The 46th legislative district, covering Northeast Seattle, Lake Forest Park and Kenmore, has a whole new shape, and a whole new slate of candidates following formative events within the last year.
46th LD – old in red, new in blue | View in a larger map
This was the home district of the late Sen. Scott White whose untimely passing last year left a hole not only in Olympia, but also in the heart of the 46th. White would have been the majority whip and vice-chair of the transportation committee this session.
His spot was filled by then-Rep. David Frockt, who the Metropolitan King County Council appointed unanimously. White won his 2010 senate race and even though senate seats are only voted on every four years, Frockt will need to be elected to this seat because he was appointed. Frockt is currently running unopposed, just like his predecessor did in 2010.
When Frockt moved up to the Senate, that left an empty seat in House pos. 1 in the 46th. Voting on a new representative was left to the district’s precinct committee officers (PCO), who selected Gerry Pollet, vice-chair of that district’s Democratic Party and the director of Heart of the Northwest. Pollet had run for this seat three years prior, against White, and lost by a whopping 42 percentage points.
Pollet wasn’t the only one vying for the appointment in 2011, White’s legislative aide Sylvester Cann also jockeyed for the position. The PCO vote came out 48-38, with another 19 for 46th District Democrats Chair Javier Valdez.
Cann won’t take no for an answer though, and is running against Pollet for the pos. 1 seat again this year, despite Rep. Phyllis Kenney retiring from her pos. 2 seat (more on that in a follow-up post).
Cann, who you may know as the guy who got Obama to sign his iPad, was endorsed by White’s wife Allison in the race against Pollet. The former legislative aide, only 31, says he’s already knocked on 2,800 doors and plans to knock on 20,000, like White did in the 2010 election. Cann has also raised nearly $36,000 in campaign funds. Pollet is quick to point out, however, that Cann has only received a small portion of his donations from people actually living in the 46th LD. Pollet raised $12,000 in the 48 hours between the state legislative session and this special session.
This could be just a typical case of a young challenger trying to take down the party heavyweight, but that sort of story wouldn’t be the first of its kind we’ve heard. Pollet seemed to dismiss his challenger in an interview, saying the real race to watch is that for representative pos. 2 in this district.