Politics blog

Thurston Democrats gathering in Olympia for convention, caucuses Saturday

OlympianApril 12, 2014 

Thurston County Democrats are holding their biennial convention Saturday to approve an issues platform for the 2014 election cycle. Immediately following, Democrats from three South Sound legislative districts are meeting in caucuses to elect delegates for the state party’s June 21 convention in Spokane. The convention begins at 10 a.m. [April 12] after registration ends at Capital High School in west Olympia.

The event is one of many that Democrats planned to hold around the state to elect 400 delegates and 200 alternates to the Spokane event. Pierce County Democrats were meeting Saturday at the IBEW Hall in Tacoma, and Mason County Democrats were gathering at the Pioneer School in Shelton.

Many county party organizations already held caucuses on March 9. But in Thurston County, the convention and caucuses run back to back.

The legislative district caucuses include Democrats from the 22nd, 20th and 35th legislative districts. The 22nd, which covers Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater and rural north Thurston County, gets 10 delegates and five alternates. The 35th gets three delegates and one alternate and the 20th gets one each.

County Republicans have been holding Lincoln Day events around the state since early February and have gatherings Saturday (April 12) in Jefferson and Clark counties. The state GOP leadership cited costs last year when it voted to scrap the off-year convention and replace it with a state conference open to all Republican members on June 20-21 in the Tri-Cities.

There is no U.S. Senate race on the ballot in Washington this year, but the state is electing 10 U.S. House members in November as well as roughly half of the state Senate’s 49 members and all 98 state House members.

Republicans narrowly control the state Senate by a 26-23 margin through a majority coalition forged in early 2013 with two maverick Democrats including Tim Sheldon of the 35th, while Democrats firmly hold the House by a 55-43 margin.

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