic Chair Jeff Manson, and Assistant Attorney General Sarah Reyneveld.

The six names were chosen by a special nominating caucus of the King County Democrats, consisting of the elected and appointed Democratic PCOs of the 36th District. One hundred and ninety-two of the two hundred and nineteen Democratic PCOs in the 36th showed up in person to participate in the nominating caucus.

Carlyle was overwhelmingly chosen as the first name on the list of three for the Senate vacancy in a single round of balloting. For the potential House vacancy, the results of the three rounds of balloting were as follows:

  • Noel Frame received the votes of ninety-nine PCOs in the final runoff, and was ranked first.
  • Jeff Manson came in second in the final runoff, receiving the votes of ninety-one PCOs, and was ranked second.
  • Sarah Reyneveld received the votes of fifty-four PCOs in the semifinal round of voting, and was ranked third.
  • Economic Opportunity Institute Executive Director John Burbank and Children’s Campaign Fund Chair Rene Murry were eliminated following the first round of voting. Burbank received thirty-one votes; Murry received fourteen.

Following the adjournment of the caucus, the King County Democratic Central Committee’s executive board met briefly to ratify the results of the special nominating caucus for transmission to the Metropolitan King County Council, in accordance with the procedures for filling legislative vacancies specified in Article II, Section 15 of the Washington State Constitution. The executive board voted unanimously to forward the names of Reuven Carlyle, Liz Campbell, and David Kaplan for the looming Senate vacancy, and the names of Noel Frame, Jeff Manson, and Sarah Reyneveld for the expected House vacancy.

King County Democratic Chair Rich Erwin applauded the high turnout and thanked all the candidates for stepping forward to seek the possible appointments.

“It’s an indication of the strength of the Democratic Party in King County that we had so many capable candidates willing to step forward to serve in the Washington State Legislature,” said Erwin. “We are confident that any of the hardworking Democrats nominated tonight would make excellent lawmakers, and ably represent us in the challenging 2016 legislative session.”

“Tonight, we heard a serious and thoughtful discussion of the issues facing our state. Our candidates talked about the need to fully fund our public schools in compliance with the Supreme Court’s McCleary decision, reform our upside down tax code, protect our air and water, combat the climate crisis, ensure women have the freedom to make their own reproductive health decisions, and take decisive, meaningful action to address the epidemic of gun violence plaguing our region and country.”

“Democrats in King County are committed to building a better future for Washington and the Pacific Northwest, and we look forward to fielding a strong team of candidates for the state Legislature all across Martin Luther King Jr. County next year.”