No endorsement: Sawant, challengers fail to shine as District 3 candidates make lackluster showing in 43rd Dems endorsements vote

It was Sawant vs. DeWolf Tuesday night — and nobody came out on top

The one time council member Kshama Sawant didn’t want a no endorsement result she got it as the 43rd District Democrats failed to reach agreement on a single District 3 candidate with a standing-room crowd at the University of Washington’s Kane Hall Tuesday night. After two ballots, the attendees were unable to come to an agreement on an endorsement, even when the field was whittled down from the six candidates to Seattle Public Schools Board member Zachary DeWolf and Sawant.

This decision signals a splintered electorate where none of the five challengers have truly seized the mantle in taking on a polarizing incumbent and that anything could happen in the next two months before the August top-two primary. It also could be a sign of things to come in a summer of political races featuring an unprecedentedly huge field of candidates.

The first ballot Tuesday was inconclusive, leaving DeWolf and Sawant to duke it out on a second round. The All Home King County staffer received votes on 46% of ballots in the first set, while the incumbent was on 42%.

“These kids have hope and they cannot wait for us any longer to act,” said DeWolf, catching his breath after arriving a few minutes late to speak as he was running from another school graduation ceremony. “Please do not let them into a world where people are sleeping outside, where people are going hungry, where our cities crumbling because of the climate crisis. We owe it to these kids to deliver results so that they can be proud of the world that they’re living in.”

Unlike in last month’s contentious 37th District Democrats endorsement process, which resulted in a complicated ‘no consensus’ decision after three and a half hours and four ballots, the 43rd’s Democratic Party allows for the endorsement of a candidate outside of the party, such as Sawant of Socialist Alternative. Continue reading

43rd District leaders on health care, homelessness — and what it’s like working with Washington Republicans

By Tim Kukes for CHS

What is it like working with Washington’s Republicans?

“We tried everything we could have. Cajoling, complaining, amending, making procedural motions, protesting and acting out in various ways,” State Senator Jamie Pedersen said Saturday at a town hall meeting with the 43rd District’s leaders.

Pedersen’s story of the state’s education “levy cliff” battle had a happy ending Saturday. Instead of, they lived happily ever, Pedersen’s happy conclusion went like this: “… finally senate Republicans agreed on Wednesday at the very last bill before the cutoff to pass the levy extension.”

Constituents of the state’s 43rd legislative district filled the Seattle First Baptist Church sanctuary, on Harvard Ave on First Hill just above the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Organizers said it may have been the largest 43rd town hall gathering yet as the old church’s pews were filled. Yes, the town hall has officially outgrown the church’s basement. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s new representative in Olympia set to work on housing, school funding, Trump worries

The big tent -- Macri talks with Capitol Hill Community Council's Zachary DeWolf (Image: CHS)

The big tent — Macri talks with Capitol Hill Community Council’s Zachary DeWolf in the early days of her campaign (Image: CHS)

First Nicole Macri won the primary election for the 43rd District House seat.

Then she won the general election over lawyer Dan Shih, taking about 65% of the vote.

Now she’s preparing for her start in a seat in the legislature that she says comes with a lot of responsibility.

“I’m excited and I feel like we ran a great campaign and I had a lot of great engagement with voters in the 43rd District,” Macri told CHS in an interview before the Thanksgiving holiday.

As she prepares for the session beginning on January 9th, 2017, Macri knows there’s a learning curve for newcomers, but she’s excited to work. Continue reading

Meet your new 43rd District rep, Capitol Hill’s Nicole Macri

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

In the run-up to Tuesday’s Election Night, CHS reported on the challenges the candidates to lead the 43rd District in Olympia faced in simply getting their constituents to know their names. Plenty of people knew the name Nicole Macri, apparently. The housing advocate cruised to an easy victory this week and will take over the seat in the state House left behind by Brady Walkinshaw.

“As I reflect on the shockingly disappointing results of the presidential election and the uncertainties that may lie ahead, I feel so fortunate to belong to a community of people that shares an optimistic vision for the future,” Macri wrote in her message to supporters marking her 30-point lead over lawyer Dan Shih. Continue reading

A last minute look at the cash in the races to represent Capitol Hill in Olympia, D.C.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-05-12-pmThe race to represent Capitol Hill and a good chunk of the area around our shores of the Puget Sound in Washington D.C. has been a money magnet — more than $4 million has flowed into the campaigns from right here in the 98112 and 98102 to the surprisingly powerful ZIP code of West Somerville, Massachusetts. Meanwhile, there are also money trails to track in the race to represent our part of Seattle in Olympia.

“Follow the money,” is the guidance Deep Throat offers journalist Bob Woodward in the classic All the President’s Men. It was good advice for ferreting out corruption in Washington D.C. but when it comes to covering local politics, a focus on campaign contributions and endorsements can result in a front-runner bias and a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

We’ve tried to start our coverage around the issues. In the WA 07 District race for Congress: Continue reading

State rep candidates Macri, Shih fight for recognition on Capitol Hill as voting begins

Even in the final weeks of the 43rd District state Legislature race, Nicole Macri and Dan Shih are finding that convincing voters still starts with the basics, like explaining who you are and what you’re running for. The result: two campaigns with a blunt focus on boosting name recognition instead of homestretch strategies.

Macri won 52% of the vote in the primary, making her the presumptive frontrunner in the race (even though Shih has raised more money) with a geographic base of support in the denser areas of Capitol Hill and the U-District. Shih performed better in the more residential, single-family home precincts.

But the candidates tell CHS they are not putting much stake in the August results given how many people are still unaware of the race. “You have to go out and earn the votes all over again,” Shih said. Continue reading

Race for the 43rd: What CHS heard at the LGBTQ business candidate forum

Nicole Macri and Dan Shih at Wednesday's forum. (Image: CHS)

Nicole Macri and Dan Shih at Wednesday’s forum. (Image: CHS)

The 43rd District state House seat has been held by a LGBTQ representative longer than any other elected office in the U.S. No matter the outcome in November, that legacy will continue with either Dan Shih or Nicole Macri, who both took questions at an LGBTQ-focused candidate forum Wednesday night on Capitol Hill.

Longtime radio host Deborah Brandt moderated the event at Harvard Ave’s Erickson Theater and posed questions from Seattle’s LGBTQ chamber of commerce, the Greater Seattle Business Association.

When asked what he would do to support the 43rd’s LGBTQ community in Olympia, Shih said he would work on expanding protections within the foster care system and for seniors at assisted living facilities, who Shih said are often forced to “go back in the closet” as they age.

With years of experience in homeless housing policy, Macri said she would focus on ensuring LGBTQ youth had equal access to homeless and healthcare services. Macri said she would also work to reinstate a real estate document recording fee that funds homeless projects statewide. Continue reading

What it was like to run in the 43rd District state rep race

Wednesday night, the race for a seat in Olympia to represent the 43rd District heats back up as challengers Nicole Macri and Dan Shih face off in an LGBTQ-focused candidates forum on Capitol Hill. CHS will be there to cover the proceedings but, first, we wanted to take a look back at the candidates for the state’s House of Representatives who didn’t make it through the primary to hear their stories about the race and how this tier of politics can play out at the neighborhood level.

Postage stamps and pit bulls
The day before the August primary, Sameer Ranade was knocking on doors in a last minute push to advance in the 43rd District state House race. The feedback from voters was encouraging. Many said they would be happy to vote for him, if they had not already mailed their ballot. Continue reading

Sound Transit 3 ballot measure endorsed by 43rd District Dems

43rd District Democrats made a handful of general election endorsements Tuesday night for state and local ballot measures as well as judicial positions. The slate of endorsements came after the group made many of its higher profile endorsements in June, with the exception of one major initiative.

Sound Transit 3, the ballot measure to drastically expand light rail in the region, officialy received the nod from Democrats. The $53.8 billion package would extend light rail lines to Redmond by 2024, Ballard by 2030, and West Seattle by 2035. Extensions into Everett and Tacoma would come in the following years. Continue reading