This Washington

Democrat vs. Democrat

By Josh Feit May 6, 2010

Challenge in N. Seattle: David Frockt

North Seattle Democrat David Frockt is doing something the Democratic establishment isn't very keen on: He's running against a Democratic incumbent, state Sen. Ken Jacobsen (D-46, N. Seattle).

The last time an incumbent Democrat in the state legislature was challenged by a Democrat was when disgruntled unions pushed  lefty Alice Woldt against the conservative-ish House Appropriations Committee Chair, former Rep. Helen Sommers (D-36, Seattle) in 2004. Sommers won.

Frockt, 41, an attorney for victims of asbestos negligence with local firm Bergman, Draper, Frockt, dropped by PubliCola's offices today between doorbelling and fundraising. (This is a serious campaign. Frockt has already raised $42,000, mostly from colleagues and friends, and he's hired professional fundraiser Colby Underwood.)

When I asked about the reaction from from Democratic party insiders, Frockt said, "I'm not getting as much blowback as I thought I'd get."  However, he says he doesn't expect any support from the Democratic team.

The big Democratic majorities in Olympia have disappointed their liberal base in Seattle over the past several years and Frockt is well-informed on this session's latest round of letdowns.

Oil industry profits shouldn't have "surpassed the public interest," Frockt says, criticizing Democrats for failing to raise the hazardous substance tax to pay for stormwater clean up. (Jacobsen chairs the Natural Resources Committee.)

He also thought it was a no-brainer for Democrats to end a $50 million exemption on big banks this year, a proposal that failed, even as Democrats were struggling to find new revenue to close a $2.6 billion shortfall.

Finally, Frockt's disappointed that the Democratic Senate even considered raising the sales tax—a push that forced the legislature into a lengthy special session before they dropped the idea and went with the House's sin tax package, which Frockt favored. However, Frockt's footnote: He wasn't crazy about the B&O tax increases, and he strongly favors Bill Gates Sr.'s current voter initiative to tax high-incomes and get rid of B&O taxes on most small businesses.

Of course, he focuses his critique on Jacobsen who he indicts for being "out of sync with the district." On Frockt's list: Jacobsen voted against the 2009 education reform bill; Jacobsen voted for rolling back I-937—the voter-approved renewable energy initiative; and Jacobsen voted against regulating payday loans.

It wasn't a lengthy interview—and we'll definitely be talking to Jacobsen as the race heats up. But the point is: We believe it will.
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