The upheaval in the 37th District Democrats about the group’s endorsement process, which led to a narrow vote to endorse District 3 candidate Pamela Banks over council incumbent Kshama Sawant, in part, because Sawant is not a Democrat, continues to reverberate.
Late last week, Erin Schultz, who works for Banks’ consultant Christian Sinderman, sent out an “open letter from members of the 37th District Democrats” expressing concern about some members’ efforts “to disqualify the endorsement votes of some of our East African members based on who they supported for City Council. As Democrats, we are passionate about the right to vote, and we condemn any move to silence our members.”
Currently, the district’s rules say that a member must live in the district and must have been a dues-paying member for 25 days prior to a vote. Due to confusion over some new members, a few members may have voted who weren’t eligible, according to a statement district chair Rory O’Sullivan posted to the group’s website. According to two 37th District Democrats members, Banks needed at least 73 votes to win the endorsement, and received exactly that number.
Without the ineligible members, it’s possible that Banks wouldn’t have received the Dems’ nod. (The win would have then gone to “no endorsement,” the de facto Sawant endorsement). Banks finished far behind Sawant in the September primary, and has raised far less than the Socialist going into the general, making endorsements from groups like the Democrats more important than they might be for a candidate with a comfortable lead.
Commenting on my original Facebook post about this, a Democrat who was present at the meeting said she couldn’t remember any instance in this past where members sought to challenge people’s eligibility to vote on endorsements after the fact.
A couple of other random election-related notes:
District 5 candidate Sandy Brown, who came in far behind Debora Juarez in the primary election, is accusing Juarez of avoiding campaign forums where she’d have to appear with him. Late last month, Brown posted a series of tweets with hashtags like #whereisjuarez and #emptychair (sorry, Sandy, that one’s kinda already taken), such as this one, on September 23: “How do we debate N Seattle issues if 1/2 candidates won’t appear?”
Asked about her absences (apparently, Juarez missed three appearances in September, but her campaign said she had attended “at least 23” by the time Brown wrote his tweets), Juarez’s campaign manager Tyler Emsky said, “Debora was out of town (on a short family trip) for the Sept. 3rd Haller Lake Community Club forum. She also was not able to attend a small neighborhood block party on September 13th due to an unavoidable last minute personal situation. …We have also declined the invitation of the group putting on the Oct. 1st candidate forum at Ingraham High School. This was very tough for us to do, but we had little choice. We received information from multiple sources that a few members of the group had succeeded in setting up the debate to be highly impartial.” Three of people reportedly organizing that forum are Brown contributors.
The meeting Emsky was referring to was ultimately turned into a meet-and-greet for Brown’s campaign.
Speaking of campaign contributions, Vulcan, along with the SEIU 775 health care workers’ union, is holding a fundraiser on October 12 for Position 8 candidate Tim Burgess and Position 9 candidate Lorena Gonzalez, at SEIU headquarters downtown.