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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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May 5, 2008 1:49 PM

Pelz wants party leaders to keep the faith

Posted by David Postman

State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz urged party leaders to continue to hold nominating conventions this month and not back down from having to pick a favorite among competing candidates in the top-two primary.

At least two legislative district party organizations have balked at Pelz’ request, with Seattle’s 36th District saying it will not vote to endorse either Democratic candidate in the race to replace retiring Rep. Helen Sommers.

In a Sunday e-mail, Pelz reminds party leaders that of an April 9 message to party chairs that says:

If you have multiple candidates, you need to run a tight operation, and seek maximum participation from your PCO's.

A quorum is not required to make an endorsement under the Democrats' rule. Pelz said he is proud that most Democrats are following the party’s request.

This Party has stepped up to a tremendous challenge posed by the US Supreme Court ruling on March 18 which (tentatively) upheld the Top Two Primary. You have responded by planning, organizing, and/or conducting 55 Nominating Conventions at the LD, County, and CD levels.

He said it was unfortunate that there are resistors among party leaders.

Some LD or County parties face a tough choice between two or more solid candidates. The Thurston County Democrats should be recognized for making a hard choice between two good Democrats standing for County Commissioner at their April 28th Nominating Convention. The 46th LD will face a similarly tough choice on May 15th.

I, and state election officials, expected more litigation by now over the top-two primary. But so far spokesmen for the Democratic and Republican parties say their sides are still reviewing the primary rules issued by Secretary of State Sam Reed.

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