Washington State Capitol in Olympia
Washington State Capitol in Olympia

Good evening from Seat­tle. I’m here at the Rainier Arts Cen­ter, where the Demo­c­ra­t­ic precinct com­mit­tee offi­cers of the 37th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict are gath­ered to draw up a list of can­di­dates to suc­ceed U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive-elect Prami­la Jaya­pal, who has sub­mit­ted her res­ig­na­tion effec­tive Decem­ber 11th, 2016.

Because Prami­la is head­ing to the Oth­er Wash­ing­ton to rep­re­sent Washington;s 7th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, a vacan­cy now exists for state sen­a­tor in the 37th. 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 (WSDCC) or the rel­e­vant coun­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic cen­tral committee.

The WSDCC, of which I am a mem­ber, spec­i­fies in its bylaws that when a vacan­cy is declared, the coun­ty or 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 King Coun­ty Coun­cil 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.

7:45 PM: The names of eight can­di­dates have been placed into nomination.

  • Shasti Con­rad
  • Juan Cot­to
  • Jesse Wein­ber­ry
  • Rory O’Sullivan
  • Rebec­ca Saldaña
  • Bob Rosen­berg­er
  • John Stafford
  • She­ley Secrest

The South Seat­tle Emer­ald has a primer on all the can­di­dates.

Rebec­ca Sal­daña is Prami­la Jaya­pal’s choice for the job.

8 PM: Jesse Wein­ber­ry has with­drawn his name from con­sid­er­a­tion after using his five min­utes to com­plain that only new­ly-elect­ed precinct com­mit­tee offi­cers for 2017–2018 are allowed to vote in this caucus.

8:41 PM: The first round of vot­ing has been com­plet­ed and the results announced. 81 bal­lots were cast and 1 of those was spoiled.

  • Jesse Wein­ber­ry: 1 vote
  • She­ley Secrest: 2 votes
  • Juan Cot­to: 3 votes
  • Bob Rosen­berg­er: 5 votes
  • John Stafford: 6 votes
  • Shasti Con­rad: 7 votes
  • Rebec­ca Sal­daña: 28 votes
  • Rory O’Sul­li­van: 30 votes

8:54 PM: A runoff was held to deter­mine who would be ranked first on the list of three. The results of the runoff were as follows:

  • Rebec­ca Sal­daña: 35 votes
  • Rory O’Sul­li­van: 46 votes

Rory’s name will appear first on the list of three names.

9:14 PM: A third round of bal­lot­ing, to deter­mine the sec­ond name on the list, has just been com­plet­ed. 78 bal­lots were cast in the third round of vot­ing (with none spoiled) and these were the results:

  • Jesse Wein­ber­ry: 1 vote
  • Bob Rosen­berg­er: 2 votes
  • She­ley Secrest: 4 votes
  • Juan Cot­to: 5 votes
  • John Stafford: 6 votes
  • Shasti Con­rad: 14 votes
  • Rebec­ca Sal­daña: 46 votes

Rebec­ca received more than a major­i­ty, so there will be no runoff for sec­ond place. Her name will appear sec­ond on the list of three names.

9:27 PM: A fourth round of bal­lot­ing has been com­plet­ed, to deter­mine the third-ranked name. Sev­en­ty votes were cast. Results were as follows:

  • Bob Rosen­berg­er: 1 vote
  • She­ley Secret: 5 votes
  • Juan Cot­to: 12 votes
  • John Stafford: 20 votes
  • Shasti Con­rad: 32 votes

There will be one final round of bal­lot­ing — a runoff to deter­mine third place.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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