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Jerry Cornfield | jcornfield@heraldnet.com
Published: Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 5:15 p.m.

McAuliffe backed by Palumbo, blasted by school reform group

State Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, picked up the endorsement of a former rival today hours after television ads attacking her record on education hit the airwaves.

McAuliffe is battling Republican Dawn McCravey of Bothell in the 1st Legislative District in one of the most closely watched Senate contests in the state.

She got a boost today when Democrat Guy Palumbo, who finished third in the primary with 13.5 percent of the vote, offered a strong endorsement.

“If creating jobs, expanding access to health care and extensive private sector experience are important to you, Senator Rosemary McAuliffe is the clear choice,” Palumbo concludes in a lengthy post on his new political blog, The1stDistrict.

In the primary, Palumbo found plenty of fault with McAuliffe's lengthy tenure in office and her unwillingness as chairwoman of the Senate education committee to advance several reform measures such as charter schools.

But he found plenty of nice things to say about her today. And he found lots of shortcomings with McCravey – whom he supported last year when she won a second term on the Northshore School Board.

One of his biggest beefs with McCravey is she won't share her views on social issues.

“In a year with Referendum 74 on the ballot, Plan B in the courts and the Reproductive Parity Act slated to come up for a vote next session, I am not willing to overlook Dawn's stances on these issues. We know where Rosemary is on these issues. She is socially progressive. She voted for marriage equality and is pro-choice. Like so many of us in our community, Rosemary has always stood for equal rights for all and fair treatment for everyone. We don't know where Dawn is on these issues because she won't answer tough questions like these,” he wrote.

In the meantime Stand for Children, a statewide advocacy group, launched its first television ad today criticizing McAuliffe for opposing charter schools and tougher rules for teacher evaluations.

You can see the ad here.

Stand for Children spent nearly $50,000 on the commercial which is running on cable stations. It is the group's first independent expenditure in the campaign though it may not be the last.

The organization is also leading efforts to pass Initiative 1240 to legalize charter schools in Washington.

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