Gov. Jay Inslee has weighed in on the race for state Democratic Party chair, endorsing former Planned Parenthood political director Dana Laurent.
In a letter to Democratic party activists, Inslee and his wife, Trudi, called Laurent “an authentic grassroots leader” with “a proven track record both a Democratic volunteer and as a
successful political strategist.”
The endorsement comes ahead of Saturday’s scheduled Democratic Party meeting in Vancouver at which about 170 members of the state Democratic Party’s executive committee will meet to elect their next leader. Dwight Pelz, the current chairman, announced his retirement in September.
Since 2012, Laurent has been the executive director of the Win/Win Network, one of a cluster of progressive nonprofits influential in the state Democratic Party.
Laurent faces competition for the job. Jaxon Ravens, the state party’s executive director for a decade, is also running, along with Jim Kainber, a political consultant who was the party’s executive director from 1994 to 2003, and Jay Clough, a Democratic activist from West Richland who ran for Congress in 2010.
Another contender, longtime political operative Nancy Biery, dropped out of contention in December, claiming a conspiracy by donors and political consultants to muscle Laurent’s rivals out of the race.