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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: CD2

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August 6, 2012 at 6:45 AM

“99% Party” candidate seeks to Occupy Second Congressional District seat

Mike Lapointe

Mike Lapointe in Everett on July 30, 2012 (Photo by Amber Cortes/UW Election Eye)

Citizens frustrated with the Democratic and Republican parties are running longshot campaigns for Congress. Meet the nation’s only “99% Party” candidate.

EVERETT — Mike Lapointe wants to Occupy Congress, starting with the Second Congressional District.

Clad in a t-shirt and jeans and sporting a past-5-o’clock-shadow, Lapointe sits in the backroom of Firewheel Books and Beans on Oakes Street, looking tired, sipping coffee. He is a former labor union organizer running as a member of the 99% Party — the only such candidate in the country — against incumbent Democratic Rep. Rick Larsen.

“Are you taping this?” Lapointe asks in a thick Boston accent, noticing my recorder. “Then I better watch my cuss words. I can get really worked up about some of this stuff.”

Firewheel Books and Beans is where it all started for Lapointe. This cooperatively owned and operated coffee shop is a gathering place for activists and community members. The seeds of the Occupy Everett movement were planted here September 30, 2011, with a turnout that surprised even Lapointe.

“The day of the event we had like 30 people signed up,” he explains. “And usually when you have an event like that, if you get half you’re lucky. So I was hoping for maybe 20 people. So I get there at five minutes of, and there’s like, 15 people there. Fifteen minutes later there were a hundred people in there.  It was packed, I mean literally, wall-to-wall.”

For the next three months, Lapointe camped out in front of the Snohomish County Courthouse and used as much vacation time as he could to be around during the day. In the mornings, he and his fellow Occupiers woke up freezing and headed to Firewheel for coffee. Then they would go back to camp and talk to people.

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August 5, 2012 at 7:00 AM

A longshot candidate makes case for Congressional 2nd District

Citizens frustrated with the Democratic and Republican parties are running longshot campaigns for Congress. Meet one: John C. W. Shoop in Washington’s 2nd Congressional District.

EVERETT — With an easy smile and a wide gait, John C.W. Shoop tips his black cowboy hat to passers-by as he strides into a Hadian for Governor event at Forest Park in Everett.

John C.W. Shoop

John C.W. Shoop struck a patriotic pose on July 24, 2012. (Photo by Amber Cortes/UW Election Eye)

“How’re you doing, John?” someone asks Shoop.

“Living the dream,” he replies. “Living the dream.”

The self-described filmmaker, pilot, real estate entrepreneur, and survivalist is asking for just five seconds of people’s time to check the box next to his name on the August 7 primary ballot.

He is a Republican-affiliated candidate for Congressional District 2, along with two other Republicans and a pair of third party candidates hoping to unseat incumbent Democrat Rick Larsen. The favorite for the Republican nod on Tuesday is Dan Matthews, who has a long list of names on his endorsements webpage. Shoop doesn’t have an endorsements page.

The names of two of these six candidates will make it onto the November ballot. If you give Shoop those five seconds he’s requesting, the ex-Marine promises to give you two years of his life as a U.S. Congressional representative. He’s a longshot, he knows.

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