Hold the shock, please: The Washington State Labor Council is giving an early campaign endorsement to Jay Inslee in the governor's race. The decision followed a vote by council delegates meeting in Olympia today. The council also endorsed U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell for a third term and Bob Ferguson for attorney general.
Among frontrunner candidates for governor, Inslee is battling Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna; Ferguson and Republican Reagan Dunn are dueling for McKenna’s current job as AG. Cantwell is challenged by Republican state Sen. Michael Baumgartner of Spokane amid rumors Bill Bryant of the Port of Seattle might also run on the GOP side.
Go here for the full WSLC announcement.
The labor council was meeting this morning at the Red Lion hotel in Olympia as a coalition of labor groups presses its agenda on the Legislature. Lawmakers are still considering a jobs package that is a top priority of organized labor this session. Rebecca Johnson, a lobbyist for the labor council, said she is “optimistic” that a nearly $1 billion package including revenue bonds is going to pass before lawmakers end their session on March 8.
Democratic Sen. Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor has proposed nearly $1 billion in spending, and a projects list is in the works. Republican Sen. Linda Parlette of Wenachee also is in discussions with Kilmer in a search for a way to pay for projects that can be done this summer – at lower cost and at a time jobs are needed. Democratic Rep. Hans Dunshee of Snohomish has a similar plan worth just under $1 billion.
Johnson said the council is still pushing for a job package twice that size.
Also today, two legislative candidates were given a minute to talk to the assembly of delegates. One is Jerame Clough of Kennewick, running against Republican Rep. Brad Klippert in the 8th district. The other is Jeff Davis of Olympia, who is a longshoreman and commissioner for the Port of Olympia.
Davis is running in the 35th district for the seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Fred Finn of Thurston County.
“Labor isn’t represented in the House of Representatives. Labor isn’t represented in Olympia right now,” Davis said, adding: “There is no way I can win this race in the 35th district as a Democrat without labor support.’’
Also running for Finn’s seat is Lynda Ring-Erickson, a Mason County Democrat; Glenn Gaither, an Independent from Hoodsport; and Drew MacEwen, a Republican from Union.
Read more here: http://www.theolympian.com/2012/02/09/1983749/labor-council-endorses-inslee.html#storylink=cpy