There have been a number of special appointments to fill vacated Legislative seats this year in Washington. As a result there are 5 Senate seats and 3 Representative seats up for election in 2017 because appointments to fill vacancies must stand election at the next General Election.
This provides a unique opportunity for Washington State Democrats to pick up the Senate seat in the 45th LD in NE King County. Democrats currently are in the minority in the Washington State Senate having only 24 seats to the Republican caucus having 25 seats. Republicans have 25 seats in their caucus because Senator Tim Sheldon, claiming to be a Democrat when he runs, actually caucuses with the Republicans, giving them 25 votes.
The special Legislative elections this year presents a great opportunity for the Democrats to take back the majority in the Washington State Senate. Democrat Manka Dhingra recently declared she is running for the Senate seat in the 45th LD. Republicans appointed Dino Rossi, a former Legislator and Gubernatorial candidate, to this seat. He has said he was not running in Nov. although this could change considering the importance of this election.
Filing to run in these elections is May 15 -19th. The Primary is August 1st and the general election is Nov. 7th.This is a big opportunity for the surging grassroots opposition to Trump and the GOP to make a big difference. It is also a chance to get ready for efforts for 2018 to train and challenge ways that grassroots activism can bring e a big change in 2018.
Democrats currently are only 1 seat away from a majority in the Washington State Senate. But they are also only 1 seat away from Republicans controlling the House. Democrats need to increase their numbers in both Houses to be effective and push their legislation. This year Democrats can start the necessary work now to join California and Oregon in having strong majorities in our Legislature and being able to move forward on the state level to oppose efforts nationally by Trump and the GOP to move our progress backwards.
List of Legislative races and appointments to the seats:
7th LD Senate – Shelly Short (R)
7th LD House – Jacqueline Maycumber (R)
31st LD Senate – Phil Fortunato (R)
31st LD House – Morgan Irwin (R)
37th LD Senate – Rebecca Saldaña (D)
45th LD Senate – Dino Rossi (R)
48th LD Senate – Patty Kuderer(D)
48th LD House – Vandana Slatter (D)
No Democrats have yet filed to run in the 7th or the 31st races. Republicans will field a candidate in the 45th for sure as well as the 2 seats in the 48th. It is expected that these will be very intensive campaigns with lots of money flowing to both Republicans and Democrats. Expect that out of state funds from right wing entities like the Koch Brothers will show up.
We need to have Democrats running in every seat – Republicans should have no free ride. And in all these races Democrats can start now registering voters and starting voter contacts to id voters likely to vote Democratic. Marching can get people energized – grassroots organizing is where we make a big difference by changing who’s in charge.