Bellingham hosts candidates for state Dem chair

Posted by Ralph Schwartz on January 2, 2014 

State Democrats seek a gradual transition at the top.

Dwight Pelz, the state party chairman, announced his Feb. 1 retirement in September. This contrasts with the July 2013 announcement of Kirby Wilbur. The then-state GOP chairman said at the time his resignation was effective immediately. 

This piece from the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate is a fawning review of Pelz's track record helping to elect Dems in state races during his eight years as chair. The raves came despite the Republican takeover of the state Senate under Pelz's watch. In the House and most other offices, however, the state remained solidly blue.


This weekend, local Democrats will have an opportunity to check out the candidates who would replace Pelz.

Four candidates will appear at a forum on Sunday, Jan. 5, at the WECU Education Center, 511 E. Holly St.

The forum begins at 5:30 p.m. Doors open at 5. The event is supposed to wrap up at 7:30 p.m.

Here are the candidates. At first glance, the three men and one woman appear to cover a broad range of the Democratic spectrum:


Jaxon Ravens has served as executive director of the state party for 10 years.

Jim Kainber also was party executive director.

Jay Clough is a self-described Central Washington Democrat who is pro-nuclear power and pro-gun rights.

Dana Laurent is a grassroots organizer who has served as political director of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest.


Voters in the Feb. 1 election at the state party committee meeting in Vancouver, Wash., will be state committee members at the county and legislative-district levels. Whatcom County state committee people are Catherine Chambers and Richard May. Committee members for Legislative District 40 (south Bellingham, southwest Whatcom) are Maggie Hanson and Tom Pasma. Members for Legislative District 42 (north Bellingham and rest of Whatcom) are Bob Seaman and Teresa Taylor-Oliver. 




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