Evan Smith: A mysterious telephone survey

Friday, May 14, 2010

Commentary / Evan Smith

By Evan Smith
ShorelineAreaNews Politics Writer

The recorded survey Tuesday asked for my opinions of candidates and potential candidates for the State Senate from the 32nd Legislative District and asked how I would vote between possible opponents.

It’s the kind of survey I might expect for an upcoming statewide campaign, not for a campaign for an election for the State Legislature nearly six months away.

Who could be paying for it? None of the candidates has raised enough money to pay for something like this.

I have learned that it came from the State Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, which long supported retiring Sen. Darlene Fairley, a power within the Senate Democratic caucus but someone who was unpopular with the 32nd District Democratic Committee.

The Senate Democratic group has paid for surveys in the past.

State Rep. Maralyn Chase, who has announced her candidacy for Fairley’s position, is a popular part of the 32nd District Democratic organization but is someone who State Senate Democrats don't want.

Democrats in the Legislature want Rep, Ruth Kagi to replace Fairley. She has been an influential legislator, but, unlike Fairley, she has kept a friendly relationship with the 32nd District Democratic Committee.

The State Democrats will use the survey to show that, while both Chase and Kagi have a lot of local support, Chase has a significant number of people who hold negative views of her, something that the right opponent could exploit.

The survey asked about Chase, a declared candidate; Kagi, who says that she is reconsidering her earlier decision not to run; Kenmore City Councilman David Baker, who has filed with the State public disclosure commission as a Senate candidate; and Shoreline Councilman Keith McGlashan, who is keeping his intentions to himself.


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