Filing week, when candidates who may have been running for office for a year or more make their intentions official, is always of great interest to the political class. Back when they actually had to go to Olympia to file in person, candidates often played the waiting-game, trying to cut as close as possible to the deadline before submitting their paperwork. Inevitably, that strategy backfired every once in a while … a flat tire, a speeding ticket, an accident.
These days, filing happens on the internet, removing that sort of fun from the process. But now that Washington uses the (utterly ridiculous, IMHO … but that’s for another day) Top Two primary system, there’s a new source of amusement available to observers:
(Prefers ___________________ Party)
Sure, most of the time that blank space is filled by something conventional — Republican or Democratic. Not always, however, and I always like to review the atypical ones. For instance, three Congressional candidates, two candidates for Governor, an Insurance Commissioner aspirant, and one apiece for State Senate and State House of Representatives prefer the Independent Party. Which doesn’t really exist. Why those candidates didn’t use the (States No Party Preference) option, as 13 others did, escapes me. Surely that’s what they actually mean to say.
As always, a few supposedly-Democratic candidates omit the ic, telling us they prefer the Democrat Party. That irksome misconstruction is particularly favored by Republicans; Bob Dole was a frequent ic-dropper. Note to WA-01 special election candidate Ruth Morrison, 26th District House candidate Stephen Greer, 42nd LD House candidate Matthew Krogh, and 49th District House candidate Sharon Wylie — if you want us to believe you’re really Democrats, get Sam Reed to add the ic to your preferred label. Linda Wright (39th LD House) goes them one better. In addition to the dropped syllable, she eschews the capital D; she Prefers democrat Party.
And then there’s Brad Owen. Is it any surprise that this guy, who’s running for his fifth term of sullying the office of Lieutenant Governor, Prefers Democrat Party? Look up “DINO” in the dictionary, and you’ll find a picture of Brad Owen (or maybe his pal Tim Sheldon). That no actual Democrat ever tries to wrest the office (and, more importantly, the Senate gavel) from him astonishes me.
Quite a few candidates described themselves with riffs on the names, or nicknames, of the major parties. Thus, we find preference (with minor variations) for:
- F.D.R. Democrat Party — Dave Christie (WA-09)
- Independent Dem. Party — incumbent Christopher Hurst (31st District House)
- The Republican Party — John C. W. Shoop (WA-02)
- Indep Republican Party — Glenn Anderson (Lt. Governor)
- Independent GOP Party — incumbent Cheryl Pflug (5th District Senate), John Swapp (40th LD Senate), Eileen Qutub (49th LD Senate)
- GOP Party — Scott Sutherland (WA-07), Nancy McLaughlin (3rd District Senate), Tim Benn (3rd LD House), Mark G. Schoesler (9th District Senate), incumbent Linda Evans Parlette (12th District Senate), Adrian E. Cortes (18th LD House), Ed Orcutt (20th District House), incumbent Mike Carrell (28th LD Senate), Eric R. Alvey (32nd District House), Michael Casey (38th LD House)
- The most creative of these is 36th District House aspirant Leslie Klein, who cleverly(?) Prefers (R) Hope&change Party.
Members of several real political parties filed to run for office in 2012. Or maybe they aren’t party members … after all, a candidate can write anything on that blank line, as long as it’s short enough and not profane. The Green candidate, Howard A. Pellett for the House in the 40th District, is probably the real thing. Karen Murray, Constitution Party candidate for Secretary of State, is definitely for real; she’s their Vice Chairman/Communications Director. So too is Progressive Party chair Linde Knighton, running for the open 36th District House seat. I’m not so sure the Reform Party wants to take the
blame credit for crazed ex-felon and US Senate candidate Will Baker, but then again he’s called himself Reform Party before.
Spiraling ever farther away from serious politics, we come to a bunch of so-called candidates with one-off, semi-random “party” preferences. Get a load of these:
- The 99% Party — Mike Lapointe (WA-02)
- Prog Independent Party — Sue Gunn (WA-10)
- Democracy Indep. Party — Mark Greene (Lt. Governor), who often trolls blog comment threads calling himself Party of Commons
- Neopopulist Party — Dave T. Sumner IV (Lt. Governor)
- The Human Rights Party — Sam Wright (Secretary of State)
- Non-Partisan Party — Tamra Smilanich (37th District House)
- Socialist Altern Party — Kshama Sawant (43rd LD House)
I’ve saved the best for last. Yes, our favorite perennial candidates are back for still another round!
Still utilizing Washington state elections as advertising for his business (the $1740 filing fee buys him millions of views in the primary’s voters’ guide every two years, as well as free TV time on TVW), Mike The Mover is running for the US Senate this time. Interestingly, he’s calling himself a Republican in this election. In previous years, he’s generally said he was a Democrat.
Goodspaceguy has set his sights a bit lower than usual in 2012, running for the WA-07 Congressional seat rather than a statewide office. Is the grind of all that campaigning wearing him down? His choice of a party affiliation demonstrates imagination, at the very least. What else would you expect from a man who has legally changed his name to Goodspaceguy? He Prefers Employmentwealth Party.
And last but not least, what would we do without Stan Lippman? Who knew that the Redistricting Commission extended the borders of the 46th Legislative District to the north and northeast in order to bring Stan back into a Seattle-based LD?! He’s one of the cast of thousands running for that open House seat in the 46th. The other candidates are four Democrats and one Republican, whereas Stan wants to have it all. He Prefers Democratic-Repub Party.
One more item … as I write this, the Secretary of State’s list of candidates who have filed has some rather glaring errors. According to the SoS, Zack Hudgins isn’t running for re-election to the House in the 11th District and Sylvester Cann didn’t file to run against Gerry Pollet for the House in the 46th. King County Elections doesn’t make either of those mistakes. The SoS also seems to say that Senator Joe Zarelli’s surprise retirement leaves a Democrat running unopposed for that blood-red Republican seat. Goldy tells me that the SoS list isn’t official yet, which is made abundantly clear by those mistakes. Check back with them on Tuesday.