State lawmakers’ own campaigns for re-election are limited by the ongoing overtime session of the Legislature, but that isn’t preventing them from weighing in on the presidential race.
With Democrats’ March 26 caucuses approaching, 42 state lawmakers have endorsed Hillary Clinton, her campaign announced Thursday. There are 74 Democrats in the Legislature.
In the South Sound, the former secretary of state’s Democratic supporters include at least three Tacoma lawmakers — Sen. Jeannie Darneille and Reps. Jake Fey and Laurie Jinkins — plus Rep. Chris Hurst of Enumclaw and Rep. Sam Hunt of Olympia.
Clinton faces Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the caucuses that will start the process of awarding Washington’s 101 delegates to Democrats’ July national convention in Philadelphia.
South Sound lawmakers endorsing Sanders include Rep. David Sawyer of Tacoma. Sawyer said he’s one of at least five members of the Legislature backing Sanders. A call to the Sanders campaign was not returned.
Washington Republicans will award their delegates to candidates based on the state’s May 24 presidential primary.
Among GOP endorsements, Rep. Jesse Young of Gig Harbor backs U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. At least three Senate Republicans, including Sen. Don Benton of Vancouver and Doug Ericksen of Ferndale, have lined up behind businessman Donald Trump. Ericksen said Sen. Brian Dansel of Republic also supports Trump.
Clinton’s campaign said in an announcement that lawmakers are organizing on her behalf and recruiting volunteer leaders.
“Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, I worked for Senator Hillary Clinton in her New York City office and observed firsthand her tireless advocacy for first responders, survivors and their families,” Sen. Cyrus Habib, D-Bellevue, said in the written announcement.
“At a time when other candidates are spreading divisive and hateful rhetoric about minorities, immigrants, women, and people with disabilities, Hillary Clinton will bring people together to break down barriers.”
Others endorsing Clinton, according to the campaign: Sens. Andy Billig, Annette Cleveland, David Frockt, Steve Hobbs, Karen Keiser, Marko Liias, Mark Mullet, John McCoy, Sharon Nelson, Jamie Pedersen, Kevin Ranker and Reps. Sherry Appleton, Steve Bergquist, Judy Clibborn, Eileen Cody, Joe Fitzgibbon, Drew Hansen, Zack Hudgins, Patty Kuderer, Kristine Lytton, Joan McBride, Jim Moeller, Jeff Morris, Lillian Ortiz-Self, Tina Orwall, Strom Peterson, Eric Pettigrew, Gerry Pollet, June Robinson, Cindy Ryu, Tana Senn, Larry Springer, Derek Stanford, Gael Tarleton, Steve Tharinger and Sharon Wylie.
Sanders’ endorsements, according to Sawyer: Sens. Bob Hasegawa and Pramila Jayapal and Reps. Brian Blake and Luis Moscoso.