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Spear still fired up in 43rd district race despite big hurdles in final month

Spear speaks with a supporter at a weekend rally on Capitol Hill (Images: CHS)

Spear speaks with a supporter at a weekend rally on Capitol Hill (Images: CHS)

Closing a 59 point primary gap would be a downright miracle in a political race, but Jess Spear is keeping the pressure on with one month to go in her bid to unseat longtime House Speaker Frank Chopp in Capitol Hill’s 43rd district.

On Tuesday night, Spear was fired up in her short appearance with Chopp at the Eastlake Community Council candidate forum. It was one of the few times both candidates have appeared together in the same room ahead of the November election, though the 20 minute session didn’t leave much time to get beyond the talking points.

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Spear and Chopp at the Pocock Rowing Center for Tuesday night’s forum (Photo: CHS)

In the August primary Spear garnered just 20% of vote as Chopp took home 79%. Spear’s staff are quick to point out that Spear gave a strong showing given Chopp’s entrenched position in the district and in Olympia.

“Winning depends on our ability to reach people, and that’s what frustrates me about the limited candidate forums,” Spear told CHS heading into Tuesday night.

Spear, a member of Socialist Alternative, chided Chopp and other Democrats on Tuesday night for passing corporate tax breaks and for failing to pass a state income tax. Chopp spent much of his time touting achievements in the legislature, including his role in expanding heath care coverage for thousands of children under the Apple Health program. Chopp also defended the $9 billion Boeing tax break, and others like it, saying it has kept manufacturing jobs in the state and contributed significantly to the economy. “You have to look at the whole picture,” he said.IMG_9740

The 43rd district includes many of the highest rent neighborhoods in the city, including Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, and parts of downtown. Both candidates have made strong efforts to connect with voters on the issue of affordable housing. On Tuesday night, Spear continued her call for a lifiting of the state ban on rent control, while Chopp vowed to continue his years of work using the state housing levy to build more affordable housing across the district.

On the fundraising front, things aren’t looking good for Spear. So far she has raised around $46,000 — a respectable amount given her refusal to accept corporate donations. However, it pales in comparison to Chopp’s $247,000 war chest.

Spear entered the race battle tested, having taken leading roles in Kshama Sawant’s city council campaing and in the grass roots fight for a $15 minimum wage. But it might not be enough. She told CHS that campaigning for herself has been a difficult transition.

“I’m not in any way seeking a political career,” she said. “It’s actually quite uncomfortable to be the face of the campaign. But, it is incredibly rewarding to go talk to people about the issues that they face and build that into solutions.”

CHS sat down with both Chopp and Spear earlier this summer to talk about the race.

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12 Comments
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nathan
nathan
6 years ago

Wow, you totally misrepresented the debate. Not only was she mean, she was clueless on the issues. Horrible candidate.

jc
jc
6 years ago
Reply to  nathan

Mean? Spear criticized Chopp’s record. There was no personal attack.

LouisaBell
LouisaBell
6 years ago
Reply to  jc

She seems to be economically illiterate to me.

Fritz
Fritz
6 years ago

In reference to Boeing:

“’We have the right to take over those factories, take them into the public domain and run them for public good — continue to keep those workers hired and produce things the local economy needs,’ Spear said.” Seattle Times, 7/15/14.

She’s a fanatic. Her beliefs are delusional and dangerous.

I’m not a big fan of Chopp but I’ll vote for him anyway . . . at least he seems to be in contact with reality.

Paul
Paul
6 years ago
Reply to  Fritz

Geez, yeah. Working people having control of their fates. It’s Orwellian.

tc
tc
6 years ago
Reply to  Paul

There’s a huge difference between giving workers more rights and nationalizing corporations.

jc
jc
6 years ago
Reply to  tc

Worker owned companies have done quite well in other places. Local control of its operations isn’t that crazy. Boeing has no commitment to the local economy and has long dropped its role as a “corporate citizen.” Imagine if the $9B extortion had instead gone to the machinists to assume control.

Jen C
Jen C
6 years ago
Reply to  Fritz

And Soviet Russia continues to live on strong in Spears heart and mind…

Outofmyhood
Outofmyhood
6 years ago

She is nuts. Was excited to vote for Sawant, and about 2 days after she took office I regretted what we had done in electing her. It’s nothing but hysterics from these people – where is the productivity? I LOVED how they mayor had to take the $15 wage right out of Sawants hands to get it passes, and I have no doubt based on the rhetoric and antics that Spears is involved in that she will actually be worse than Sawant.

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[…] vote on this fall’s ballot — like the Spear vs. Chopp race in the 43rd — weren’t on the Community Council’s agenda but you can weigh in on the CHS […]

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[…] to another rout of Socialist Alternative candidate Jessica Spear. In the August primary, Spear garnered just 20% of the vote as Chopp took […]