Good morning, and welcome to NPI’s live coverage of the special nominating caucus to fill the council vacancy created by the election of Dave Somers as Snohomish County Executive. This special nominating caucus has been called by the Snohomish County Democratic Central Committee in accordance with state party rules, to select three nominees to present to the Snohomish County Council. The Council will then appoint a successor Councilmember from among the three nominees.
In many ways, this special nominating caucus is an echo of the recent election that replaced John Lovick with Dave Somers. During Lovick’s term, tensions were high between the Executive and the County Council, including disagreements involving plans for a new courthouse in Everett. The established Democrats stood behind Lovick; however, there was strong grassroots support for Somers.
Somers won the election, leaving a vacancy on the Council. The likely top two candidates in this race, Guy Palumbo and State Representative Hans Dunshee (D‑44th District), have drawn support from different quarters.
Dunshee has the support of many fellow legislators and other elected officials, but a strong grassroots coalition supports Palumbo.
The 1st Legislative District Democrats endorsed Palumbo by a wide margin. Interestingly, at least one of the representatives from the 1st LD, Derek Stanford, is endorsing Dunshee, contrary to the 1st LD endorsement.
There’s a packed room here at the Labor Temple in Everett for this special nominating caucus. I will provide updates as the caucus progresses.
UPDATE, 10:08 AM: Snohomish County Democratic Chair Richard Wright began by reading off the purpose of the meeting and the rules for PCOs during the proceeding. Candidates have five minutes each to speak.
Wright also read aloud the instructions for both Method 1 and Method 2 for voting, as provided by the state party’s rules. Richard stated that the Central Committee selects the voting method. A vote was taken and Method 2 was selected.
UPDATE, 10:20 AM: The Credentials Committee reported that there are thirty credentialed PCOs present. The temporary chair for the caucus is Rick DeWitt.
Guy Palumbo and Hans Dunshee were nominated. Then Mark Hintz was nominated. Richard Moralez nominated Palumbo and spoke very highly of Palumbo. DeWitt attempted to limit Palumbo’s speech because he counted Moralez’s speaking in favor of Palumbo’s nomination as part of Palumbo’s speech.
Palumbo had to cut his speech short, which was unfortunate.
UPDATE, 10:25 AM: Speakers are now speaking on behalf of Representative Hans Dunshee. Dunshee began his remarks by voicing opposition to the stunt that Republicans pulled by essentially firing our Transportation Secretary. Hans mentioned his endorsements from Stanford and Moscoso, which conflict with the 1st LD Democrats’ endorsement of Guy Palumbo.
UPDATE, 10:32 AM: Mark Hintz just spoke on his own behalf. His speech was very short and impassioned. Voting on green slips of paper has occurred and the tally committee is busy at work counting ballots.
As we wait, representatives are speaking to the crowd. A lot is being said regarding the Republican stunt to fire our Transportation Secretary.
It is also being said that we can expect much more from the Republicans in the way of blocking Inslee’s nominations. Apparently, local Republicans are borrowing pages from the playbook of our do-nothing congressional Republicans.
UPDATE, 10:46 AM: Election results are:
- Guy Palumbo: 17 votes
- Hans Dunshee: 11 votes
- Mark Hintz: 3 votes
It appears that the grassroots effort to put Guy Palumbo over the top first has succeeded, and by a wide margin. Guy is the first choice of the PCOs. The final decision, however, will be made by the Snohomish County Council. They can appoint any of the three nominees, but they will be under pressure to choose Palumbo.
This concludes my live reporting. Thank you for following NPI’s coverage of this special nominating caucus to select nominees to fill the Snohomish County Council vacancy created by Dave Somers’ election as Snohomish County Executive.