Last night, we reported here on the NPI Advocate that ex-Democratic State Representative Mark Mloscia had filed paperwork to challenge his former colleague Tracey Eide for state Senate… as a Republican.
This morning, Miloscia officially launched his campaign and announced endorsements from State Republican Party Chair Susan Hutchison, King County Republican Chair Lori Soetelo, unsuccessful gubernatorial and senatorial candidate Dino Rossi, and Republican legislators Linda Kochmar and Bruce Dammeier.
In his news release, he borrowed from the Republican playbook to attack Eide, who has represented the district since 1998, claiming, “Senator Eide and I have very different voting records… I opposed reckless spending and tax increases while Senator Eide supported them. I supported innovative approaches to improving our schools, while Senator Eide opposed them and cut funding.”
(Miloscia did not elaborate, or cite any specific roll call votes).
Miloscia also expressed confidence his defection to the Republican Party would not negatively impact his reputation in the district or harm his credibility.
“Our area votes for the best person, not the party,” he argued. “They want someone who will stand up for jobs, for schools, for working people, and for the least among us, regardless of party.”
That’s actually a false dichotomy. The truth is, Washingtonians from Neah Bay to Clarkston cast their votes based on who they identify with. It isn’t about the best person or the party. It is about authenticity. Authenticity matters in politics.
A stellar Municipal League rating and impressive qualifications don’t guarantee a win. Qualifications and party association each matter in a race, but in the end, when voters are deciding who to support, it comes down to authenticity and trust.
If Miloscia really believed that party association doesn’t matter and that the people he is running to represent will support him regardless of which party he identifies with, he’d be running as an independent, sans party label.
But he’s running as a Republican because he wants the support of the Republican Party… especially the money. And the Republicans want his vote so they can maintain control of the Washington State Senate.
Democrats say there’s nothing noble about what Miloscia is doing.
“Today, Mark Miloscia put his own needs above those of 30th District residents by announcing that he will switch parties and run as a Republican for State Senate,” said new Washington State Democratic Party Chair Jaxon Ravens.
“With his last-place finish in the race for State Auditor in 2012, Miloscia is upset that the voters of Washington State chose not to give him a promotion.”
“He saw that he wasn’t advancing fast enough as a Democrat, and he also saw how Rodney Tom has been rewarded for voting with Republicans in the State Senate. By switching parties, Mark Miloscia is hoping that he will gain a faster path to power like Rodney Tom. We are proud to support Senator Tracey Eide, and we are confident that 30th District residents will return her to the State Senate.”
Miloscia has evidently been plotting his run against Eide for some time, as evidenced by the endorsements that he announced today. Timestamps show he began posting content to his new campaign website several days ago. It’s unclear when exactly Miloscia reached a deal with Republicans to run against Eide, but today’s announcement was seemingly in the works for a while.
This much we do know: Miloscia has yet to formally resign from the Democratic Party as the precinct committee officer for FED 30-3056.
Though he finished in last place for state auditor on the August 2012 ballot, he was chosen in the same election by his Democratic neighbors to represent them on the King County Democratic Central Committee (KCDCC) as their PCO.
The 30th District Democrats tell NPI they have not received a letter of resignation from Mark Miloscia. Last night at its March general meeting, after having learned that Miloscia had filed paperwork to challenge Tracey Eide as a Republican, the organization voted to direct Chair Tim Burns to request Miloscia’s resignation.
Until Miloscia resigns, the party cannot replace him; there is no legal avenue for a political party to expel a precinct committee officer.
The 30th’s action should not have been necessary. When Mark Miloscia decided to join the Republican Party, he ought to have notified all of his Democratic friends – especially those who stuck their necks out for him when he ran for auditor – and resigned his position within the Democratic Party. But he didn’t.
And when Democratic activists in the 30th called to inquire about his plans, particularly after the Federal Way Mirror ran a column speculating about his intentions, he left them hanging, choosing not to return calls or answer messages.
Duplicity is not becoming of a person who wishes to serve the people of Washington as an elected official. Mark Miloscia should immediately hand in his resignation as a Democratic precinct committee officer and muster the courage to explain his defection to his Democratic friends.