Musical Chairs in Washington’s 48th LD races

Democratic Representative Cyrus Habib announced today that he was going to run for the State Senate seat in the 48th LD in east King County. Candidate Joan McBride, former Mayor of Kirkland, announced that she was dropping her bid for Senate and would run for Habib’s House seat.

Joan McBride was the lone Democrat to challenge Senator Rodney Tom in the 48th LD. Rodney Tom, while professing to be a Democrat, bolted the Democratic Party two years ago when he aligned himself with the Republicans in the State Senate. This Legislative session he was the so-called Majority Leader as a result of joining with another Democrat professing to also be a Democrat  – Tim Sheldon of the 35th LD, and aligning themselves with the minority 24  Republicans to be part of a “Majority Coalition”.

Rodney Tom a week ago sent an e-mail out to the Republicans announcing that for personal reasons he was not going to re-run for the Senate. This shook up the political dynamics of the 48th LD and resulted in the musical chairs that has followed.

Joan McBride deserves a big thanks from Democrats for taking on Rodney Tom when others didn’t step forward. And she deserves thanks for making a tough decision to run for the House seat, rather than run for the Senate seat, acknowledging that an incumbent Legislator has a better chance of winning the Senate seat. The goal for Democrats remains to win back the Senate from the so called Majority Caucus and move this state forward rather than grinding legislative action to a standstill.

The 48th LD now stands a good chance of being a sweep for the Democrats. Cyrus Habib won his 1st election by more than 60% and has shown himself to be an aggressive campaigner and a strong advocate for the people in the 48th LD. This state needs to move forward to fully fund education as the Washington State Supreme Court’s McCleary decision directed. Democrats are committed to do that.

Senate Democrats can now focus more strongly on other key Senate races, like Matt Isenhower running in the 45th LD and Shari Song running for in the 30th LD.

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