Democratic power play is under way

A fierce fight is under way for the top leadership post of the Washington state Democratic Party.

A fierce fight is under way for the top leadership post of the Washington state Democratic Party.

Jaxon Ravens’ bid for re-election as chairman is in jeopardy as supporters of Bernie Sanders are carrying out a coordinated insurgency to defeat him and elect Tina Podlodowski when the party’s central committee votes next month in Olympia.

One-by-one, Sanders’ loyalists are winning seats on the powerful 176-person panel that is made up of one man and one woman from party organizations in each county and legislative district. They’ve secured committee seats in several counties, including King, Pierce and Jefferson, with the process continuing at party meetings around the state through mid-January.

Their latest display of force came with a bit of drama Dec. 17 at a meeting of the Snohomish County Democratic Party.

Mario Brown of Edmonds, a Sanders supporter, won the chairmanship by beating incumbent Richard Wright of Lynnwood in a contest that required two rounds of voting to decide.

A short time later, Jason Call captured one of the critical state committee seats by beating Todd Nichols. Call had gone on Facebook days before the vote to declare he’d back Podlodowski if he won.

Call’s win is significant because Nichols is the definition of party stalwart and viewed as a likely backer of Ravens. Nichols had represented Snohomish County on the state committee since 1997 and served as chairman of its Rules Committee for the last dozen years.

Sanders’ supporters “want to have a chance to do it their way and they deserve a chance to do so,” Nichols said. “There comes a time for change and this is as good a time as any.”

Call’s win will be seen by some as a bellwether of Ravens’ waning chances amid a surging voice of a progressive flank.

The beef with Ravens stems from the uneven performance of Democratic candidates in November.

The top of the ticket — Hillary Clinton, Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray — won statewide by comfortable margins. And Democratic challengers did unseat three incumbent state lawmakers, one in the Senate and two in the House.

Ravens’ critics cite the loss of a state House seat in Grays Harbor County for the first time in decades as an example of inadequate leadership. They also contend the state and county party leaders must shoulder some responsibility for Democrat Hans Dunshee losing his seat on the Snohomish County Council to a relatively unknown Republican.

Podlodowski, who lost her bid for secretary of state in November, attributed part of the reason to a lack of support from the party.

Last week, Ravens said only about a third of the state committee seats have been voted on, making it too soon for predictions.

“I’m in it. I’m in strong. There’s still a lot of conversations to take place,” he said.

Political reporter Jerry Cornfield’s blog, The Petri Dish, is at www.heraldnet.com. Contact him at 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com and on Twitter at @dospueblos.

More in Opinion

Spotting outsiders in our little city

There’s always a way to tell who’s new and who’s ‘in-the-know’ in Enumclaw.

We must move away from identity politics

Mr. Trump recognized the legitimate concerns of the “working class” and socio-economic middle class which have born a disproportionate negative impact from many of Washington’s policies.

Polarizing politics works to squash the moderate middle

The definition of identity politics: “Political attitudes or positions that focus on… Continue reading

Enumclaw VFW cites long list of community service

Our post, although one of the smallest in the state, consistently ranks near the top of all state VFW posts in the amount of community service we provide.

A victory they didn’t want means a fight they worked to avoid

De-Escalate Washington needs to restart the machinery of a campaign to pass I-940.

A salute to Silicon Valley

If you want to catch a glimpse of what the future holds for all of us, pay close attention to the hi-tech people in Redmond.

Deeply held religious beliefs do good in the world

It is truly disheartening to see the eagerness with which people jump on the bandwagon to Christian bash.

Economy rises and falls, regardless of who’s in the Oval Office

History from the time of Harry Truman teaches us that presidents have very little influence on the economy.

SPLC accurately labels hate organizations and people

The SPLC has received my support for many years and will continue to receive my support for their efforts to defend the civil rights of all persons.

Rumbling and rambling on the way to November

The short columns for the upcoming mid-terms.

Shakespeare and sex jokes, Act II

How exactly did you think he became popular with the masses back in the time of the Plague?

Thank you for, Mount Peak Historical Fire Lookout Association supporters

Keep a lookout for future information during this fundraising phase.