I like Darcy Burner, and if I still lived in the 1st district, I might well vote for her in a primary for all the reasons Darryl described earlier today. I certainly made calls and knocked on doors for her both times she ran for Congress before. But I’ve also walked a few precincts for Roger Goodman and I gave money to Marko Liias. And I supported Laura Ruderman for Congress before Inslee got into the race in 1998, and thought it was classy when she got out of that race to run for the legislature to avoid a primary fight (today I’m more pro-primary fights, but that’s another story).
We’ve got a lot of good candidates running in the 1st district who have done a lot of good in government and in the community. I might well vote for any of them if I still lived up North. So here are a few quick stories about some of the non-rockstar candidates in the hope that you’ll give them a look too.
I don’t know how many times I heard that Roger Goodman couldn’t win supporting marijuana decriminalization. How he was out of touch with a supposedly conservative district and that one issue was going to destroy him. He’d be portrayed as a dirty hippie, and it didn’t matter how he came to the issue quite sensibly and that his actual resume was quite impressive, never mind that it’s obviously the right position. He did win, and he has been a leader in the legislature.
Of course earlier than that, the East Side was one of the safest parts of the state for Republicans. So in 1998 when Laura Ruderman won in the 45th district it was quite a big deal. Democrats have followed her lead ever since, making King County east of Lake Washington competitive. It’s true that in the legislature, she tended to stick to more bread and butter things like education. But for a legislator with a target on her back to get those sorts of things passed in the state house that was evenly split is a mark of a good legislator.
Unlike Goodman and Ruderman, I didn’t know anything about Marko Liias until he already was a legislator. But I somehow got wrangled into going to a fundraiser for him. I talked to him briefly and was impressed by the depth of knowledge about and commitment to public transportation from a suburban legislator. As someone who was pretty reliant on public transit growing up on the suburbs, I was glad to hear it.
All in all, first district Democrats have some great choices, and the coming months should be exciting to see all of the candidates stake out positions. It’ll be the first competitive Democratic primary in the district that I can remember, so it’ll be a great chance to define what it means to be a Democrat in the area. As someone who grew up in the district when it was pretty conservative, this is a great development.