Washington State’s filing period for the 2014 elections is over. To celebrate—and in honor of campaign kick-off season—we felt it was appropriate to offer our reflections on the candidates. Unfortunately, our reflections didn’t get very far before a distracting realization diverted our attention: the fact that Democrats had so much trouble recruiting credible candidates for competitive legislative races, they had to outsource.
Democrats recruited candidates outside the targeted Legislative District in three separate competitive races: the 30th LD Senate race, the 42nd LD Senate race and the 47th LD House race—Democrat candidates Shari Song, Seth Fleetwood and Chris Barringer, respectively.
Song popped up in South King County’s 30th LD after running for King County Council against Councilmember Reagan Dunn and losing. She is now trying her chances for state Senate in the 30th LD against Republican Mark Miloscia. Song moved to the 30th LD for the express purpose of running for its open state Senate seat.
Seth Fleetwood accomplished a similar relocating act. A former Whatcom County Councilmember, Fleetwood lived outside of the 42nd LD right until he decided to run against Republican Sen. Doug Ericksen. The question remains as to whether or not Fleetwood changed his address in time to comply with election rules. The Washington State Republican Party doesn’t think so. They pointed out that Fleetwood “dishonestly and illegally changed his voter registration to the 42nd” when he decided to challenge Ericksen. Fleetwood himself admitted, “As I searched for a residence to move to, in late April, I was offered a home in which to reside, in Birch Bay, and was in the process of moving there when a better opportunity to establish my primary residence presented itself closer to my work…” Apparently, some explanation about being “closer to work” is an excuse for breaking election filing rules?
Then there is Chris Barringer who is taking on Republican State Rep. Mark Hargrove in the 47th LD. King County Election records—which SHIFT has documented—prove that Barringer was still registered to vote at a Seattle address the week he announced his candidacy. Judging from Barringer’s recent campaign kick-off, which no one appears to have attended, 47th LD voters don’t seem to have taken to the carpetbagger election trick all that well.
As an added bonus to the problems plaguing Democrats seeking election in to the state Legislature, SHIFT sources claim that Gov. Jay Inslee called Joan McBride—who originally threw her hat into the race for the 48th LD senate seat—and asked her to back down in favor of the liberal Democrat Rep. Cyrus Habib, who decided his own chances for Senate improved drastically after Sen. Rodney Tom decided not to seek re-election. Habib is now running for Senate and McBride for House in the 48th LD.