McKenna releases list of Democratic endorsements
State Auditor Brian Sonntag tops the list of Democrats who announced their support for Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna Monday.
Sonntag, who is leaving office at the end of his term, was joined by a dozen other Democrats, including state Sen. Tim Sheldon, of Potlach, former state Sen. Mark Doumit and former Metropolitan King County Councilmember Maggi Fimia.
McKenna's campaign sent out a statement saying his campaign "resonates with voters across party lines - and is one of the many reasons why he has been joined by several Democratic leaders to form the latest McKenna gubernatorial campaign coalition group - Democrats for Rob."
State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz called them "a predictable set of conservative Democrats" and said he wasn't surprised by the names on the list.
Sonntag, along with McKenna, endorsed Susan Hutchison in the King County executive race won by Dow Constantine. Sheldon is a conservative Democrat who often votes with Republicans in Olympia. Fimia joined with McKenna to oppose the Sound Transit light rail project when they were both on the council. Doumit is executive director of the Washington Forest Protection Association, which represents forest landowners and timber companies in the state.
McKenna also picked up an endorsement from the Public School Employees of Washington on Monday, the state's largest union representing educational support workers. The group endorsed Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire in 2004 and 2008.
You can read his press release on "Democrats for Rob" on the jump.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2012
Contact: Charles McCray III
Phone: (425) 749-9704
'Democrats for Rob' Launched
It is clear that Washington State voters are tired of partisan gridlock, whether it is in Congress or our state legislature. That is why Attorney General Rob McKenna's call for a New Direction resonates with voters across party lines - and is one of the many reasons why he has been joined by several Democratic leaders to form the latest McKenna gubernatorial campaign coalition group - Democrats for Rob (D4R).
"Dedicated public servants must put their commitment to the public's best interests above all else, including party labels," said McKenna. "As Governor, I intend to listen to voices from across the political spectrum, because no one group or party has a monopoly on good ideas.
"I am looking for people committed to moving this state in a New Direction - getting people back to work, adequately funding public schools, and making state government more efficient and less costly - and together I'm sure we can find a way to lead our state forward."
McKenna had demonstrated his ability to overcame partisan gridlock as Attorney General, helping pass 45 bills through the Democratically-controlled Legislature over the last eight years. He has also worked with prominent Democrats to champion proven education reforms and advance open government initiatives. On the latter, McKenna has partnered extensively with the chairman of D4R, five-term State Auditor Brian Sonntag.
"After years of effective partnership, mutual respect, and friendship, helping Rob in this capacity was an afterthought," said Sonntag. "I am confident he is the right person for the job. Olympia has been polluted by special interest or partisan meddling. I've seen Rob display the kind of leadership that can get past all of that.
"Each Democrat that arrives at the same realization I have may have their own reason to offer or story to tell," continued Sonntag. "I am here to encourage their involvement and lend my support to a friend that has repeatedly demonstrated that patient, thoughtful leadership can consistently triumph over debilitating partisanship."
McKenna was joined by several Democrats at the Seattle Center to announce D4R. Among those group members scheduled to be in attendance today:
Jim Boldt, Thi Huynh, Paul Carkeek, Marie Mentor, Ron Chow, Tim Sheldon, Mark Doumit, Kirke Sievers, Maggi Fimia, Morrie Trautman, Larry Finegold, Judy Yu.