A dozen or so Democrats are publicly standing alongside Republican Rob McKenna in his bid to be Washingtons next governor.
Brian Sonntag of Tacoma, himself mentioned as a possible governor candidate in the past, will lead what is being called Democrats for Rob (or D4R).
After years of effective partnership, mutual respect and friendship, helping Rob in this capacity was an afterthought. I am confident he is the right person for the job, said a Monday statement from Sonntag, who is retiring after five terms as state auditor.
Olympia has been polluted by special interest or partisan meddling, Sonntag continued. Ive seen Rob display the kind of leadership that can get past all of that.
The other Democrats who appeared at the announcement are lesser known: Jim Boldt, Thi Huynh, Paul Carkeek, Marie Mentor, Ron Chow, Tim Sheldon, Mark Doumit, Kirke Sievers, Maggie Fimia, Morrie Trautman, Larry Finegold and Judy Yu.
State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz was critical of the move without taking on any of the named Democrats.
If Rob McKenna ever comes up with a new idea, it will definitely be news, Pelz said in a statement. Weve been through Democrats for Dino and Democrats for Hutchison. Were looking forward to the pattern of this failed stunt continuing with Jay Inslee winning this election and becoming our next governor.
Also on Monday, McKenna captured the endorsement of a state union representing public school employees, including teachers assistants and bus drivers.
Public School Employees of Washington announced that the union voted 11-4 on Saturday to endorse McKenna over Inslee. The union represents 26,000 members in school districts across the state. The union previously endorsed current Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire in both 2004 and 2008.
Last month, education advocacy group Stand for Children endorsed McKenna. The states largest teacher union, the Washington Education Association, has endorsed Inslee.
Both candidates have focused on education in their campaigns.