NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate provides the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, December 1st, 2014

LIVE from Federal Way: 30th District Democratic nominating caucus underway

Good evening from Fed­er­al Way. I’m here at the head­quar­ters of the Wash­ing­ton Edu­ca­tion Asso­ci­a­tion, where the Demo­c­ra­t­ic precinct com­mit­tee offi­cers of the 30th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict are gath­ered to draw up a list of can­di­dates to suc­ceed the late Roger Free­man. First elect­ed to the Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 2012, Free­man was in the final days of the cam­paign for a sec­ond term when he trag­i­cal­ly suc­cumbed to colon cancer.

Because Free­man went on to win the elec­tion posthu­mous­ly, a vacan­cy now exists for state rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the 30th. The Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion stip­u­lates that the process for fill­ing a Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­isla­tive vacan­cy begins with the nam­ing of three can­di­dates from the same dis­trict and of the same par­ty by the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Cen­tral Committee.

The WSDCC, of which I am a mem­ber, spec­i­fies in its bylaws that when a vacan­cy is declared, the state par­ty chair shall call a spe­cial nom­i­nat­ing cau­cus of precinct com­mit­tee offi­cers from that dis­trict for the pur­pose of draw­ing up a list of three names to rec­om­mend to the WSDCC for its consideration.

That’s what’s hap­pen­ing tonight. I will be updat­ing this post at peri­od­ic inter­vals to sum­ma­rize the pro­ceed­ings that are tak­ing place.

7:07 PM: The meet­ing has been called to order by State Par­ty Sec­re­tary and NPI Advi­so­ry Coun­cil mem­ber Rob Dolin.

7:15 PM: Rob has wel­comed every­one to the meet­ing; the first item of busi­ness was a par­lia­men­tary inquiry as to whether the agen­da for the nom­i­nat­ing cau­cus could be amend­ed. Rob ruled it could not be amend­ed because the cau­cus was a spe­cial meet­ing called by the state par­ty, and not the 30th Dis­trict Democ­rats. His deci­sion was appealed and sus­tained on appeal.

7:20 PM: Rob has fin­ished read­ing a let­ter penned by State Par­ty Chair Jax­on Ravens wel­com­ing the PCOs to the caucus.

7:38 PM: The cau­cus has just decid­ed what method of vot­ing to use in draw­ing up the list of three names. The state par­ty offered two dif­fer­ent vot­ing meth­ods. PCO Kei­th Tyler rose to pro­pose an alter­na­tive method of vot­ing, which Rob ruled out of order. Kei­th appealed the rul­ing, but Rob’s deci­sion was upheld. The cau­cus then opt­ed to use the first pro­posed method of vot­ing, which will con­sist of a set of three elec­tions… one for the first spot on the list, anoth­er for the sec­ond spot on the list, and still anoth­er for the third spot.

7:42 PM: On to can­di­date nominations.

  • Michael Kun has nom­i­nat­ed Richard Champion
  • Jodi Rik­er-Yap has nom­i­nat­ed Hope Elder
  • Wal­ter Brooks has nom­i­nat­ed Roger Flygare
  • Gin­ny Leach has nom­i­nat­ed Car­ol Gregory
  • Karen Back­man has nom­i­nat­ed Shari Song
  • Rose Osh­erin Edwards has nom­i­nat­ed herself

30th LD Chair Tim Burns has moved to close nom­i­na­tions. Motion carries.

7:50 PM: The cau­cus has vot­ed to recess for fif­teen min­utes to allow PCOs to min­gle with the can­di­dates or vis­it the washroom.

8:08 PM: We’re returned from recess. We’re mov­ing on to can­di­date speech­es. Can­di­dates will speak in the order that they were nom­i­nat­ed. Each can­di­date and their sup­port­ers will have five min­utes to speak, so we’ll have a half hour’s worth of speec­i­fy­ing here tonight. Then we’ll pro­ceed to voting.

8:46 PM: The speech­es have con­clud­ed. There are twen­ty-nine precinct com­mit­tee offi­cers present and able to vote (which is a good turnout). The first bal­lots have been cast and are now being counted.

8:54 PM: Here are the results from the first round of voting:

  • Richard Cham­pi­on: 9
  • Hope Elder: 1
  • Roger Fly­gare: 7
  • Car­ol Gre­go­ry: 8
  • Shari Song: 4
  • Rose Osh­erin Edwards: 0

(Total: 29)

We now move to a runoff between Richard Cham­pi­on and Car­ol Gregory.

9:02 PM: Here are the results from the sec­ond round of voting:

  • Richard Cham­pi­on: 14
  • Car­ol Gre­go­ry: 15

(Total: 29)

Talk about close! Car­ol Gre­go­ry is the first place fin­ish­er.… by one vote.

9:09 PM: Here are the results from the third round of vot­ing (for sec­ond place):

  • Richard Cham­pi­on: 17
  • Roger Fly­gare: 6
  • Shari Song: 6

(Total: 29)

Richard Cham­pi­on won an out­right major­i­ty and is there­fore the sec­ond place fin­ish­er. We are now into the fourth round of voting.

9:15 PM: Here are the results from the fourth round of vot­ing (for third place):

  • Roger Fly­gare: 10
  • Shari Song: 14
  • Hope Elder: 2
  • Rose Osh­erin Edwards: 2

(Total: 28)

There will be one final vote… a runoff between Roger Fly­gare and Shari Song.

9:24 PM: Here are the results from the fifth/final found of vot­ing (for third place):

  • Roger Fly­gare: 11
  • Shari Song: 18

(Total: 29)

Shari Song won an out­right major­i­ty and will be the third name on the list.

9:28 PM: The spe­cial cau­cus is adjourned. The names of Car­ol Gre­go­ry, Richard Cham­pi­on, and Shari Song will be rec­om­mend­ed to the WSDCC for trans­mis­sion to the Pierce and King Coun­ty Councils.

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  1. Do the two coun­ty coun­cils get equal say? What is the make up of the Pierce Coun­ty Coun­cil? It may be most­ly Repub­li­can. Any­way, Shari is the only one I know, but deserves it in my opinion.

    # by Mike Barer :: December 2nd, 2014 at 8:12 AM
  2. Thank you for pub­lish­ing this detailed sum­ma­ry Andrew. Nice to see you last night.

    # by Rob Dolin :: December 2nd, 2014 at 10:09 AM
  3. Yes, the two par­ties get equal say and yes the Pierce Coun­ty Coun­cil is most­ly Repub­li­cans. All said, Repub­li­cans have more say in the final step of the appoint­ment than the Democ­rats do. Not sure how that will effect things, but should be interesting.

    # by Corbin Champion :: December 2nd, 2014 at 10:10 AM
  4. @Mike Bar­er — I was per­son­al­ly impressed with all of the can­di­date pre­sen­ta­tions. The 30th LD Dems have some strong leaders.

    # by Rob Dolin :: December 2nd, 2014 at 10:11 AM
  5. @Mike Bar­er Yes, the two coun­ty coun­cils get equal say, despite the 30th LD being 95% with­in King Coun­ty. Each coun­ty coun­cil gets three votes when they meet togeth­er. King Coun­ty Coun­cil has 5 Democ­rats and four Repub­li­cans. Pierce Coun­ty Coun­cil now has four Repub­li­cans and three Democ­rats. Each King Coun­ty coun­cilmem­ber counts 1/9th or 5/9ths Demo­c­ra­t­ic votes. Each Pierce Coun­ty coun­cilmem­ber counts 17, or 37 Demo­c­ra­t­ic votes, giv­ing Repub­li­cans a slight sta­tis­ti­cal advan­tage of 2/63rds.

    # by Sarajane Siegfriedt :: December 2nd, 2014 at 10:56 AM
  6. At this date Pierce Coun­ty Coun­cil has only 2 Democ­rats out of 7 total. After Derek Young is seat­ed (hav­ing been nar­row­ly elect­ed in ear­ly Novem­ber we will have 3 Democ­rats). There­fore, the date of the join meet­ing is very relevant.

    # by Anita Latch :: December 2nd, 2014 at 1:25 PM
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