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New Legislative Leadership

By May 23, 2024Blog

Good Morning Sunshines—

The sun’s out. The heat’s building. Is it election season friction, climate change, or just a beautiful week in Washington? Who’s to say. One thing we know: change is afoot. The seasons are turning and legislative leadership is turning with it. Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-3) is retiringSenator Emily Randall (D-26) is running for congress.

With these departures and the new batch of candidates who filed to run last week, we will be looking at new leadership in Olympia. Hopefully, that means a higher likelihood of passing our bills. Our votes and our advocacy over the coming months will shape leadership for years to come.

There’s hope in the air mingling with all that pollen. Let’s dive in.

Lucky 14: The 14th Legislative District’s New Lease On Life

Back in 2020, Caty Padilla from Sunnyside led the way to ensure an accurate census count—and helped create WCA! That incredible work meant a correct count but the redistricting commission still drew illegal maps that diluted the voices of Latinx and Yakama Nation voters. Caty and others sued, organized community, and drew alternative maps. The Redistricting Justice for Washington (RJW) campaign was born. A few months ago, a federal judge drew new district lines across 12 counties. The new districts almost perfectly mirror the ones envisioned by the RJW campaign! The changes will amplify Latinx voices throughout the state but we want to highlight one district in particular: District 14.

The new map makes the 14th LD a majority-minority district comprised mostly of Latinx voters and the Yakama Nation Reservation. Another interesting development? All three incumbents in 14 – Rep. Chris Corry (R-14), Rep. Gina Mosbrucker (R-14) and Sen. Curtis King (R-14) all live outside the new boundary. Byeeeee.

So who’s running the 14th? We’re glad you asked. There are two candidates for Senate and three folks running each House seat in District 14. Our favorites are below!

Maria Beltran: Maria Beltran formerly worked at the House Democratic Campaign Committee (HDCC). We gave you some info about the HDCC last year. Beltran grew up in the Yakima valley, is the child of immigrants and has deep roots in the Latinx communities she’s seeking to represent. She was the board chair at OneAmerica and has a long track record of serving her community. She’s got a challenger. Incumbent Sen. King literally moved homes so he can run in his old district. But it’s not the district it once was—and he’s about to learn that come November.

Chelsea Dimas: Chelsea Dimas is running for Seat 1 in the 14th! Dimas has an impressive resume: she is a commissioner with the Washington State Human Rights Commission, she’s a communications staffer with Civil Survival and she used to work on the comms team for the House Democratic Caucus here in Washington. Dimas is a queer Latina with Yakima Valley roots and we’re rooting for her. Dimas is going up against Republicans Andy Kallinen and Gloria Mendoza.

Ana Ruiz Kennedy: Ana Ruiz Kennedy is our favorite candidate running for Seat 2! She works for Craft3, a non-profit community development organization based in the Pacific Northwest. She’s on the board of Progreso, a non-profit focused on advocacy and engagement for Latinx communities in Washington. Ruiz Kennedy is going up against Republican Deb Manjarrez and Eddie Perez who filed without party preference.

Filing Week!

The 14th isn’t the only district to watch. Filing week wrapped up on May 10th. At this point, everyone running across the state has filed.

The big news from last week: the three Bobs. In a shady move that makes a mockery of our de-MOCK-racy, right-wing activists arranged for two other ‘Robert Fergusons’ to run for Governor in Washington against the current Attorney General of the same name. This would have meant three ‘Bob Ferguson’ candidates and a potentially split vote for Democrats. Fortunately, the OG Bob doesn’t take nonsense lying down. He pointed out that this sham violates RCW 29a.84.320: “Duplicate, nonexistent, untrue names.” and could result in felony charges. The other Bob Fergusons have since dropped out.

Other news? In Congressional District 8, Imraan Siddiqi filed to take on incumbent Kim Schrier. Siddiqi, Chair of WCA’s C3 board (which does not endorse candidates) and Executive Director of CAIR-WA, is a strong candidate who filed at least partially in response to devastating 8 months of horror in Gaza. This makes for a suddenly interesting race in the 8th.

Finally, we wouldn’t want to forget perennial candidate Goodspaceguy who is running this year for Senator. He’s been running for every level of office for at least the last decade, and now he’s set sights on the U.S. Senate.  Will Goodspaceguy become Senator Nelson? No. But we tip our hats to his commitment to the bit.

It’s a full field this year and it’s important to remember that the folks we vote for in the primary determine who we get in leadership down the road. Friends don’t let friends skip voting in the primary election. Organize yours this year.

And finally– the filing selfies have dropped.

Our least favorite goes to Mark Mullet for Governor. We’re just so tired of his face.

Favorites include:

Maria Beltran! She’s running for Senate in Yakima’s 14th District!

WCA’s very own Comms Specialist Lauren Allen. She’s running for PCO!



What do you think? Have any questions? Tweet us your thoughts @WACommAlliance.
Keep up on the action and opportunities to get involved through our legislative newsletter, The Tally.