The 40th Legislative District Democrats kicked off their campaign season with a nominating convention Sunday, May 18 at the Anacortes library. The precinct committee officers met to nominate a candidate to fill the senate seat vacated by Harriet Spanel.
“There has been an air of pent-up excitement and excellent candidates have come forward,” said Tom Pasma, chair of the 40th Legislative District. “This is the first opening we’ve had in the district in more than a decade”.
Five Democratic candidates were in the race at Sunday’s convention and several rounds of voting were expected. After each candidate was questioned individually, the first vote was taken and a strong margin of victory brought the process to a speedy resolution.
In weighted voting based on the last presidential campaign, San Juan County Council Member Kevin Ranker received 260 votes or 54 percent of the total. Three candidates split the remaining 46 percent of the votes. The runner up was long-time Whatcom County Democratic party activist, Hue Beattie with 94 weighted votes. Third was Whatcom County Ken Henderson with 78 votes followed by Stephanie Kountourous, also of Whatcom County at 48 votes. Paul Gonzales of Skagit County received no votes.
In accepting the nomination, Ranker said, “This nomination is a great affirmation of the momentum my campaign is building and my long time commitment to the Democratic Party. I am honored to have this nomination.”
Anne Mosness, 40th Legislative District State Committeewoman said, “The local party has worked to create as open a process as possible that allows Democrats in the 40th Legislative District an opportunity to weigh in and select candidates who hope to be on the primary and general ballots. Following the recent Supreme Court decision that limits the names on the general ballot in November to the “top two” vote getters, the party has conducted a half-dozen candidate forums. Additional meetings are being scheduled and the once-crowded field is expected to narrow further by June 12, the last day to formally withdraw so candidates’who have decided not to continue will not have their names on the primary ballot.”
Tom Pasma, chair of the 40th Legislative District Democrats, and co-chairs from each county are scheduling endorsement meetings that will be held between June 7 and June 11.
(To participate in the endorsement meetings, Democratic voters needed to join the 40th Legislative District by May 26.)
40th Legislative District incumbent State Representatives Dave Quall and Jeff Morris received the nomination to run as the official Democratic nominees for the 40th Legislative District in their upcoming State House races. Both received nomination by unanimous acclaim on Sunday, May 18 at the 40th LD Nominating Convention in Anacortes.
The candidate meetings are scheduled for Lopez Island on Saturday, June 7 at 10 a.m. in the Lopez Library and on Orcas Island, Saturday, June 7 at 2 p.m. in the Eastsound Fire Hall.