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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.

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

LIVE from Bothell: Democratic PCOs meeting to choose nominees to succeed Guy Palumbo

Good afternoon from Bothell!

Today, the Democratic precinct committee officers of Washington State’s 1st Legislative District have assembled to draw up a list of candidates to succeed Guy Palumbo in the Washington State Senate, who recently stepped down from his position in the Legislature to become a lobbyist for Amazon.

Due to Palumbo’s departure, a vacancy now exists for state senator in the 1st. 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, because the 1st is a multi-county district spanning neighborhoods in north King and south Snohomish counties.

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

2:05 PM: The special nominating caucus has been called to order by Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski.

2:10 PM: There are forty-three Democratic precinct committee officers present and eligible to vote at this caucus. The first order of business is the selection of the procedure that will be used to draw up the lists of nominees.

2:18 PM: Four candidates were nominated to fill the Senate vacancy:

  • David Bain
  • Derek Stanford (currently one of the 1st’s two State Representatives)
  • Hillary Moralez (currently the Chair of the Snohomish County Democrats)
  • Linda Tosti-Lane

2:20 PM: Linda Tosti-Lane spoke first. She asked the PCOs to support Derek Stanford as their first choice and then to vote for her as a second or third choice.

David Bain spoke next and echoed Linda’s request, asking PCOs to support Derek Stanford as their first choice. He also discussed legislative priorities he’d like to see the Democratic-controlled Legislature enact, like additional funding for rail transit (existing funding is presently threatened by Tim Eyman’s I-976).

State Representative Derek Stanford was the third to speak. He summarized his accomplishments as a member of the House and talked about the need to continue making progress towards fully funding public education, strengthening environmental and worker protections, and expanding healthcare.

Hillary Moralez was the final candidate to speak. She emphasized her support of Derek Stanford and asked PCOs to nominate her as “a fighter” who would stand alongside Derek during the final stages of the appointment process.

2:35 PM: Balloting has begun. State Representative Shelley Kloba is offering remarks while the Tally Committee does its work.

2:45 PM: The results of the first round of balloting are in.

  • There were forty-two votes for Derek Stanford
  • There were five votes for Hilary Moralez
  • There was one vote for Linda Tosti-Lane
  • There were no votes for David Bain

Accordingly, Derek Stanford’s name will be placed first on the list of names submitted to the King and Snohomish County Councils by the WSDCC.

Now the PCOs are voting on whose name should be placed second.

2:48 PM: Results are in for the second round of balloting.

  • There were twenty-nine votes for Hillary Moralez
  • There were ten votes for Linda Tosti-Lane
  • There were eight votes for David Bain
  • There was one spoiled ballot (someone didn’t follow instructions)

Hillary Moralez’s name will be placed second on the list of Senate nominees.

Now the PCOs are voting on whose name should be placed third.

2:52 PM: Results are in for the third round of balloting.

  • There were twenty-five votes for Linda Tosti-Lane.
  • There were twenty-one votes for David Bain.
  • There was one abstention.
  • There was one spoiled ballot.

Linda Tosti-Lane’s name will be placed third on the list of Senate nominees.

2:54 PM: Four candidates were nominated to fill the House vacancy that would be created if Derek Stanford is appointed to fill the Senate vacancy.

  • Hillary Moralez
  • Davina Duerr
  • Roy Wilkinson
  • Darshan Rauniyar

We will now proceed to candidate speeches.

3:10 PM: As with the Senate nominees, each candidate for the House vacancy was given five minutes to speak. Davina spoke first, followed by Roy, then Hillary and Darshan. Each candidate is remarkably different than the others: Davina is a Bothell city council member with extensive local government experience, Roy is a veteran who works at Boeing and is active in the labor movement, Hillary is a young biracial Democratic activist currently chairing the Snohomish County Democrats and serving on the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and Darshan is a Nepali-American business leader who has previously run unsuccessfully for Congress and the Washington State Legislature.

3:15 PM: Balloting is underway for the House vacancy for the first spot.

3:17 PM: We have results for the first round of balloting for the House vacancy. The outcome was very close between the top two candidates.

  • There were twenty-one votes for Davina Duerr
  • There were nineteen votes for Hillary Moralez
  • There were seven votes for Darshan Rauniyar
  • There was one vote for Roy Wilkinson

3:25 PM: Davina didn’t quite get a majority, so there will be a runoff vote for the first place spot between Davina Duerr and Hillary Moralez.

3:32 PM: There was a twenty-four to twenty-four vote tie in the runoff for the first place spot, so the vote will be repeated. And the vote will continue to be repeated until the tie is broken, State Party Chair Tina Podlodowski says.

Again, this is for the House vacancy that would be created by State Representative Derek Stanford’s move to the Senate, replacing Guy Palumbo.

3:37 PM: Here are the results of the second runoff for the first place spot. One PCO changed their vote from Hillary to Davina, thereby breaking the tie.

  • There were twenty-five votes for Davina Duerr
  • There were twenty-three votes for Hillary Moralez

Davina’s name will be placed first on the list of House nominees.

3:42 PM: Here are the results of the voting for the second place spot.

  • There were thirty-three votes for Hillary Moralez
  • There were twelve votes for Darshan Rauniyar
  • There were three votes for Roy Wilkinson

Hillary’s name will be placed second on the list of House nominees.

3:48 PM: Here are the results of the voting for the third place spot.

  • There were thirty-six votes for Darshan Rauniyar
  • There were eleven votes for Roy Wilkinson

Darshan’s name will be placed third on the list of House nominees.

These are the final list of names for the Senate vacancy:

  1. Derek Stanford
  2. Hillary Moralez
  3. Linda Tosti-Lane

These are the final list of names for the House vacancy:

  1. Davina Duerr
  2. Hillary Moralez
  3. Darshan Rauniyar

The King and Snohomish County Councils plan to hold a joint meeting on June 27th to make an appointment. Whoever is appointed to the two vacancies will be sworn in immediately and begin their new duties as a state legislator.

3:55 PM: The special nominating caucus has adjourned. This concludes our live coverage. Thank you for joining us; we hope you found it informative!

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