It sucks pretty bad when you can't even get your guy in as the party chair. Of course, the local rag won't mention it...
Ravens has been the party’s executive director for the past decade. The Democratic State Central Committee elected him on the second ballot over Dana Laurent, director of Win/Win Strategies and a former political director of Planned Parenthood-Northwest.
Ravens’ win was a case of someone who has labored in the party vineyards defeating a more glamorous candidate with a lot of high-profile endorsements.
Still, the result will raise eyebrows: An incumbent governor like Inslee is usually considered the leader of his state’s party, and able to pick his state chair.
Laurent was endorsed by Inslee earlier this week after receiving a boost last month from the governor’s chief of staff, Joby Shimomura. Laurent was also backed by Senate Democratic leader Sharon Nelson as well as such groups as Fuse Washington, Service Employees’ Local 775 and the Progressive Majority PAC.
Ravens is a Missoula, Mont., native, which is a good bloodline in the Democratic Party. Jim Messina, who managed President Obama’s 2012 campaign, started by managing a mayoral campaign in Missoula. Stephanie Schriock managed campaigns for Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Al Franken, D-Minn., and now heads Emily’s List’s political fundraising operations. Whitney Williams, daughter of a Montana congressman, served as a top adviser to Hillary Clinton.
The new state chair worked for King County Democrats and has also chaired the National Association of Democratic Executive Directors.
He is succeeding Dwight Pelz, a former state Senator and King County councilman, who rather abruptly quit and decided to travel the world after more than 30 years of nonstop activism.
The Democrats may have taken a lesson from the not-too-distant past.
They ruled the roost after the 1992 election, having just elected Gov. Mike Lowry, Sen. Patty Murray, eight U.S. House members and a 60-plus-seat majority in the Washington House of Representatives.
With Lowry’s blessing, they went outside the party for a new chairman, Charles Rolland, who had managed Seattle Mayor Norm Rice’s election.More, if you can stand the laugh.