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Against Democratic party's wishes, Darcy Burner files for special election
Updated at 8:10 p.m. to correct Brian Sullivan's status on the Snohomish County Council
Flouting the wishes of the state Democratic Party, Democrat Darcy Burner will run in the special election to fill the final month of the seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee this year.
Burner had already announced she was running in the regular election for the redrawn 1st Congressional District -- a race that has drawn several rivals on the Democratic side.
But Burner is the first of the 1st Congressional District's Democratic candidates to file in the special election too. In a statement, Burner said she was running to protect Social Security and Medicare from cuts by a Republican "caucus of bullies" led by House Speaker John Boehner.
Burner's move was criticized by state Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz, who had tried to negotiate a truce to keep the 1st District candidates out of the special election.
"I am very disappointed that Darcy Burner chose to put her own perceived self interest ahead of that of the public by breaking ranks and filing in both races. I understand that the others will have no choice but to do the same," Pelz said.
Burner's move will undoubtedly force her Democratic rivals to follow suit.
Indeed, Sandeep Kaushik, a consultant for former Microsoft executive Suzan DelBene, confirmed she will also file for the special election given Burner's action.
Former state lawmaker Laura Ruderman also announced her plan to file following Burner's announcement. (A spokeswoman said that -- contrary to assertions by Democratic leaders -- Ruderman had never agreed to stay out of the special election.)
Other Democrats in the 1st District race are state Sen. Steve Hobbs and businessman Darshan Rauniyar.
Officals with the state Democratic Party had sought to broker a deal whereby those candidates would all agree not to run in the special election.
Instead, party officials hoped to unite behind
former Snohomish County Council member Brian Sullivan, who filed for the special election earlier this week.
The confusing dual election for the 1st District were created by Inslee's resignation to concentrate on his gubernatorial campaign.
Most attention has focused on the regular election to replace Inslee for a full two-year term in Congress. That election will be decided by voters in the redrawn 1st District, which runs from north of Seattle to the Canadian border.
But a special election will be held simultaneously to fill the final month of Inslee's term. That election will be decided by voters under the old 1st District boundaries.
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