Tag: 1st Congressional District
U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, the Everett Democrat whose 2nd District includes Bellingham, has endorsed Suzan DelBene in the neighboring 1st District, which will include nearly all of Whatcom County outside the city beginning in 2013.
DelBene has also picked up an endorsement from Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen, according to her office.
Here is the statement from Larsen’s office:
“The First Congressional District race is critically important for Democrats this fall. As someone who currently represents large portions of the district, I know what it takes to win there, both as an open seat in 2000 and a hotly contested one in 2010.
“I have been watching the race closely and evaluating the Democratic candidates. I am looking for the person who can best run the kind of modern campaign that mixes the necessary organization, outreach to the big and small towns, and resources to deliver the positive message of restoring the middle class and protecting Medicare.
“That candidate must also push back against the tired Tea Party/Republican policies of the presumed GOP candidate.
“I am endorsing Suzan DelBene for Congress. Suzan DelBene has worked hard in the last few months to understand the issues in Whatcom, Skagit and Snohomish Counties through aggressive outreach to local community groups and elected officials. She combines that with her clear knowledge of the needs of North King County.
“Suzan DelBene has put together the kind of organization to win the primary and this fall. I am not surprised by this as it reflects her success in business putting together successful organizations.
“Suzan DelBene has proved she can raise money competitively in this race, outraising all other Democratic candidates and crushing the lone Republican candidate in that aspect of the campaign.
“Most importantly, Suzan DelBene brings her moderate business background and a progressive outlook that best equips her to address the need for jobs and economic growth in the new distrtict.
“Suzan DelBene is passionate about restoring the middle class that was devastated by the Bush recession and will fight for all working families while protecting Medicare for seniors and educational opportunity for kids.
“All of this points to Suzan DelBene as the Democratic candidate who will win this fall.
“Democrats are blessed with a great group of candidates for the new First District. Suzan DelBene is a cut above. I am asking Democrats to support her.”
End of Larsen press release
Here is DeBene’s response:
BOTHELL – Congressman Rick Larsen (D-Everett) announced his endorsement of 1st Congressional Candidate Suzan DelBene today. The following is a statement from DelBene:
“Whether it’s standing up for veterans, seniors or the working families in his district, Congressman Larsen has always put the interests of his constituents first, ahead of special interests and I’m grateful for his support.
“I’m running for Congress to be a partner with him to make sure there is someone fighting for the middle class in Washington DC, and to put our country and our economy back on track.”
Larsen’s announcement continues a string of significant endorsements in recent weeks bolstering DelBene’s campaign. Recently Gov. Chris Gregoire, Snohomish County Councilman Brian Sullivan and Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen all have come out supporting DelBene.
For more information about Suzan DelBene, visit: www.delbeneforcongress.com
Democrat Suzan DelBene, former director of the Washington Department of Revenue, will be in Whatcom County Saturday to campaign for the 1st District seat in Congress.
Thanks to the redrawing of Congressional districts, most of Whatcom County outside Bellingham is now in the 1st District.
Like some of her Democratic rivals for the Congressional seat, DelBene is far better known in suburban Seattle. She ran a close but unsuccessful congressional race against Dave Reichert in 2010 before Gov. Chris Gregoire named her to the Department of Revenue post.
DelBene told me she’s looking forward to hearing from Whatcom County residents before she takes a position on the Gateway Pacific Terminal project at Cherry Point.
I’ll post more of my interview with her on Monday.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Washington’s voter-approved Top 2 Primary.
Reading about the court’s ruling, it occurs to me that a top-two primary will make the already-bewildering primary in the 1st Congressional District even harder to figure. The Democrats could conceivably find themselves shut out of the seat after the August primary, if their many candidates fragment the liberal vote and the GOP fields two strong vote-getters. I’m not predicting that–just saying it is conceivable.
Anyhow, here’s a report from Dave Ammons at the Washington Secretary of State’s office:
The court rejected the challenge brought by the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian parties against Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, the state’s chief elections officer, and the state Grange, which sponsored the citizen initiative that created Top 2 after the parties successfully challenged the time-honored “blanket primary.”
The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 ruling in 2008, upheld the state’s primary’s constitutionality, saying it does not violate the parties’ First Amendment right of association. The parties have been pursuing a second round of challenges, based on how the state of Washington is applying the system. U.S. District Judge John Coughenour dismissed that challenge a year ago, saying the parties have failed to prove any fatal flaws in the Top 2, including the possibility of widespread confusion among voters. Today, his decision was upheld by the Circuit Court.
Barring some unforeseen development, the Top 2 will be used by the state to run the big 2012 primary on Aug. 7, including races for governor and other statewide offices, U.S. Senate, 10 newly redrawn congressional districts, the Legislature, the judiciary and other offices. California voters also have approved a Top 2 system.
The ruling is here: http://tinyurl.com/845kjaz
An FAQ on the Top 2 system is here: http://tinyurl.com/29ofz7u
A guide to all the Top 2 litigation: http://tinyurl.com/cc6ompb
Secretary of State Sam Reed, a longtime advocate for a wide-open primary that allows all voters to participate, said the ruling was expected, but an important victory for the people of Washington and the system that is so popular with voters.
“We are delighted. Once again, the courts have made clear that our Top 2 process is legal and is being administered in a clear and thoughtful fashion. I would hope the parties will accept the judgment of the courts, including the Supreme Court, and cease their litigation, which costs the taxpayers and the parties precious resources of time and money.
“Today’s opinion keeps the voter in the driver’s seat.
“The people created this Top 2 system by overwhelming mandate as a Grange initiative in 2004, and pollsters tell us the voters really like it. Initiative 872, the Top 2, honors our political tradition in this state of allowing us to vote for our favorite primary candidate for each office, without regard to party preference. With our old blanket primary and now our voter-approved Top 2 system, every single voter can take part in winnowing the field of candidates. The primary truly belongs to the people and not solely the parties. Instead of a nominating process, we now have a winnowing election.
“On behalf of the 3.6 million voters of Washington, I salute our elections community, including our state Elections Division and our County Auditors, for their clear and effective implementation of Top 2, which will be used for the fifth time this August. I also thank Attorney General Rob McKenna and Deputy Solicitor General Jeff Even and the excellent attorneys of his office, and the Grange and its attorney Tom Ahearn for defending this important system.”
State Elections Co-Directors Katie Blinn and Shane Hamlin also applauded the latest strong ruling from the courts. The system is widely supported by the public and encourages strong voter turnout, they said.
After their setbacks in the Supreme Court and U.S. District Court, the parties nonetheless continued their litigation by turning to the Appeals Court for the western states. The oral arguments were less than two months ago in Pasadena.
The three-member panel, in a 25-page opinion handed down Thursday, dismantled all of the challenges raised by the parties, primarily whether the state has designed a system that eliminates the risk of widespread voter confusion. The judges said the state has followed the roadmap suggested by the U.S. Supreme Court, informing voters in a variety of ways that candidates for each partisan office specify which party they prefer, but that the party may or may not embrace or endorse that person.
“Given the design of the ballot, and in the absence of actual voter confusion, we hold that Washington’s top two primary system, as implemented by the state, does not violate the First Amendment associational rights of the state’s political parties, the appellants here,” the court said.
The court did concur with the parties that they should not have to repay legal costs from earlier litigation that the parties won at the time, but later ended up being reversed on appeal.
End Dave Ammons report
Susan DelBene, director of the Washington Department of Revenue, is entering the 1st District congressional race as a Democrat.
She is the latest entrant in the crowded scramble for the seat being vacated by Jay Inslee, who wants to be governor.
The First District now includes almost all of Whatcom County outside Bellingham.
Here’s the press release from DelBene outlining her qualifications:
Kirkland, WA — Former high tech entrepreneur Suzan DelBene announced today that she is leaving her current post as Director of the Washington State Department of Revenue, effective immediately, to enter the race for Congress in the newly redrawn 1st Congressional District.
“The 1st Congressional District is a diverse district that has been hit hard by the Great Recession. It needs a representative in Congress who has the experience and the innovative ideas that will get our economy back on the right track and create jobs, and I believe I offer those qualities,” DelBene said. “In Congress, I plan to work with President Obama and with members of both parties to break the hyperpartisan gridlock in Washington, D.C. in order to strengthen oversight of Wall Street, protect consumers and assist those in need, and boost the middle class.”
DelBene is a former senior level Microsoft executive. She has also worked in biotech and microfinance, and has helped launch two technology start-up companies. That private sector business experience, in combination with her recent high level government service, which focused on supervising more than 1,000 employees while working to streamline Washington State’s tax code to assist small businesses, immediately make her the most experienced candidate in the race on issues of job creation and economic recovery.
Prior to running the Department of Revenue, DelBene narrowly lost to incumbent Dave Reichert in the race for the 8th Congressional District in 2010. With redistricting, DelBene’s home is now located in the new 1st Congressional District, a true swing district open seat with many moderate Democrats and independent voters.
Politically, DelBene is not easily pigeonholed. A pragmatic and experienced leader, DelBene is known for her independent streak, analyzing each issue as it comes to develop thoughtful policy positions. A pro-choice social progressive who advocates for stricter regulation of Wall Street and rejects the anti-government extremism of the Tea Party right, DelBene is also a fiscal moderate who believes in working across party lines to enact reforms to streamline government and make it more efficient and responsive.
In her 2010 race, DelBene won wide praise for running a substantive campaign that emphasized thoughtful reform proposals. In endorsing DelBene over Reichert, the Seattle Times described her as a candidate with a “sharp business and entrepreneurial skills and an acute understanding of what went wrong” with the national economy and said, “her resume is a narrative of leadership and vision.” The paper praised DelBene’s support of tough Wall Street reforms that went beyond those offered by President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress, and approvingly cited her support for bringing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to an end.
And the Seattle Post-Intelligencer also endorsed DelBene, describing her as “an impressive political newcomer” and a “smart candidate” who would “quickly gain influence in Congress and bring needed skills to the job.”
In that campaign DelBene demonstrated strong fundraising skills, raising more than $4 million, including contributing $2.2 million of her own money. In announcing her candidacy today, DelBene stated that she will have the resources she needs to run a strong campaign.
“I did not make this decision lightly. I did my homework before deciding to enter the race. I believe I have the right skills and experience to represent the 1st Congressional District, and I am fully committed to winning,” DelBene said.
End press release
Here’s a list of other Democratic candidates who are running in the 1st District, provided earlier by Whatcom County Democrats:
• State Sen. Steve Hobbs, Lake Stevens
• Laura Ruderman, Kirkland, a former state legislator
• Two-time Congressional candidate Darcy Burner, Redmond (She will be in Whatcom County Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 and 14, and I expect to have a chat with her.)
• Darshan Rauniyar, businessman, from Bothell
• Roger Goodman, Kirkland, a state representative.
The GOP candidates I know about at this point include Snohomish County Council member John Koster, who ran a tight race with Rick Larsen in the 2nd District two years ago; Greg Anders of Whatcom County; and Larry Ishmael, who tried to unseat Inslee in the past.