VIDEO: 34th District Democrats make their State Senate endorsement…s

(Standing-room crowd at 34th District Democrats just before State Senate endorsement vote)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The endorsement for the open 34th District State Senate seat was the big news from this month’s meeting of the 34th District Democrats, just concluded at The Hall at Fauntleroy.

The result, on a second ballot, was a dual endorsement of Shannon Braddock and Joe Nguyen, who tied at 62 votes each in the runoff; she had led the first round with 57 votes – not enough for a sole endorsement – and he was in second with 39 votes,

We’ll add video highlights later (10:38 pm update – first ones added below), but first, here’s how the nomination process – including more than an hour of vote-counting – unfolded:

34TH DISTRICT STATE SENATE ENDORSEMENT: Among the prerequisites for endorsement consideration by the group, the candidate has to be a Democrat, and has to have filled out the King County Democrats’ questionnaire. Candidates nominated for consideration besides Braddock and Nguyen were Sofia Aragon, Lois Schipper, and Lem Charleston.

Aragon spoke first and noted her concern about the affordable-housing crisis and access to higher education. Schipper, speaking next, said “putting families and children first” is her priority – keeping them out of homelessness and hunger – and education funding is her next priority, followed by firearms safety (including a ban on assault weapons). Nguyen said he’s running because “all families should have the opportunity to achieve the American dream.” He also sees “health care for all” as a priority, talking about a family crisis when a crash left his father a quadriplegic. Then, Braddock, whose nominator called her “a woman of action”; the candidate herself said, “We have a lot of good progressive Democrats in this case” but she believes she “stands above” because of her perspective and background, including being a single mom and community volunteer, and coalition builder. “I am experienced, I am ready on day one.” Final candidate to speak was Charleston, who touted his background including having been in the US Marine Corps, having been a pastor, and serving as a police chaplain. “I want to bring (my) energy and passion” to the district’s issues – he sees unhappiness both in rich waterfront residents and poor homeless residents. (Updated Thursday morning, 11:11 am – video of all five making their cases pre-vote – replacing previous clip that had stopped before 5th speaker Lem Charleston)

In all, 11 candidates are scheduled to be on the August primary ballot for this position (as reported here last month).

Also at the meeting:

ANOTHER STATE SENATE CANDIDATE: Annabel Quintero, another of the State Senate candidates, spoke while the votes were being counted; she hadn’t filled out the questionnaire so she wasn’t eligible for consideration.

ENDORSED BALLOT MEASURES: I-1631 was endorsed. So was signature gathering for I-1644, and for I-1639.

ENDORSED SLATE: The group began its endorsement consideration with a slate including Sen. Maria Cantwell, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the two unopposed 34th Dist. Reps. Eileen Cody and Joe Fitzgibbon and eight judges.

PROSECUTOR ENDORSEMENT TABLED: Daron Morris, a candidate for King County Prosecuting Attorney, spoke to the group. Speaking in favor of his opponent, newly self-declared Democrat incumbent Dan Satterberg, was County Executive Dow Constantine, who said Satterberg has been “the leader at King County in transforming our justice system.” He added, “We should not be endorsing someone to run against him – he’s doing a really good job.” Ultimately the endorsement consideration was tabled until next month’s meeting since Satterberg himself hadn’t asked for it.

WHY THE ENDORSEMENTS MATTER: Chair David Ginsberg said he’s worried since 33 percent of 34th District voters identify as Democrats, 10 percent as Republicans, and so far 7 Democrat candidates are running for State Senate, 2 Republicans, and if those percentages were evenly split, “we could wind up with 2 Republicans on the ballot.” Voters will look to the 34th DDs’ decision for guidance, he said.

PRIDE MONTH: King County Council Chair Joe McDermott spoke about its importance while the State Senate endorsement votes were being counted.

COUNTY EXECUTIVE: Constantine – before his pro-Satterberg speech – was invited up to the microphone too. He observed that the Seattle head-tax repeal had made for an “interesting period in municipal politics” and promised “a lot of breaking news in the next few days” on the homelessness front.

GARDEN PARTY: This year’s benefit is 7 pm July 19th at The Hall at Fauntleroy. Tickets are on sale online.

PCO OF THE YEAR: Annie Phillips, “a force to be reckoned with,” was given an award as PCO of the Year.

MEMBERSHIP: The group currently has 360 members; last year, it was as high as 600. Just under a third of the membership was present and voting in the night’s marquee endorsement race.

NEXT MEETING: The 34th District Democrats meet on second Wednesdays at 7 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy; watch 34dems.org for updates between meetings.

19 Replies to "VIDEO: 34th District Democrats make their State Senate endorsement...s"

  • Mike in Delridge June 13, 2018 (10:27 pm)

    Go Joe! Joe is going to win over those undecided. He’s got an incredible story, amazing energy and will LISTEN to his constituents– just like he’s listening to voters now.We have to show up and vote!

  • J.R. June 14, 2018 (7:51 am)

    Shannon will be a great State Senator. She’s got the experience, the smarts, and the ability to work with people and will be a leader in the chamber from day one. 

  • G from Delridge June 14, 2018 (8:20 am)

    Joe is the new generation candidate we need. Love seeing the younger generation step up and get involved. Tired of the old career politician and looking forward to new ideas. Go Joe!!!

  • West Seattle Hipster June 14, 2018 (9:01 am)

    Not looking forward to Constantine’s “breaking news” announcements regarding the “homeless crisis”.  Usually when politicians lose a battle they look for ways (usually more severe) to win back what they lost.Stay woke people!

  • Mark Ufkes June 14, 2018 (9:20 am)

    Lois Scipper is a rock star nurse.  Think about how nurses have cared for those you love.  Think about how they live their lives.  If nurses had more political authority in our government,  everyone would have GREAT healthcare, there would NEVER be families on the street, and every single decision in government would be evaluated on how it will impact children and our most vulnerable, and how it will get people back to optimum physical and mental health.  Also, why are the vast majority of nurses women?   We need fewer “status quo” Democratic  politicians and more great Democrats like Lois Schipper, or Joe Nguyen, or nurse Sofia Aragon, or Lem Charleston, who have spent their life force in the trenches trying to make this a better world, one family at a time.   Study up on all four before you vote.  These four candidates, and our additional voices, that do not accept the status quo, are the future of our party and our government.   Mark Ufkes (proud husband of Lois Schipper; an exceptional woman, spectacular nurse, and workaholic advocate for families and our most vulnerable. And a life-long Democrat too! ) 

  • MJ June 14, 2018 (10:34 am)

    I would prefer Shannon be available to challenge and defeat Lisa in the next City Council election!

    • SeaSpade June 14, 2018 (1:26 pm)

      I don’t think it’s going to be a challenge to find candidates willing and able to do that.  She’s proven to be Sawant’s comrade-in-arms and I don’t think that’s what West Seattle represents.

    • WestVotey June 14, 2018 (11:05 pm)

      I agree! Braddock please unseat Herbold!

  • zark00 June 14, 2018 (11:34 am)

    I met Lois Scipper and was very impressed. It was a short conversation but my take away was that this is a person who will WORK to deliver for us.

  • Seattlite June 14, 2018 (1:17 pm)

    God help us.

    • WSB June 14, 2018 (1:22 pm)

      As noted previously, these are 5 of 11 candidates running. Two of the others are Republicans. If the 34th District Republicans have a forum (or any other group – so far, we’ve only heard the West Seattle Chamber is planning one), we’ll cover it too. – TR

  • D from Alaska Junction June 14, 2018 (1:30 pm)

    Go Joe! The next generation representing well and taking accountability! He’s got my vote! #InItToNguyenIt! 

  • Patrick June 14, 2018 (2:54 pm)

    If I recall correctly,  these traits that are being thown about for the current political candidate positions are very similar to how our current SCC representatives were described when they were running for office.  Let’s hope that whomever is elected to these positions, lives up to their reputations better than the disaster that has become our Seattle City Council. 

  • Marlene Allbright June 14, 2018 (4:21 pm)

    The 34th LD has never had a Senator who was a person of color. Joe Nguyen brings an added dimension to the 34th district that we’ve never had. Joe grew up in White Center in public housing. He later moved to Burien. He has worked with communities of color and people on lower socio-economic levels, so that they too, can experience the American Dream of having affordable housing, health care, and safe neighborhoods. Joe’s mother came to America on a raft from Viet Nam, and raised four children on her own after a tragic car accident paralyzed his father. Joe beat the odds, graduated from college and now works at Microsoft, and now wants to help others to achieve their dreams. I’m very impressed with Joe Nguyen.

  • ATN June 15, 2018 (7:48 am)

    I attended the candidate forum last month and was at this endorsement meeting – Joe Nguyen has my vote! My kids attended Lafayette Elementary, Madison Middle and are now at West Seattle High. Joe Nguyen is genuinely passionate about helping our community. He has donated by his time and money to the WS booster club. His lived-experiences are real life stories of success from hard-work and resilience. We need more elected officials who have personally experienced our daily struggles, not privileged career politicians who are going to regulate from the top down. 

  • West Seattle Mom June 15, 2018 (7:51 am)

    I attended the candidate forum last month and was at this endorsement meeting – Joe Nguyen has my vote! My kids attended Lafayette Elementary, Madison Middle and are now at West Seattle High. Joe Nguyen is genuinely passionate about helping our community. He has donated by his time and money to the WS booster club. His lived-experiences are real life stories of success from hard-work and resilience. We need more elected officials who have personally experienced our daily struggles, not privileged career politicians who are going to regulate from the top down. 

  • Helpful June 15, 2018 (11:22 am)

    All these comments are written like an ad from the Shane Company. “Now, YOU, have a friend in the senate business..!”

  • LR June 15, 2018 (9:50 pm)

    I’m so excited for Joe Nguyen and the 34th District. He’s part of our community and has given back in many ways. He’s a bright light in a sometimes dismal political environment. I’m ready to see what our future…Joe can do for us. 

  • anonyme June 16, 2018 (2:17 pm)

    Most of these comments read like paid endorsements.  Here comes the monkey wrench.Democrats seem to have learned nothing from the Trump fiasco.  They continue to spout the same  touchy-feely nonsense that lost the election, and are on track to cause further losses where there should be overwhelming gains.   I won’t support anyone of any party who sees victims everywhere, while completely failing to protect those who actually need it – those who work and obey the law, while funding your ineffective, endless, money-pit causes.  I’m not hearing anything new from any of these candidates, and it’s extremely discouraging to read raves over such empty, uninspired rhetoric.  Has the bar really been set so low?

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