Whoops. Rodney Tom supporters were likely buoyed by the list of endorsements his campaign emailed out last week when he announced his candidacy for Dave Reichert’s congressional seat in WA-08, but that list seems to be shrinking day by day. First King County Democratic Chair Susan Sheary denied she had endorsed Tom, and now 48th LD Chair Doug Hightower tells me he too should not have been included on the list.
I talked to Hightower today to get his take on the primary race between Tom and Darcy Burner, and he told me that he was “neutral,” and didn’t know how his name got on the endorsement list. Hightower insisted it was “too early” for party officials like him to take sides.
Consultant John Wyble graciously offered to “take the fall” for the erroneous email announcing Tom’s “run for Congresss [sic],” and I suppose it is only a minor embarrassment for both Tom and his campaign. Still, a candidate running mostly on the strength of his five years of experience in the state legislature should probably have enough campaign experience to know that it’s not such a good idea to claim endorsements until, um, you know… you actually have them.
King County Democratic Party Chairwoman Susan Sheary attended his campaign-kickoff announcement, and Tom — erroneously — claimed her endorsement, too.
He said later that support for him is obvious “when you’ve got the King County Democratic chair behind you,” and added, “She is fully behind me.”
Not so, Sheary said: “I have not endorsed anyone and will not. I was there only as a party leader because he had invited me. But I will stay neutral in the (primary) race.”
By the way, I’ve been talking to political insiders, pundits, wags and other members of the courtier class, trying to get a gauge on the conventional wisdom surrounding the Burner/Tom primary, and Hightower’s take was pretty much in line with the consensus: it’s good for the Democrats and a bad, bad sign for Reichert. Two term incumbents are usually unbeatable, yet Democrats are champing at the bit to take him on — compare that to Jennifer Dunn, who basically ran unopposed for much of her career.
And while Burner may not have wanted a primary opponent, almost everybody I’ve spoken with believes the challenge will be good for her… you know, with the possible exception of those few deluded folks who actually think Burner might lose.