NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

Snohomish County’s 5th District PCOs meet to choose nominees to succeed Dave Somers

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.

The scene inside the Everett Labor Temple

The scene inside the Everett Labor Tem­ple at the spe­cial nom­i­nat­ing cau­cus (Pho­to: Ren­nie Sawade/NPI)

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.

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