Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

WA-03: Fraser and Williams not running

Full Disclosure: I am a supporter and volunteer for Senator Craig Pridemore's campaign to succeed Brian Baird.

A source in the Thurston County Democratic Party has confirmed to NPI that State Senator Karen Fraser (D-Olympia) and her seatmate in the 22nd Legislative District, State Representative Brendan Williams (D-Olympia), have both decided not to seek election in the 3rd Congressional District.

Fraser is the lead on the Capital Budget for the Senate Ways & Means Committee, a powerful position within the Senate.

Even in lean budget years the capital budget is normally a bastion of hope, but these troubled economic times make that less certain.

Rep. Williams announced earlier this year that he will not seek re-election and retire from the legislature at the end of his term.

UPDATE: The Olympian has Fraser's thoughts on why she decided not to run.
"A lot of people have encouraged me to take a look at it. I did do some investigation and I thought a lot about it," Fraser said. "I think I could do a good job, but I’m not going to do it for a practical reason. You have to get your campaign organized and your initial funding in place by spring. That is when (the state legislative) session is, and I wouldn’t have time.'
UPDATE II, December 17th: Here is the complete text of the statement Representative Williams provided to NPI earlier today:
State Representative Brendan Williams (D., 22nd District) today announced he will not seek the Third Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Representative Brian Baird. "My family cannot afford a self-financing arms race, nor can I afford the pre-occupation of campaigning while my 22nd legislative district is at peril from cuts during the 2010 session. Since I sought office, my first priority has been others."

Data from the Public Disclosure Commission and Federal Elections Commission shows that, just since 2004 when Williams first ran for the House of Representatives, Williams and his wife, Nicole, have personally contributed $47,823.88 to state political causes and campaigns recorded by the PDC (of which only $1,519.40 went to Williams), and $11,400 in contributions recorded by the FEC.

"I would rather support others than finance an ego trip," stated Williams. "Through developments during the health care debate, and through decisions like granting huge tax breaks to publicly-traded homebuilders while leaving mortgage-paying citizens facing default, we've seen big money is all that matters in Congress. And I'm nobody's yes-man."

While not endorsing any announced, or prospective, candidate yet, Williams stated, "I look forward to working with Senator Pridemore this next session in overcoming oil polluters, and their two State House friends among the announced candidates, and pass House Bill 1614."

Both Representatives Jaime Herrera (R., 18th District) and Deb Wallace (D., 17th District) voted with the oil industry against stormwater-cleanup HB 1614 in a 51-45 House floor vote on April 25, 2009.

Prior to endorsing, Williams stated, "I want to see how debate unfolds on issues urgent to working families. And upon leaving the House after next year I look forward to again enjoying our democracy's highest title: 'Citizen.'"
The field was already getting crowded without Fraser and Williams, so it's not like their decisions not to run will diminish competition in the primary.


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