Issaquah resident to run against Jay Rodne

March 11, 2014

Issaquah resident Essie Hicks plans to take on incumbent 5th District Rep. Jay Rodne in this year’s Nov. 4 election.

Hicks, a Democrat, announced her candidacy Feb. 18. Rodne, a Republican, has held the seat since 2004.

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Essie Hicks

“I believe my experience as a business owner, my long history in service to my community, and as the mother of five boys, I am ready to represent all residents of the 5th District,” Hicks said. “In Olympia, I will work every day to provide all our kids with a quality and fully funded education, deliver real transportation solutions that work for our region, and protect and preserve the natural resources that make our state so unique.”

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Local Democrats prepare for caucuses, opportunity to shape party priorities

April 10, 2012

Caucusgoers could change state and, perhaps, national policies as Washington Democrats gather for caucuses April 15.

President Barack Obama is the standard bearer for the Democrats in November, but although the party is not in the midst of a nomination fight, caucusgoers can still influence local, state and national issues by shaping the Democratic Party platform. Caucusgoers can present resolutions on political issues for consideration at local, state and national party gatherings.

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State labor leader to address local Democrats

May 10, 2011

Kathy Cummings, communications director for the Washington State Labor Council and a Sammamish resident, is due to address Democrats about workers’ income and rights May 18.

The local organization, the 5th District Democrats, meets at 7 p.m. at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W. The meeting is open to the public.

The legislative district stretches from Issaquah to the Snoqualmie Pass, and from Sammamish to Maple Valley.

The labor council considers itself to be the “voice of labor” in Washington. The council represents and provides services for hundreds of local unions and trade councils.

Before joining the labor movement, Cummings worked for CNN, NBC and PBS. In addition, she has been active in supporting the rights of women in journalism.

State labor leader to address Democrats in Issaquah

May 9, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. May 9, 2011

Kathy Cummings, communications director for the Washington State Labor Council, is due to address local Democrats about workers’ income and rights May 18.

Cummings, a Sammamish resident, plans to address the 5th District Democrats after issues in the aftermath of a fierce debate about public employees’ rights in Wisconsin.

“Washington state is not Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean working families here aren’t facing similar attacks,” she said in a release. “This legislative session alone we have seen right-to-work legislation introduced, attempts to lower the minimum wage, assaults on ferry workers’ collective bargaining and an attempt to destroy our model worker’s comp system.”

The local 5th District Democrats meet at 7 p.m. at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W. The meeting is open to the public.

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Sammamish education advocate to address local Democrats

April 13, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. April 13, 2011

Kelly Munn, state field director for the state League of Education Voters and a longtime advocate for Issaquah schools, is due to address local Democrats on April 20.

Munn, a Sammamish resident, is scheduled to speak about the state’s achievement gap between whites students and students of others races in standardized-testing scores, as well as the squeeze on funding for public education, teacher salaries and graduation rates.

The issues came into focus last week after legislators proposed cuts to education, amounting to a $3 million hit for the Issaquah School District.

The local 5th District Democrats meet at 7 p.m. at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W. The meeting is open to the public.

The legislative district stretches from Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass, and from Sammamish to Maple Valley.

Munn has been active in the Issaquah Parent Teacher Student Association for years, serving as a legislative representative and earning numerous statewide leadership awards from the group.

The state League of Education Voters works to support students from early learning through college.

State Democratic chairman plans Issaquah speech

March 15, 2011

The leader of the state Democratic Party is scheduled to speak in Issaquah about a proposal to scrap the Evergreen State’s presidential primary in favor of the caucus system. Washington State Democrats Chairman Dwight Pelz will speak at the March 16 meeting of the 5th District Democrats, the local party organization.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, called for eliminating the 2012 presidential primary in order to save the cash-strapped state about $10 million. Voters mandated the primary in a 1989 ballot initiative, but Democrats and Republicans rely more on party caucuses to allocate delegates.

The local Democrats meet at 7:30 p.m. at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W.

The district stretches from Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass, and from Sammamish to Maple Valley.

Pelz, a former King County councilman and state senator, is also expected to be available to discuss other issues involving the Democratic Party in Washington. The local group plans to host speakers at other monthly meetings.

Democratic chairman to discuss proposal to scrap presidential primary

March 10, 2011

NEW — 3:15 p.m. March 10, 2011

The leader of the state Democratic Party is scheduled to speak in Issaquah next week about a proposal to scrap the Evergreen State’s presidential primary in favor of the caucus system.

Washington State Democrats Chairman Dwight Pelz is due at the March 16 meeting of the 5th District Democrats, the local party organization.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, called for eliminating the 2012 presidential primary in order to save the cash-strapped state about $10 million. Voters mandated the primary in a 1989 ballot initiative, but Democrats and Republicans rely more on party caucuses to allocate delegates.

The local Democrats meet at 7:30 p.m. at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W.

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Democrats elect 5th Legislative District officers

March 8, 2011

Democrats in the 5th Legislative District elected Maple Valley resident Jim Baum as chairman Jan. 19.

The district stretches from Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass, and from Sammamish to Maple Valley. The organization represents the Democratic Party in the 5th District.

“I think we have turned an important corner in politics,” Baum said in a statement. “Conservative right-wing candidates like Sarah Palin have crested. It’s all downhill from here for Republicans.”

The biennial reorganization also shuffled other leadership positions.

The leadership team includes Sammamish resident Robyn Scola as first vice chairwoman, Sammamish resident Dorothy Willard as second vice chairwoman, Issaquah resident Jennifer Sutton as state committeewoman, and Maple Valley resident Mike Barer as state committeeman.

Sutton just completed a two-year term as chairwoman.

Members also elected Di Irons as secretary; Gloria Hatcher-Mays as treasurer; August Luniuck Rakita and David Spring as delegates to King County Democratic Central Committee; and Sadie Maloney and Konrad Roeder as alternate delegates. The group also elected Snoqualmie resident Scott Williams to the new role of communications director.

Democrats elect 5th Legislative District officers

January 25, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 25, 2011

Democrats in the 5th Legislative District elected Maple Valley resident Jim Baum as chairman last week.

The district stretches from Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass, and from Sammamish to Maple Valley. The organization represents the Democratic Party in the 5th District.

“I think we have turned an important corner in politics,” Baum said in a statement. “Conservative right-wing candidates like Sarah Palin have crested. It’s all downhill from here for Republicans.”

The biennial reorganization also shuffled other leadership positions.

The leadership team includes Sammamish resident Robyn Scola as first vice chairwoman, Sammamish resident Dorothy Willard as second vice chairwoman, Issaquah resident Jennifer Sutton as state committeewoman, and Maple Valley resident Mike Barer as state committeeman.

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Democrats decline to endorse House hopeful

October 19, 2010

Local Democrats decided against endorsing state House candidate David Spring in the race against Republican incumbent Glenn Anderson, after Spring beat the Democrats’ chosen candidate in the primary.

The chosen candidate, Dean Willard, received 17 percent of the vote in the Aug. 17 primary election. Spring pulled in 25 percent; Anderson took 58 percent.

Willard campaigned as a moderate. Spring pushed a more progressive message focused on education.

Under state election rules, candidates can declare a preference for a party — even if the party prefers someone else.

Only 35 of 73 members of the 5th Legislative Democrats voted to endorse Spring at a Sept. 23 meeting. Endorsements from the organization require two-thirds support.

“I’ve been very critical of Democrats and Republicans for failing to fund schools,” Spring said.

The decision has not stopped the candidate.

“We’re simply going to move forward and do the best we can in the general election,” he said.

Spring and Anderson last faced off in the 2008 election. Though the House Democratic Campaign Committee attempted to work with Spring during the ’08 race, “we didn’t communicate very well,” committee Executive Director Tony Yuchasz said.

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