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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Sheldon’

Angel Endorses Sheldon

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

State Sen. Jan Angel emailed a campaign letter urging voters to support state Sen. Tim Sheldon in his re-election bid. Angel is a 26th District Republican and Sheldon is a 35th District Democrat and yet this endorsement will be a surprise only to those who have not paid any attention to the Washington Legislature.

Sheldon supported Angel in her bid to unseat the appointed incumbent in the 26th District in 2013, Democrat Nathan Schlicher. The Potlatch state Senator/Mason County commissioner contributed $150 to the Angel 2013 campaign. Angel seems to be returning the favor

“… we need to come together and support the Majority Coalition Caucus members who are up for re-election. We must ensure these pro-business leaders return to Olympia to continue the work we have started.

“Senator Tim Sheldon is a vital part of the Majority Caucus Coalition and he brings balance and years of experience to the Senate.”

Sheldon is running against Irene Bowling, a Democrat and Travis Couture, a Republican. Because of his conservative voting record Sheldon has enjoyed lots of support over the years from voters who identify as Republicans. Bowling will likely get lots of support from Democrats and could very well emerge on top in the primary in August.

Sheldon has to make sure Couture’s presence doesn’t split so many Republicans that he comes in third. The Angel endorsement seems to be aimed at Republicans so that they are not tempted to vote for someone who says he is one of them in favor of someone who pretty much votes with them, even though he considers himself a Democrat.

With Rodney Tom’s decision to not run this year it means Sheldon is the only Democratic member of the this session’s Senate Majority Coalition Caucus who will be back in the Legislature next year.


The chance of intrigue in the 35th LD Senate race

Friday, February 21st, 2014

If you’re watching the state political landscape and in particular the 35th Legislative District, you might have long ago stopped looking at the Senate race to focus on the campaigns being waged by two Republicans for the opportunity to unseat a Democratic incumbent.

You might be assuming that Tim Sheldon will again open an unlocked door to another term as a state Senator. The primary, though, could be interesting. And Sheldon has made some critics out of people who once were his backers, primarily people in Belfair, because of his work as a county commissioner.

Sheldon, as most of you know, is a Democrat, albeit (How should we put this?) an atypical one. For years his votes on most controversial issues have been aligned with the Republicans. The Democrats enjoyed their majority status in the chamber with his insistence on remaining a Democrat and have been safe from his maverick ways as long as the margin never got close. Once Democrats outnumbered Republicans by just three in the Senate, though, the GOP leadership was able to poach away control by nabbing Sheldon and Rodney Tom, the Democrat who once was Republican and is now the figurehead for the Senate Majority Coalition.

In Mason County, which is the bulk of the 35th, Sheldon has held strong. In 2010 he received 57 percent of the vote against Nancy (grandma) Williams, though that big margin might be deceiving, because she didn’t wage much of a campaign.

The election of 2006 might be a more telling picture. That year, one in which voters had to pick a party, Sheldon only received 43.1 percent in the primary against two challengers. One was a Democrat from the Howard Dean wing. The other was a Republican. In fact, the Democrat, Kyle Taylor Lucas, accused by many of moving into the district just to run against Sheldon, came in second place, netting 32.5 percent of the primary vote. Had she run in 2010 or this year and seen the same result, she would have been on the General Election ballot because of the state’s Top Two primary system.

So far Sheldon faces two opponents in the primary this year. Travis Couture, the Republican, describes himself on his website as “a conservative libertarian.” His arguments espousing that philosophy is clear on the website, and he delivers a message that might well resonate with the 35th District’s more conservative voters. So might his Facebook criticism of Sheldon, “Next time you see an illegal immigrant going to college on your taxpayer dime, just thank Tim Sheldon for voting to pass that this year in the Senate.”

The Democrats have Irene Bowling so far. She has run a music instruction business in Kitsap County and has been well known locally. During the selection process for the county commissioner position left open by Josh Brown, Bowling proved herself a competent candidate. She answered questions well and swayed enough precinct committee officers to make her the second choice as Brown’s successor. I have little doubt that the vast majority of people who voted for Taylor Lucas in 2006 will side with Bowling this time around in the primary. If she gets more than the 32.5 percent Taylor Lucas got, she could even emerge as the 35th District’s first choice out of the primary.

If that were to pan out, then the question becomes whether Couture can cut enough into Sheldon’s lead to do the unthinkable, putting Sheldon into third place.

One of Couture’s challenges could be raising money for the race, at least from the state party. Party organizations get to donate in big amounts. Sheldon isn’t going to get money from either party, but he already has almost $80,000. Sheldon has in the past, though, prevented Republican candidates from getting GOP party money to run against him, or so I’m told. It’s as if every dollar he gets has a huge multiplier effect. It’s early in the game, but that could be tough for Couture. If he as a first-time candidate proves especially adept at raising money and getting signs on voters’ lawns, he could make it interesting. Where Couture might make his biggest splash is on social media, which doesn’t cost a lot and can have a big connector factor.

If there is enough anti-Sheldon sentiment out there then this race could be highly entertaining. In the 2012 Mason County Commissioner primary race Sheldon received 29.4 percent of the vote as an incumbent, a half point ahead of the second-place candidate, Democrat Roslynne Reed. Sheldon won by 8 percentage points in the general election, but those 2012 numbers demonstrate he is not invincible. He does not enjoy the kind of support Norm Dicks had in the Sixth Congressional District.

If you were betting money on the 35th District race, I still wouldn’t dissuade you from betting on Sheldon. But you might look at 2012 and have reason to question your certainty. If he makes it to the general election I don’t see him losing that one. The best chance to unseat him is likely the primary. Bowling, assuming she is the only Democrat who runs, will get the votes from those leaning left. The question will be how the conservative votes will split, whether Couture can effectively make the case that he is more their representative than the incumbent.


Kitsap legislators (re)assume leadership posts.

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Kitsap legislators have received their leadership assignments for what’s supposed to be the short legislative session that began this week.

State Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, was named Senate Democratic floor leader. According to a Senate Democrats statement the floor leader’s role is to “help manage the action on the Senate floor, and to work across the aisle to ensure the debate runs smoothly. The floor leader is also the caucus point person on parliamentary procedure.” Rolfes is also the assistant ranking member on the Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee.

Potlatch state Sen. Tim Sheldon, one of two Democrats in the Senate Majority Coalition, returns as Senate president pro tempore, which means he runs the Senate floor from up front, wielding the big gavel whenever Lt. Gov. Brad Owen is not there. Sheldon is also vice chairman of two committees, Rules and Energy, Environment & Telecommunications.

New Sen. Jan Angel, elected in November, is vice chairwoman of the Senate Trade and Economic Development Committee.

Three Democrats in the House will chair committees this session. State Rep. Sherry Appleton of Poulsbo chairs the Community Development, Housing & Tribal Affairs Committee. Kathy Haigh of Shelton is chairwoman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. Gig Harbor’s Larry Seaquist will chair the Higher Education Committee. Bainbridge Island’s Drew Hansen is vice chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

Republican Drew MacEwen of Union is the assistant ranking minority member on two committees, the Capital Budget Committee and the Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee.


Sheldon, Rolfes, take Senate leadership roles

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

We’ll have a full story on this. Senate Democrats are seeking a more cooperative chamber with Republicans this year. The party announced its leadership today. Republicans can object, and they’re scheduled to pick their leadership on Wednesday.

Locally the new Democratic leadership in the Senate means more work for state Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch. Sheldon said a couple years ago he was removed from an energy committee by former Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown. With Ed Murray in charge, Sheldon is back on that committee and is also the party’s pick for President Pro Tempore, which means he holds the gavel when Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen can’t.

Sheldon said Brown and Murray just have different styles.

State Sen. Christine Rolfes will chair the Environment & Growth Management Committee following state Sen. Sharon Nelson’s placement as Vice-Chairwoman on the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

The party’s press release follows:

(more…)


Boyer not ruling out a run for Congress

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

The rumor mill was right. Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer is not ruling out the idea of running to fill the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair.

According to someone who attended a meeting of real estate pros tonight Boyer stopped by the meeting briefly and after he left those still at the event began discussing whether Boyer might run.

“It’s always in the back of my mind that you’re looking for the next way to serve,” Boyer said by phone Wednesday night.

Boyer was elected Kitsap County Sheriff in 1998 as a Democrat and was a Washington State Trooper for 27 years before that. The sheriff said he was honored people called him to ask. “It’s nice people thought enough to call me from both sides of the aisle,” he said. “I gotta look at it.”

Three Republicans and one Democrat are on record so far saying they’re aiming to replace Dicks. Republicans Doug Cloud, Jesse Young and Bob Sauerwein (Based on a tip from one of the commenters I called Sauerwein and he said he withdrew three weeks ago. I have also removed him from the poll in the right column.) are lined up against Democrat Derek Kilmer, state senator from Gig Harbor.

Kilmer sent out a list of 37 leaders from the region, including 14 from Kitsap County, who have already lent an endorsement.

Boyer praised Kilmer, but said, “It’s better that we have a number of qualified candidates rather than the lesser of two evils.” He also said he thought he could do a good job in Washington, D.C.

State Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, also thought about running, but decided now was not the time. Several others, including state Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, and state Rep. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, may still considering whether to run.


Belfair Water District manager’s contract now with auditor’s office

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Earlier in August we had a story headlined, State Attorney General’s Office to review Belfair Water District manager’s contract.

That headline was not quite correct. The AG received a copy of the contract, but according to sources there did not actually review it, saying it didn’t fall under the AG’s purview.

Apparently it does fall under the state auditor’s review. State Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, said officials from the AG’s office suggested he submit it to the auditor.

The auditor’s office confirmed that it is reviewing the contract. First it will consider what areas it can weigh in on and then do just that.

The contract gives Dave Tipton, district manager, two-years pay if he quits and three if he is fired for anything other than a crime. He also gets paid extra money for meetings that start or run late, can disallow anyone from entering his office and lets him take his dog to work.

I’d like that last piece in my contract.

Then I want a dog.

Maybe if I can bring it to work my wife will let me have one.


Going to the Candidates’ Debate

Monday, September 13th, 2010

This evening, I’ll be covering a candidates’ forum hosted by the League of Women Voters of Kitsap County from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Norm Dicks Government Center, featuring candidates for house and senate races in the 26th and 35th Legislative Districts.

Post questions you’d like to ask the candidates, and I’ll see what I can do.

Visits the Kitsap Sun’s Election Guide for video coverage of editorial board interviews with candidates in most of these races.

At today’s forum:
26th Legislative District:
Senate – Derek Kilmer & Marty McClendon
Rep. Pos. 1 – Jan Angel and Sumner Schoenike
Rep. Pos. 2 – Doug Richards and Larry Seaquist

35th Legislative District:
Senate – Tim Sheldon and Nancy Williams
Rep. Pos. 1 – Daniel Griffey and Kathy Haigh
Rep. Pos. 2 – Fred Finn and Linda Simpson


35th Dems Side with Incumbents

Monday, April 19th, 2010

The 35th District Democrats met over the weekend and endorsed all three legislative incumbents. State Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch and state Reps. Fred Finn of Olympia and Kathy Haigh of Shelton all received the party’s nod for re-election.

That might not merit even a blog post sometimes, but in the 35th such an endorsement is not a given.

In 2006 the party endorsed Kyle Taylor Lucas over Sheldon, who has always been registered as a Democrat but often votes contrary to how the majority in his party would have him vote.


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