The AFL-CIO held its annual Committee on Political Education over the weekend and released political endorsements, with a near sweep for Washington state Democrats.
At the state level, COPE endorsed Patty Murray, D-Bothell, for another term in the U.S. Senate and Secretary of State Steve Hobbs in the special election to keep his position. Former Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, a Republican, accepted a job in the Biden administration and Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee filled the vacancy with a member of his own party, who now has to face voters.
Three of Washington state’s ten districts for the U.S. House of Representatives are currently occupied by Republicans. COPE didn’t endorse any of these candidates, though it did decline to endorse a candidate in the 4th House district, occupied by Republican Dan Newhouse.
Newhouse was one of ten House Republicans to vote for the impeachment of former President Donald Trump, but so was the 3rd House district’s Jaime Herrera Beutler. COPE endorsed Beutler challenger Marie Gluesenkamp Perez.
Nor was the 4th House district non-endorsement a fluke. Of the state’s 49 legislative districts – with one state senator and two state House members each – COPE declined to issue any endorsements in 10 of them. The thing that these no-endorsement districts all have in common is a GOP trifecta, with both state reps and the state senator being Republicans.
There are, however, a few explicit Republican endorsements that made the list.
“The only Republicans I noticed are in LD 6- Mike Volz and Jeff Holy, LD 8 Matt Boehnke, and LD 16 Skyler Rude,” Caleb Heimlich, chair of the state GOP, told The Center Square in an email Monday. “Those are all very Republican seats with strong incumbent legislators.”
Heimlich thought his party’s showing in the COPE endorsements was not quite fair.
“It is disappointing that as the Democrats have abandoned working Washingtonians and pursued radical job killing policies the [Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO] chooses to continue to support the candidates that are failing workers,” he said.
Heimlich added, “The Democrat majority squandered a $15 billion surplus without cutting taxes that would have helped working families most. The Democrat Majority failed to fix the pursuit bill and we have seen skyrocketing crime in our communities as a result. Regardless of these endorsements, Republican candidates will work tirelessly to show that our policies work better for the people of Washington State.”
COPE also voted to oppose Initiative 1929, which would overturn the new tax on capital gains.
The capital gains tax was ruled unconstitutional by Douglas County Superior Court Judge Brian Huber in March. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has appealed the decision to the Washington Supreme Court.
Washington state’s primaries will be held on Aug. 2.
This article was originally posted on Washington unions endorse mostly Democrats, capital gains tax