2021 Endorsements Committee Report

Published June 15th, 2021, Updated June 22nd, 2021

Please see our 2021 Endorsements page for the complete list of endorsed campaigns

The Endorsements Committee – The endorsement committee interviewed 20 candidates during five meetings in June 2021 bringing the  total number of candidates interviewed in 2021 to 115.  A full list of members of the committee is in the May 27 report. My appreciation for all their incredible work.  

Endorsement Recommendations for June 2021 – To be eligible for endorsement by the KCDCC, candidates must have submitted a questionnaire to the King County Democrats and declared affirmatively that they are a Democrat (or be a candidate for Judicial office.)  Our recommendations are in several categories. 

1. Endorsements recommended as a slate by the Endorsements Committee. KCDCC e-Board members have the opportunity to pull any candidates from this list.  Candidates pulled from this list will be considered separately.  
All listed in #1 were ENDORSED without objection.

  • Black Diamond City Council, Position #2: Trish Stallard
  • Black Diamond City Council, Position #3: Therron Smith
  • Black Diamond City Council, Position #7: Debbie Page [1]
  • Bothell City Council, Position #5: Matt Kuehn
  • Shoreline City Council, Position #1: John Ramsdell 
  • Woodinville City Council, Position #1: Michelle Evans [1]
  • Woodinville City Council, Position #7: James Randolph [1]
  • Federal Way School Board Director #1: Tiffany LaFontaine
  • Shoreline School Board Director #2: Emily Williams 
  • Snoqualmie City Council, Position #5: Tanya Lavoy [1]
  • Snoqualmie City Council, Position #7: Jo Johnson [1]
  • Lakehaven Sewer and Water Commissioner #4: Sheley Anderson 
  • South King Fire & Rescue, Commissioner #3: Caroline Vadino

[1] Added per endorsement from their LD in a single-LD jurisdiction

1.1 Requested for individual consideration

  • Seattle School District, School Board #4: Vivian Martiz (Requested by Benton Coblentz, 11th LD Dems, on Tue, 6/22, 5:21 PM)

2. No recommendation but eligible for considerationCandidates in this category are eligible for endorsement but the Endorsements Committee chose not to recommend an endorsement in their race.  

  • Seattle Mayor: Ten candidates are eligible for consideration.  Eight candidates were also interviewed: Andrew Grant Houston, Bruce Harell, Rodney Holt, Lorena Gonzalez, Don Rivers, Colleen Echohawk, Jessyn Farrell, Casey Sixkiller. Bobby Tucker and Lance Randall are eligible for consideration but were not interviewed.  
  • Seattle City Attorney: Pete Holmes[1] and Nicole Thomas Kennedy submitted questionnaires and were interviewed by the committee. 
  • Auburn School Board #3: Melissa Laramie interviewed with the committee.   
  • Bellevue City Council #2: Christie Sanam interviewed with the committee. Dextor Borbe is also eligible but did not interview. 
  • Kirkland Council #3. Penny Sweet and Matthew Goelzer submitted questionnaires. Matthew Goezler interviewed with the committee. 
  • Mercer Island School Board #2: Since this is a single-LD jurisdiction and the LD endorsed BOTH Brian Giannini-Upton and Dan Glowitz, the KCDEC may endorse both or neither per KC Dems Bylaws 8.3.6.
  • Redmond City Council #4.  Melissa Stuart interviewed with the committee. Jackson Fields did not interview. 
  • Other candidates who submitted a questionnaire by the relevant deadline

[1] Peter Holmes is not eligible for endorsement (alone) per as those motions were considered and defeated at the May KCDEC meeting. (Rule VIII, Section 8.)

3. Not eligible for recommendation by Endorsement Committee but eligible for endorsement by KCDCC e-Board. In the following races one candidate was endorsed by KCDCC May 27, 2021. The e-Board can recommend dual endorsement, but the Endorsement Committee cannot.   

  • Port of Seattle #1:  Norman Sigler was interviewed.  Ryan Calkins was endorsed by KCDCC. 
  • Public Hospital Commissioner District 1, Position 4.  Monique Taylor-Swan was interviewed and two additional candidates are eligible (Max Heller and Parminder Bhatti).  Winter Cashman was endorsed by KCDCC.
  • Renton City Council #2 Angelina Benedetti was interviewed.  Carmen Rivera was endorsed by KCDCC. 

4. The following candidates will be added to the slate of recommendations from the Endorsements Committee if the LD(s) covering their jurisdiction vote(s) to endorse prior to June 22 E-board meeting (Rule 2.4.1 and 2.4.2 below) 

  • Bellevue City Council #2 (41st LD, 48th LD)
  • (Potentially others as all endorsements are reported)

5. Recommended but requested for individual consideration – The Endorsements Committee recommended endorsement of this candidate but a voting member of the King County Democrats Executive Committee (KCDEC) asked that the question be divided (i.e. that the candidate+race be considered separately.) Endorsement of these candidates requires a majority vote of the KCDEC.

  • As of Tue, 6/22, 4:30 AM, no candidates from the June slate of Endorsements Committee recommendations (#1 above) have been requested for individual consideration.

6. No recommendation but requested for individual consideration – The Endorsements Committee did not recommend endorsement of a candidate but a voting member of the KCDEC moved to endorse. Endorsement of these candidates requires a second and a 2/3 vote of the KCDEC.

  • Seattle Mayor: Andrew Grant Houston (requested by Yuan Tao[1], King County Young Dems, on Thu, 5/27, 8:35 PM); Motion to POSTPONE Seattle Mayor passed
  • King County Council #9: Ubax Gardheere (requested by Allison Fine[1], 30th LD Dems, on Thu, 5/27, 8:44 PM); Moved by Yuan Tao and seconded; Motion to endorse does NOT pass
  • Seattle City Attorney: Nicole Thomas-Kennedy (requested by Allison Fine[1], 30th LD Dems, on Thu, 5/27, 8:45 PM); Moved by Melissa Taylor and seconded; Motion to endorse does NOT pass
  • Redmond City Council #6: Tara Van Niman (requested by Ajay Chakrapani, 45th LD Dems, on Mon, 6/21, 11:24 PM); Motion to endorse does NOT pass
  • King County Council #3: Joe Cohen (requested by Rachel Erekaini, 48th LD Dems, on Tue, 6/22, 5:45 PM); Motion to endorse does NOT pass
  • Bellevue City Council #2: Dexter Borbe (requested by Rachel Erekaini, 48th LD Dems, on Tue, 6/22, 5:47 PM); ENDORSED
  • Mercer Island School Board #2: DUAL: Brian Giannini-Upton and Dan Glowitz (requested by Pam Stuart, 41st LD Dems, on Tue, 6/22, 7:10 PM); DUAL ENDORSED
  • Auburn City Council #2: Kate Baldwin (requested by Rita Miller, 47th LD Dems, on Tue, 6/22, 7:10 PM); ENDORSED
  • Auburn Mayor: Nancy Backus (requested by Catherine Williams, 47th LD Dems, on Tue, 6/22, 7:17 PM); Motion to endorse does NOT pass
  • Auburn City Council #4: Hanan Amer (requested by Catherine Williams, 47th LD Dems, on Tue, 6/22, 7:18 PM); ENDORSED
  • Port of Seattle #1: Norman Sigler (requested by Bunny Hatcher, 34th LD Dems, on Tue, 6/22, 7:20 PM); Motion to endorse does NOT pass
  • Kent City Council #6: Brenda Fincher (requested by Melissa Taylor, KC Dems Treasurer, on Tue, 6/22, 8:43 PM); ENDORSED
  • (Updated as of Tue, 6/22, 9:00 PM)
  • (Additional requests could be submitted by a KCDEC member via: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KCDQ2021ConsiderRaceAlone)

Published: May 22nd, 2021; See 3.1.1., 3.2.1, and 3.3.1 for results from May 27th meeting

This Endorsements Committee Report is divided into three sections: (1) the endorsement committee, (2) processes and procedures, and (3) endorsement recommendations.  

1. The Endorsements Committee

A total of 45 members from 16 LDs and KCYD participated in the development of the questionnaire, interview questions and procedures as well as the interviews of 95 candidates.  Some members attended the majority of meetings and interviews; other members filled in once or twice to ensure their LDs had representation.

The workload was enormous and the time and dedication of the members was extraordinary.  Since our first meeting in February, members of the committee have put in well over 1,100 person hours on our work.  A special acknowledgement goes to Vice Chair Rob Dolin who devised and maintained technology solutions for the enormous amount of information and number of queries.  Benton Coblentz assisted with documentation and scheduling the candidate interviews. The list of the committee members is below:       

  • Chair Rosemary Sutton 
  • Vice Chair Rob Dolin
  • 1st Kathy Sharp
  • 5th Beth Bazley
  • 11th Benton Coblentz, Jasmine Ines
  • 30th Tim Burns, Kristine Reeves
  • 32nd Lillian Hawkins, Alan Charnley, Chris Roberts
  • 33nd Andrea Reay, Terri Lindecke, Omaha Sternberg
  • 34th Carla Rogers, Stephan Thomas, Richard O’Neill, Ben Johnson
  • 36th Mackenzie McAninch, Sarah Reyneveld, Becka Johnson Poppe, John Comerford
  • 37th Vallerie Fisher, Phyllis Porter
  • 39th Ryiad Cooper
  • 41st Matt Wieck
  • 43rd Jessi Murray, Laurie Goff, Efrain Hudnel, Scott Alspach, Camille Gix
  • 45th Kraig Peck, Ajay Chakrapani
  • 46th John Finelli, Andrzej Montano
  • 47th Rita Miller, Jerry Hazen
  • 48th Margit Moore, Lisa Weber, Christy Bear, Zeke Tam 
  • YD Nicole Palczewski, Yuan Tao, Vivek Prakriya, Drew Pollom

2. Processes and Procedures

2.1 Timeline

The work of the 28 meetings was in four phases: 

  • February 11- Feb 14 (3 meetings).  During the initial 3 meetings, the Committee developed recommended questionnaires for the King Conservation Board of Directors and the following six jurisdictional categories: King County, Port of Seattle, Municipal (including a Seattle supplement), School Board, and Judicial. The KCDCC Executive Board voted on the draft Questionnaires at the February 23, 2021 meeting.  
  • February 11-April 1 (3 meetings).  Time in these meetings was spent on developing interview questions, coming to consensus on the parameters of the interviews, and discussing the draft Conflict of Interest guidelines.  
  • April 10 – May 20 (21 meetings). The committee conducted 95 Candidate interviews.   
  • May 23 (1 meeting).  The committee considered endorsement recommendations.

2.2 Questionnaires and Interviews 

Candidates accessed the questionnaires through a link on the King County Democrats’ Endorsement page (https://www.kcdems.org/our-party/e/2021-endorsements/) and were required to submit a questionnaire before being interviewed.  Endorsements Committee members had access to the questionnaires for each candidate via a password-protected GoogleDrive folder.

All interviews were conducted on Zoom and every candidate was asked four to six standard (i.e., common) questions. Committee members then had an opportunity to ask additional questions that arose from the candidate’s questionnaire, responses to the common questions, or issues important to King County Democrats. Candidates had 2-3 minutes to answer each question and were given time prompts to help them monitor their answers.  The total length of the entire interview was 35 minutes.  The interview questions were kept confidential and campaign staff were not permitted in the interview.

2.3 Conflict of Interest

Draft conflict of interest guidelines were developed this year and the Endorsements Committee agreed to abide by them and provide feedback at the end of the 2021 endorsement cycle. 

At the beginning of every interview session members of the Endorsements Committee were asked if they had any potential conflicts of interest with any of the candidates. Members were forthcoming about their knowledge of candidates, previous donations to candidates, and past volunteer experience for campaigns. The draft guidelines suggest that individuals who devoted more than 40 hours to volunteering on the campaign or who contributed over $600 donation should be categorized as a “major contributor” and be required to recuse themselves for that race and jurisdiction. In only one situation did a committee member state that their activities fell into one of these categories. Members who were minor donors (i.e., volunteered less than 40 hours and/or made a $600 donation) sometimes voluntarily withdrew from interviews and discussion, thereby exceeding the recommendations in the draft Conflict of Interest Report. 

Committee members also disclosed any conflicts of interest at the meeting to vote on endorsements.  Members with a major conflict left the Zoom meeting during the discussion of the relevant candidate and race.   

2.4 Committee Resolutions

At the meeting considering the endorsement recommendations (05/22/2021) three resolutions were passed by the committee that clarified the process of handing single- and multi- jurisdiction races as well as the meaning of the term “ consideration.”  

  • 2.4.1 Default Handling of Single-Jurisdiction Races If a candidate (1) submits a questionnaire by 11:59 PM on the Monday after the last  day of filing, and (2) the candidate declares themselves to be a Democrat, and (3) legislative district Democrats covering that jurisdiction endorse, then the King County Democrats Endorsements Committee  recommends that candidate for endorsement
  • 2.4.2 Default Handling of Multi-Jurisdiction Races  When the Endorsements Committee does not make a recommendation for a multi-jurisdiction race, If a candidate (1) submits a questionnaire by 11:59 PM on the Monday after the last  day of filing, and (2) the candidate declares themselves to be a Democrat, and (3) all legislative district Democrats organizations covering that jurisdiction and the King County Young Democrats that endorse in that race before 11:59 PM on Wednesday, May 26th endorse, then the King County Democrats Endorsements Committee recommends that candidate for endorsement.
  • 2.4.3 Definition of “Consideration” If a candidate (1) submits a questionnaire by 11:59 PM on the Monday after the last day of filing, and (2) the candidate declares themselves to be a Democrat, then the King County Democrats Endorsements Committee will deem that candidate “considered.”

3. Endorsement Recommendations 

To be eligible for endorsement by the KCDCC, candidates must have submitted a questionnaire by Monday, May 24 and declared affirmatively that they are a Democrat.  Our recommendations are in three categories: 

3.1.1 Endorsements recommended as a slate by the Endorsements Committee . KCDCC  Executive Board members have the opportunity to pull any candidates from this list.  Candidates pulled from this list will be considered separately.  The below candidates were endorsed at 6:48 PM

[1] If submits a questionnaire by EOD Mon, 5/24
[2] No questionnaire required

3.1.2 Single-LD JurisdictionsThese candidates completed a questionnaire indicating they are a Democrat before Mon, 5/24 will be recommended for endorsement IF the LD Democrats organization for the single LD for their jurisdiction votes to endorse them per 2.4.1 above. LD’s in parenthesis below.

  • Any candidate meeting the criteria of 2.4.1

3.1.3 Multi-LD Jurisdictions – These candidates completed a questionnaire indicating they are a Democrat before Mon, 5/24 will be recommended for endorsement IF ALL LD Democrats organization endorsing for their jurisdiction endorse them per 2.4.2 above.

  • Any candidate meeting criteria of 2.4.2

3.2.1 Recommended but requested for individual consideration – The Endorsements Committee recommended endorsement of this candidate but a voting member of the King County Democrats Executive Committee (KCDEC) asked that the question be divided (i.e. that the candidate+race be considered separately.) Endorsement of these candidates requires a majority vote of the KCDEC.

3.3.1 No recommendation but requested for individual consideration – The Endorsements Committee did not recommend endorsement of a candidate but a voting member of the KCDEC moved to endorse. Endorsement of these candidates requires a second and a 2/3 vote of the KCDEC.

3.3.2 No recommendation but eligible for consideration.  Candidates in this category are eligible for endorsement (i.e., submitted a questionnaire and declared that they are a Democrat) but the Endorsements Committee chose not to recommend an endorsement in their race and no KCDEC member has moved their endorsement. (Numbers in parenthesis are the LDs for that jurisdiction. Numbers prefaced by “E” indicate that LD Dems has endorsed. Numbers prefaced by DE indicate the LD has dual-endorsed.)

3.4 Not eligible for consideration at this time. These candidates either did not meet requirements for consideration by the KCDEC at its May meeting.

  • Black Diamond City Council #3: Corey Bailey [1]
  • Black Diamond City Council #6: Bernie O’Donnell [1]
  • Any candidate from a single-LD jurisdiction who is not endorsed by the LD [1]
  • Any candidate who submits a questionnaire but does not affirm they are a Democrat [2]
  • Issaquah City Council #1: Chris Reh [3]
  • Any candidate who submits a questionnaire but does not meet the relevant deadline [3]
  • Any candidate who does not submit a questionnaire [4]

[1] Single LD jurisdiction where the LD has not (yet) endorsed this candidate
[2] Candidate submitted a questionnaire but did not declare as a Democrat
[3] Candidate did not submit a questionnaire by the deadline
[4] Candidate has not submitted a questionnaire

Respectively Submitted, Rosemary Sutton, Chair and Rob Dolin, Vice Chair

Document History

  • Sat, 5/22, 10:00 PM: Document published with password protection
  • Sun, 5/23, 6:00 AM: Moved Kenmore candidates to list of single-LD jurisdictions candidates requiring endorsement by the LD (46th LD Dems) to be recommended
  • Sun, 5/23, 6:00 AM: Added LDs for single-LD jurisdiction candidates
  • Sun, 5/23, 6:30 AM: Added LDs for multi-LD jurisdiction candidates
  • Mon, 5/24, 10:30 AM: Clarified when 2.4.2 applies (shown with underlined italics)
  • Mon, 5/24, 10:30 AM: Added LDs for Public Hospital Commission District 2 and South King County Fire and Rescue
  • Tue, 5/25, 11:00 PM: Removed notations of votes from Endorsements Committee
  • Tue, 5/25, 11:15 PM: Update with additional candidates who filed questionnaires from jurisdictions A..C
  • Wed, 5/26, 8:00 AM: Updated Kenmore and Lake Forest Park City Council candidates after 46th LD Dems endorsements results
  • Wed, 5/26, 8:00 AM: Update with additional candidates who filed questionnaires from jurisdictions D..F
  • Thu, 5/27, 5:00 AM: Update candidate sections of report to break-out sections for individual consideration (division) requests
  • Thu, 5/27, 5:30 AM: Add requests for individual consideration submitted as of Thu, 5/27, 5:00 AM
  • Thu, 5/27, 6:20 AM: Add indications of LD Dems endorsements
  • Thu, 5/27, 6:30 AM: Updated Mercer Island and Newcastle per results of 41st LD Dems Endorsements
  • Thu, 5/27, 6:45 AM: Removed footnote to submit a questionnaire from Sammamish City Council candidates who submitted questionnaires by Mon, 5/24 deadline for May consideration
  • Thu, 5/27, 9:40 AM: Updated requests to consider individually from Tyrone Grandison
  • Thu, 5/27, 9:45 AM: Add Kate Akyuz to recommendations per emailed report from 41st LD Dems
  • Thu, 5/27, 11:00 AM: Updated Woodinville City Council Candidates per 45th LD Dems
  • Thu, 5/27, 3:30 PM: Moved candidates from multi-LD jurisdictions from 3.1.3 to 3.3.2 if they were not endorsed by all endorsing LDs
  • Thu, 5/27, 5:30 PM: Moved candidates from multi-LD jurisdictions that did not have endorsements from all endorsing organizations
  • Thu, 5/27, 5:40 PM: Update candidates requested for individual consideration through 5:31 PM
  • Thu, 5/27, 5:45 PM: Add hyperlinks to campaign web pages for candidates requested for individual consideration
  • Thu, 5/27, 6:35 PM: Updated to withdraw request to consider Ubax Gardheere by person originally requesting consideration
  • Thu, 5/27, 6:50 PM: Updated to indicate slate has passed
  • Thu, 5/27, 6:50 PM: Corrected LDs for Auburn (was 41st LD corrected to 31st LD)
  • Thu, 5/27, 7:30 PM: Updated with additional results of KC Dems Exec. Board endorsements votes
  • Thu, 5/27, 8:10 PM: Updated with additional results
  • Thu, 5/27, 10:15 PM: Updated with additional results
  • Mon, 5/31, 3:45 PM: Updated with additional consideration and result from meeting
  • Mon, 5/31, 3:45 PM: Added note at top for where to find results of votes
  • Tue, 6/15, 1:45 PM: Added recommendations for June
  • Tue, 6/15, 2:15 PM: Added eligible endorsement placeholder for “other candidates” who submitted a questionnaire but were not recommended
  • Tue, 6/22, 4:30 AM: Moved Black Diamond City Council candidates for Pos #2 and Pos #3 endorsed by 5th LD Dems to June slate recommended by Endorsements Committee
  • Tue, 6/22, 4:45 AM: Updated lists of candidates requested for individual consideration
  • Tue, 6/22, 5:00 AM: Added Michelle Evans to June slate per 2.4.1
  • Tue, 6/22, 5:30 AM: Clarified only eligible KC Dems action in a single-LD jurisdiction where the LD endorses multiple candidates is endorse all or endorse none (applies to Mercer Island School Board #2)
  • Tue, 6/22, 4:30 PM: Clarified that candidates considered for endorsement at May meeting are not eligible for reconsideration in June (Rule VIII, Section 8.)
  • Tue 6/22, 5:45 PM: Updated with request for individual consideration
  • Tue, 6/22, 6:05 PM: Additional requests for individual consideration
  • Tue, 6/22, 7:00 PM: Updated with approval of June slate
  • Tue, 6/22, 7:20 PM, 7:25 PM, 7:45 PM: Additional requests for individual consideration
  • Tue, 6/22, 8:30 PM, 8:45 PM: Update with results of votes
  • Sun, 6/27, 7:00 AM: Fix typos, grammar, and formatting
  • Sun, 6/27, 7:00 AM: Add pointer to 2021 Endorsements Page for complete list