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, January 28th, 2017

LIVE from Olympia: Washington State Democrats choose officers for 2017-2018

Good afternoon from Olympia, Washington.

I’m at the Red Lion here in our state’s capital to chronicle (and participate in) the biennial winter reorganization meeting of the Washington State Democratic Party, one of two of the state’s major political parties.

As one of one hundred and seventy-six members of the Washington State Democratic Central Committee (WSDCC), it is my responsibility to help select leaders for the coming two year cycle. The party has four statewide officers: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer, who serve twenty-four month terms. The election of these individuals is the major item of business at today’s meeting.

I will be offering live updates as this portion of the meeting progresses.

UPDATE, 2:17 PM: The job of Chair, the most important of the four officer positions, is being contested first. The Chair serves as the party’s chief executive and its spokesperson. Three candidates have been nominated:

  • Jaxon Ravens, the incumbent party Chair, who is seeking reelection to another full term, having held the position since 2014;
  • Tina Podlodowski, a veteran business and civic leader who has been the Democratic Party’s nominee for Secretary of State last year;
  • Roger Flygare, an activist in the 30th District, who has unsuccessfully sought to be elected or appointed to the Washington State House several times.

We are now hearing from the candidates.

UPDATE, 2:36 PM: Ballots are now being counted.

UPDATE, 2:50 PM: We have a new Chair: Tina Podlodowski is the new chief executive of the Washington State Democratic Party! I was very proud to be a part of Tina’s campaign and warmly congratulate her on her victory.


  • Tina received 119 votes
  • Jaxon received 53 votes
  • Roger received 2 votes

UPDATE, 2:55 PM: I was proud to nominate Joe Pakootas for Vice Chair, and he was elected by acclamation, succeeding retiring Vice Chair Valerie Brady Rongey.

UPDATE, 2:58 PM: Founding NPI boardmember Rob Dolin has been reelected by acclamation as Secretary of the Washington State Democrats.

UPDATE, 3:05 PM: Incumbent State Party Treasurer Habib Habib has been reelected by acclamation.

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