Monday, June 12, 2006

Tim Sheldon loses endorsement of 35th District Dems

Much like in Thurston County, Tim Sheldon doesn't get the support of his local Democratic Party:
The battle for a state Senate seat continued Sunday between incumbent Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, and candidate Kyle Taylor Lucas of Shelton.

At the 35th Legislative District Democrats quarterly meeting at the North Mason Timberland Library in Belfair, the executive board and about 50 members present voted to approve Lucas. Three members voted against the approval.

"I’m deeply gratified by their support collectively," Lucas said. "They’re so eager for a change in the 35th District."

The committee said they did not approve Sheldon, who has held the seat for nine years, because his questionnaire was not received before a scheduled board meeting. Under the group’s new by-laws, candidates seeking endorsement must return a form to the board for them to consider approval, said district chairwoman Fran Moyer.

According to Sheldon, he did not receive the form until late last week before he left town. At the meeting, Sheldon said he learned the executive board held its meeting to discuss the candidates before he received the form in the mail. The group e-mailed the form to him, according to Moyer, although Sheldon indicated he did not receive it.

"They absolutely dislike my bipartisan approach to politics," Sheldon said after Sunday’s meeting. "I don’t take it personally, it’s politics as is from a very small vocal minority."

Moyer, who is also the co-chairwoman of Lucas’ campaign, said the committee supports Lucas because Sheldon does not represent his Democratic constituents in Olympia.

"When Republicans identify Tim Sheldon as a Republican," she said, "I think that is very telling."

Sheldon was criticized for his support of George W. Bush in 2004, as well as his other votes that have sided with Republicans. Sheldon contends that when he votes, he represents his constituents — Democrat or Republican — first and his party second.

The board is scheduled to make a recommendation to the central committee to approve or not approve Sheldon for office during a scheduled Aug. 6 meeting. Because two candidates are running for the 35th District, the committee’s by-laws states the "executive board shall serve as a screening committee and shall then recommend to the Central Committee approval (when there is more than one candidate) or endorsement or non-endorsement when there is only one candidate."

"Approved" candidates may receive any "non-financial aid, such as walking lists from the 35th Legislative District database."
Earlier this week, he referred to himself as an infidel:
State Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, is sure his own party leadership is out to get him.

"They want to purge the party of infidels like me," said the lawmaker, who is considered a renegade for his voting record.

When 35th District Democrats meet Sunday in Belfair, Sheldon faces the prospect that party members will endorse Kyle Taylor Lucas of Shelton for the Senate seat Sheldon has held for nine years. He previously served seven years in the House. Lucas has never held elected office.

So far, they’re the only candidates of any party to register their intent to run with the Public Disclosure Commission. Candidates officially file for office during the last week in July.

This will be the first time that Sheldon, 59, has ever faced a primary contest in which only voters who identify themselves as Democrats could cast ballots for him. Sheldon has broken party ranks many times, including endorsing George W. Bush for re-election in 2004. If they are the only two candidates to file for the seat, a Lucas victory in the September primary would send Sheldon out of the Legislature.

5 comments:

Chase Gallagher said...

Although you'll find no one that is as ready for Sheldon to go as I am, he wasn't technically denied anything at the meeting. The 35th can't endorse candidates in a Primary, but they can approve candidates for services, which Lucas was. Sheldon's vote for approval was deferred until his questionnaire has been received, which will likely be taken up at the August meeting.

Emmett said...

Good point, I didn't pick up on that distinction when I read the articles. Though, if they do end up giving him campaign services in August, what's the point witth a September primary?

Chase Gallagher said...

Exactly.

Mark Messinger said...

Sheldon says he's being villified because he doesn't toe the party line. On the contrary, his re-election is being opposed on his voting record. And what other basis should an incumbent be opposed?

When he spoke at the 35th LD meeting, in Belfair, he read from a letter he received from the Mason County Democrats, which listed the support he would receive from them. 'Trouble is, the same letter went out to all Democratic candidates, including Maria Cantwell and several others. He then said that his candidacy was "supported" by the state Senate Democratic Campaign Caucus. Again, not entirely true; the SDCC policy is to never oppose an incumbent Democratic Senator.

Essentially, Mr. Sheldon's time has past. He's been marginalized by his own party and by the Senate. All that remains for him is his hollow status as a "maverick." But what has that maverick status got those that he represents? Not a thing. The 35th LD needs an effective representative in the senate. That no longer describes Mr. Sheldon.

Pru said...

I'm proud of young Chase for finally getting his facts straight.

As to what Sen. Sheldon has done for his district, why don't you ask the over 70% of voters who regularly return him to office, instead of the left-wing fringe
who will never agree with anything he does ? He opposes NASCAR with public funding -- don't you? As a matter of fact, being a consistent person, he opposed public funding of BOTH the Mariners and Seahawks stadiums, saying the money could better be used for schools, while the rest of the Demos cast pro-publicly funded stadium votes (one even donning a Mariners uniform for the occasion). When Demos bowed to Paul Allen's request for public funding for the Seahawks stadium in a private setting in the Legislative Building, entering the room one at a time to kiss his ring, Tim walked in and told him "I won't vote for your stadium," and he didn't.Then there was that interchange needed on Hwy 101 for trucks to access Wallace-Kneeland Blvd. to speed commerce and access industrial areas while keeping them off small,
heavily populated roads through the Shelton community, and the interchange at the dangerous Steamboat Island/Hwy 101 crossroads, where so many deaths had occurred.Oh, and the new bridge to be built on Hwy 101 in the Skokomish Valley so that floods won't interrupt inter- and intra- state commerce. Again, Sen. Sheldon can be thanked.Did you forget then-Rep.Sheldon's Child VIP Bill in 1992 to protect the identities of child victims of rape from exposure in the media,aimed at the Mason County Journal, passed UNANIMOUSLY by BOTH the State House and Senate?How about the original Workforce Training bill -- also Sheldon's handiwork during his second year in the House (until rewritten with Brad Owen's name at the top in the Senate). Why do the cops and firefighters consistently support him? How about small businesses, the heart and soul of the 35th? He keeps receiving the Independent Small Business Federation award for legislator of the year. Hmm! he must be doing SOMETHING right for his District. Oh - and how about Sen, Sheldon and Sen. Tim and Ed Murray conferring on the gay rights bill in 2005, and Tim agreeing to allow it to come up for a floor for a vote when it could not have without his support? He thought Lisa Brown had mustered enough votes to get it passed without his. Uh-oh, Lisa, you goofed. Tim always told Ed he would vote the way his constituents wanted, regardless; and Lisa should have accounted for that. A messy detail she overlooked.

Take the advice of a fellow progressive: instead of leaning so far to the left that you alienate everyone who might potentially come into the Demo party this year because of their disgust with the Bush Administration, ease up on the ideology enough to understand that everything isn't black and white. Read this article on how moderation is attracting moderate Republicans to the Demo party in -- guess where?-- KANSAS!! (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1805330,00.html) Instead of shhooting yourselves in the foot with left-wing intolerance (as perverted as right-wing intolerance), open your minds to the idea that Demos come in all sizes: progressive, moderate AND conservative (like AMERICANS everywhere). Stop blowing your resources by eating your own, leave Tim to do his brand of Demo magic with the middle (the 35th), and concentrate on the races in your OTHER districts (outside of the miniscule portion of the 35th in your backyard), or in the long run you'll end up with a bona fide Republican for the long-term.