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Eye On Olympia

Tue., April 8, 2008, 1:56 p.m.

Democratic nominating conventions: adding to this year’s primary confusion?

Catching up...

Our Jim Camden, on the decision by Washington's state Democrats to hold conventions to nominate their candidates this year:

Democratic State Chairman Dwight Pelz said the conventions are necessary because the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the state primary initiative took away the influence parties can have in naming their candidates. Democrats will try to regain some control by having precinct officers attend nominating conventions for legislative, county and congressional seats. For statewide offices, delegates to the state convention will be asked which candidate they support.

"We don't want precinct committee officers to nominate candidates, we want the public to do that. But that's been taken away from us," Pelz said.

The change, Camden says, could mean more confusion for voters as they prepare for the state's first ever Top Two primary. It will also certainly mean more meetings for the Democratic Party faithful. Republicans, he said are studying whether to hold nominating conventions this year.


A candidate who wins the endorsement of a nominating convention will be eligible for money and other help from the party, and can list the endorsement on his or her campaign literature, Pelz said.

But it won't show up on the primary ballot, Trova Heffernan, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Sam Reed, said. Rules for the wording of party preference on the ballot are still being drafted, but they won't include recognition that one candidate was nominated by the party and another wasn't.

Here's a link to Camden's political blog, Spin Control 2.0.

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