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June 7, 2006

Cantwell opponent loses endorsement

Posted by David Postman at 4:12 PM

The Democratic Party in the 38th Legislative District in Snohomish County rescinded its endorsement of Mark Wilson Monday night. Wilson is the anti-war candidate running a long-shot primary campaign against Sen. Maria Cantwell. The endorsement of the 38th District Democrats is brought up often in discussions with Wilson supporters as one official sign of support for the protest candidate.

But Rep. John McCoy, D-Tulalip, thought it was important to "show unity of the Democratic Party behind Maria Cantwell," he told me in a phone conversation today. I first heard about this from the Left Shue, who posted a long and somewhat complicated retelling of Monday's meeting. He said party leaders wanted to tell the grassroots that if they "are bold enough (or stupid enough) to mess with the machine, you will be burned and quickly put back in your place."

The 38th District voted to endorse Cantwell, and then rescind Wilson's endorsement. They could have endorsed both. But Wilson said it was a move done out of "reactionary fear for self preservation."

"The incumbents are determined to protect each other over and beyond any Democratic values or rules. Because, 'if there can be a revolt against Maria, maybe I'm next,' they're thinking, possibly."

McCoy said he hoped Cantwell was happy about the move but said, "I had no encouragement from anybody."

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