Shoreline Deputy Mayor Chris Eggen will challenge longtime Democratic state Sen. Maralyn Chase, setting up a rare intraparty battle in the liberal 32nd Legislative District.
Eggen, who’s been on the Shoreline City Council since 2007, criticized Chase for only passing a small number of bills during her 14 years in Olympia.
“Watching only 4% of the bills you author become law is not legislating, it’s grandstanding,” Eggen said in a news release announcing his candidacy. “In the meantime, Chase has antagonized many local leaders with her unwillingness to collaborate. We deserve better from our elected officials.”
Chase said Eggen is miffed because she proposed legislation to require a public vote on the Shoreline’s effort to assume control of a nearby water-sewer district — a takeover she said could lead to regressive utility tax increases. (Eggen said the bill was “badly written” and obstructive.)
Chase said the focus of Democrats should be on recapturing the majority in the state Senate, which was ruled this year a coalition of 24 Republicans and two renegade Democrats.
“It is really sad he is doing this. But fine, bring him on,” Chase said.
The 32nd Legislative District includes Shoreline, a portion of northwest Seattle, Lynnwood, south Edmonds and part of Mountlake Terrace.
Eggen and Chase could face off in November, as Washington’s top-two primary system sends the top two finishers – regardless of party – to the general election. In 2012, 71 percent of voters in the 32nd District backed President Obama for reelection. Only 27 percent voted for the Republican presidential ticket.