VIDEO: 34th District Democrats make City Council endorsements, and more

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

This area’s largest political organization is now on record with more endorsements for the August primary. Last night’s meeting of the 34th District Democrats at The Hall at Fauntleroy included a sole endorsement for the much-contested Seattle City Council Position 8, in a process that wound up spanning two meetings.

SEATTLE COUNCIL POSITION 8 ENDORSEMENT: Chair David Ginsberg said it’s been determined since the April meeting (WSB coverage here) that the first Position 8 vote didn’t follow the organization’s rules – the slate of candidates included a non-Democrat).

Then last night, though he was nominated for endorsement, that same candidate, Jon Grant, was again ruled ineligible since he is running as an “independent Democratic Socialist.” That left three endorsees – Teresa Mosqueda, Hisam Goueli, and Sara Nelson. There also was a proposal for “no endorsement,” advocated by Chas Redmond.

Mosqueda won with 60 votes of the 94 credentialed 34th DD members on hand at that point.

From her thank-you speech:

In second place, “no endorsement” received 21 votes. Goueli had 9, Nelson 4. The full list of candidates who have registered campaigns so far (next week is official filing week) is here.

PORT ENDORSEMENTS: Three Position 4 candidates were nominated for endorsement – John Persak won over Brooks Salazar and Jacob Richardson. … Norman Sigler, Ryan Calkins, and John Creighton were nominated for Position 1; the crowd had dwindled a bit by then so Calkins got the endorsement with 48 votes, with Sigler in second at 15, Creighton with 5.

BLOCK ENDORSEMENT: The 34th DDs passed a block endorsement of eight candidates:
-King County Executive Dow Constantine
-KC Sheriff John Urquhart
-Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes
-Seattle Position 9 Councilmember Lorena González
-Seattle Port Commissioner Stephanie Bowman
-KC District 5 Councilmember Dave Upthegrove
-Burien City Councilmember Nancy Tosta
-North Highline Fire Commissioner Liz Giba

For the full list of endorsements made last night, watch the 34th District Democrats’ website at 34dems.org.

HOW THE MEETING BEGAN: Elected officials who were in the house – whether up for endorsement at the meeting or not – got the chance to come up and speak at the start of the meeting:

City Attorney Pete Holmes, running for re-election, had a few words:

State Sen. Bob Hasegawa, now running for Seattle mayor, also spoke briefly:

County Executive Dow Constantine asked for the group’s endorsement:

City Councilmember Lorena González pitched her re-election bid for citywide Position 9:

(While there’s talk she might run for mayor, her remarks last night gave no hint.)

Sheriff John Urquhart said he’s running for re-election because he cares about the culture of the Sheriff’s Office. “I don’t want it to go backward – we’re making progress.”

North Highline Fire District Commissioner Liz Giba spoke briefly too – she’s up for re-election this year.

Not on the ballot, but also speaking:

County Council Chair Joe McDermott said he is focused on human services, from housing to veterans to seniors, and will be working on the levy renewal.

And City Councilmember Lisa Herbold reminded the group that she is focused right now on the city income tax for high earners. She says late July is when they hope to pass the measure.

Also last night:

DEMOCRACY VOUCHERS: René LeBeau from Ethics and Elections’ Democracy Vouchers program brought an update on the first go-round for this voter-approved, tax-funded public-campaign-finance program: “The overall program goals are two, and they’re simple – to increase the number of people contributing to campaigns, and to increase the number of people running for office.”

By early January they had mailed out 2 million vouchers.

For this year’s elections, only the two City Council races – citywide Positions 8 and 9 – and City Attorney are eligible. LeBeau said three candidates have finished going through the qualification process and another eight canddiates are in the process. So far, 12,000 vouchers have been returned, representing 3300 unique individuals. The number of individual contributors for Position 8 has already surpassed what it was in 2015. They’ve paid out more than $200,000 so far – the payout followed a year of building a system, and they are posting all the contributions on their websites “to meet the transparency goal of the initiative.”

Two-thirds are coming back in mail-in envelopes sent with them; most of the rest are going directly to candidates. They have a June 2nd deadline for candidates to enter the program – that’s when they’ll know the final list. If you’ve lost yours, you will be able to request replacement(s).

By the way, 200 people have applied who are not registered voters, LeBeau noted, “and we would like to see more.” Still not sure what the vouchers are all about? Read this page.

MEMBERSHIP: The 34th DDs have passed 500 members – 518 as of last night’s announcement.

‘DECLINE TO SIGN’: Not many announcements as the meeting wrapped up, but past chair Marcee Stone-Vekich urged people to talk to family and friends about not signing petitions for anti-transgender-rights Initiative 1552, which she said she’s heard is “getting close” to enough signatures to make the statewide ballot, with weeks to go.

The 34th District Democrats meet second Wednesdays most months, 7 pm, The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW). Watch for updates between meetings at 34dems.org.

2 Replies to "VIDEO: 34th District Democrats make City Council endorsements, and more"

  • 34th participant May 11, 2017 (12:51 pm)

    Three Position 4 candidates were nominated for endorsement – John Persak won over Brooks Salazar on a second ballot (Jacob Richardson had come in third on the first ballot).

    Actually, Salazar was eliminated in the first round altogether. It was Persak vs Richardson in the second. Persak got over 2/3rds.

    • WSB May 11, 2017 (1:29 pm)

      Hi there – I just checked my notes and while it’s certainly possible I transposed, what I wrote is what I had in my notes. I don’t see a recap up on the 34th site so I’ll just remove the second/third mention for that one for now. Thanks.

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