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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

Category: Washington state Democratic Party
March 3, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Seattle won’t bid for 2016 Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Committee recently invited Seattle and dozens of other cities to bid on hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention. But Seattle has taken a pass. “Short of their changing their requirements I don’t see that we would even qualify,” said Jeff Reading, a spokesman for Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. He confirmed the city decided…

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0 Comments | More in homepage, Washington state Democratic Party | Topics: 2016 Democratic National Convention, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

February 3, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Former Kirkland mayor to run against Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom

Joan McBride, the former mayor of Kirkland, will run against Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom as a Democrat in this year’s top-two primary election. Democrats have said they plan to target Tom, D-Medina, because he crossed party lines last year to help give Republicans control of the state Senate. Senate Democratic Leader Sharon Nelson on…

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0 Comments | More in 2014 elections, Politics Northwest, State legislative races, State Legislature, Washington state Democratic Party, Washington state Republican Party

January 28, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Inslee backs Laurent in race for state Democratic Party chair

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…

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Washington state Democratic Party | Topics: Dana Laurent, gov. jay inslee, Washington State Democratic Party

January 15, 2014 at 1:33 PM

State Sen. Andy Hill gets Democratic challenger

Setting up what could prove a key battle for control of the state Legislature, Democrats have found a challenger for state Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond. Matt Isenhower, a Navy veteran and senior product manager at Amazon, announced Wednesday he’s running against Hill in the 45th Legislative District. Isenhower, 33, said Hill has not lived up…

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature, Washington state Democratic Party, Washington state Republican Party | Topics: 2014 elections, 45th Legislative District, Eastside

January 8, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Voter concern drops for state budget, spending; economy still top priority

A new poll by Stuart Elway found that voter concern about the state budget and spending has dropped to its lowest level since the Great Recession hit. As it has since 2009, the economy remained the top priority for voters. The survey of 408 registered voters last week found that only 17 percent cited the state…

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State budget, State government, State Legislature, Washington state Democratic Party, Washington state Republican Party | Topics: economy, poll, state budget

December 18, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Conspiracy or sour grapes? Former candidate for state Dem chair blasts insider cabal

When longtime political operative Nancy Biery dropped out of the race for state Democratic Party chair last week, she issued a terse statement blaming unnamed “status quo” forces inside the party.

In an interview this week, Biery elaborated, blasting supporters of rival Dana Laurent, the former political director for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, who has amassed the support of a small army of influential Democratic donors and political consultants.

Biery claims she was elbowed out of the race. A former chair of the Jefferson County Democrats who worked as an aide to Gov. Gary Locke and U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, Biery argued she was the most qualified.

But political consultants and donors wanted “somebody they could control,” Biery said. ”It became clear the powers that be did not want me to be party chair.”

The final straw seems to be when Joby Shimomura, chief of staff to Gov. Jay Inslee, threw her name behind Laurent — a move Biery and others viewed as signaling the governor’s own preference.

While not naming names, Biery said she got the message from the Seattle-centric Democratic consultant “machine” that “I was not wanted and my life would be rather miserable if I won and tried to do the job.”

Current state Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz dismissed Biery’s conspiracy talk as “sour grapes.” While he’s not endorsing a successor, Pelz predicted the front-runners will be Laurent and Jaxon Ravens, the state party’s current executive director.

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0 Comments | More in 2014 elections, Washington state Democratic Party | Topics: Dana Laurent, Jaxon Ravens, Nancy Biery

December 16, 2013 at 7:35 PM

No “rubber stamp,” County Council appoints Mia Gregerson to Legislature

Update: 10:53 a.m. Added comment from chair of 33rd District Democrats.

The Metropolitan King County Council on Monday bucked the choice of Democratic party activists to fill a vacant state House seat in the 33rd Legislative District.

The council appointed SeaTac City Councilmember and Deputy Mayor Mia Gregerson to the state House seat vacated by Dave Upthegrove, who was elected in November to the County Council.

The vote was unusual because it went against the first choice of Democratic precinct-committee officers in the 33rd Legislative District, who’d favored Kent City Councilmember Elizabeth Albertson for the position.

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State government, State Legislature, Washington state Democratic Party | Topics: Brady Walkinshaw, Jaime Pedersen, Metropolitan King County Council

November 7, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Longtime Democratic advisor Nancy Biery running for state party chair

The race to succeed retiring Washington State Democratic Party chairman Dwight Pelz is on, with longtime party operative Nancy Biery announcing her bid for the post Thursday. Biery is a former chair of the Jefferson County Democrats and worked as an aide for Gov. Gary Locke and U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell. In a news release…

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0 Comments | More in Politics Northwest, Washington state Democratic Party | Topics: Dwight Pelz, Nancy Biery, Washington State Democratic Party

October 15, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Senate Democrats ask PDC to review filings by former treasurer

The confession by former political operative Michael King to stealing up to $330,000 from the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee (SDCC) continues to ripple through Seattle political circles. In the latest twist, an attorney for Senate Democratic leaders has asked the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) to review payments to the organization’s former treasurer, Seattle political consultant…

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0 Comments | More in Washington state Democratic Party | Topics: Jason Bennett, Michael King, Senate Democratic Campaign Committee

September 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM

State Democratic chairman Dwight Pelz to step down

The Washington State Democratic Party will be in search of a new leader soon, as chairman Dwight Pelz says he’s stepping down from the post he’s held since 2006.

Pelz, 62, informed top elected Democrats and other party leaders of his decision this afternoon and said he’ll leave the position effective Feb. 1. That’s the date of the next Democratic state committee meeting in Vancouver, where party activists will elect a successor.

Pelz leaves with the Democratic Party riding high in Washington. Last year, Democrats won every statewide elected office except for Secretary of State. Democrats also hold six of Washington’s 10 U.S. House seats and have controlled both U.S. Senate seats for more than a decade.

“The Democratic Party of Washington state is very strong. We demonstrated our worth and talent in the last election here where we led a very strong get-out-the-vote effort, which is one of the reasons Jay Inslee was elected governor,” Pelz said in an interview.

Tooting his own horn, Pelz added: “You know, that’s not a small thing, because the parties state by state can have a very mixed reputation.”

Pelz said he plans to travel the world for a couple years but is not ruling out a return to politics. He could even decide to run for the state Legislature, he said.

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0 Comments | More in Washington state Democratic Party | Topics: state Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz, Washington State Democratic Party