Monday Jolt: In 36th, Tarleton Racks Up Endorsements

By Afternoon Jolt August 27, 2012

Today's winner: 36th District state house candidate Gael Tarleton. 

In the race for the open 36th District state house seat being vacated by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, Democratic Seattle Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton today secured the support of a wide range of Democratic Party activists, grassroots lefties, and, perhaps most impressively, her former opponent Sahar Fathi's campaign manager, Monisha Harrell. (Fathi, a long-shot lefty favorite and aide to progressive Seattle City Council member Mike O'Brien, lost in the primary).

Asked why she decided to support Tarleton over her general-election opponent, Progressive Majority leader Noel Frame, Harrell said, "One of the benefits of being a campaign manager on this race was the opportunity to see a the other candidates.  I feel Gael is the best fit of the remaining candidates for the 36th. She has experience, the ability to work with others, and the openness to listening to other opinions and different perspectives. I've really seen those qualities a lot more strongly in Gael" than in Frame, Harrell says.

In addition to Harrell, Tarleton's latest batch of endorsements include: progressive State Sen. Karen Keiser (D-33), who sponsored the legislation that set up the Affordable Health Care Act in Washington State by moving forward on the insurance exchanges (she also led the fight against the influence of the Koch Brothers' influence in the state); Crystal Nicole Fincher, a Fathi supporter and consultant with WinPower Strategies who worked for Mayor Mike McGinn; Yusuf Cabdi, a former Seattle Housing Authority board member who dramatically resigned in protest because he felt SHA's Yesler Terrace project didn't do enough to provide replacement housing for displaced residents; and former state Democratic Party chair Paul Berendt.

(Tarleton's opponent Frame worked for Berendt during the 2004 gubernatorial recount---one reason, some insiders speculate, for Governor Chris Gregoire's big deal decision to endorse Frame.)

Frame has been endorsed by Progressive Majority, where she's State Director, the progressive Fuse Foundation, and the Washington Bus, of which Frame is a founding board member, as well as the Sierra Club, Gregoire, and uber-lefty state Rep. Bob Hasegawa (D-11).

Today's second winner: Seattle City Council member Nick Licata.

Licata was one of the most vocal opponents of former mayor Greg Nickels' proposal to fix the so-called "Mercer Mess," arguing, among other things, that turning Mercer into a two-way street and adding pedestrian and bike improvements to nearby V alley Street wouldn't improve travel times on Mercer.

Although there were plenty of other good arguments for improving Mercer (including improved pedestrian safety, a more hospitable Valley Street, and a better connection to the rebuilt South Lake Union), Licata was right on one front: According to early reports, turning Mercer into a two-way street has done nothing to improve travel times; if anything, in fact, traffic is even slower. We have a call out to give Licata a chance to gloat about his (admittedly Pyrrhic) victory.
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