State Rep. Maralyn Chase, now running for retiring state Sen. Darlene Fairley's open seat,  has been a dedicated liberal voice in the legislature for the past 16 years, fighting to double the estate tax to pay for student aid; pushing legislation to give local governments the ability to place a cap on condo conversions; and proposing quixotic (but righteous) environmental legislation, including a ban on petroleum-based plastic water bottles; a carbon tax; a ban on plastic bags, and a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers.

Chase's unabashed liberalism (she testified in support of impeaching George Bush) will be a nice jolt to the Senate caucus, where proposals such as an effort to end big bank tax loopholes died last session.

Although critics argue that Chase doesn't get much done, she has the support of a number of mainstream progressive groups, including the Washington State Labor Council, SEIU, the teachers' union, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and the 32nd District Democrats, and Snohomish County Sheriff John Lovick.

People laugh at her for being a crazy lefty, but two years after Chase introduced a global warming bill, Gregoire introduced it herself.
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