Councilman Eggen says opponent at advantage in state senate race

Democratic 32nd District State Sen. Marilyn Chase’s intraparty challenger says that he knows he faces a tough fight in his campaign to unseat Chase.

Shoreline City Councilman Chris Eggen, who announced his candidacy in early April, said Thursday that Chase would have more money to spend, an experienced campaign organization and support from the District Democratic organization.

The 32nd Legislative District includes Lynnwood, Woodway and nearby unincorporated areas of southwest Snohomish County, and parts of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace, in addition to Shoreline and part of northwest Seattle.

Much of the district is new since Chase won election in 2010. The 2011 redistricting took Kenmore, Lake Forest Park and other parts of north King County out of the district and added Lynnwood and part of Mountlake Terrace.

Eggen said that the new parts of the district would be open territory for both candidates. He expects that a Republican candidate may come from the Snohomish County part of the district.

So far, Chase and Eggen are the only declared candidates for the position, but Eggen said that he expects to see a Republican candidate come out of the Monday through Friday, May 12-16 filing week.

If no Republican files for the position or if the Democrats place 1-2 in the primary, Chase and Eggen could face off in the Nov. 4 general election. Under the top-two primary, the top two vote-getters in the Aug. 5 primary, regardless of party, qualify for the November general-election ballot.

The most recent State Public Disclosure Commission reports showed that Chase had reported raising $14,369 and spending $4,167, while Eggen had reported no fundraising or spending. Eggen said that when the next report comes out next week, his report would show that he has raised some money but that he never would match Chase in fundraising.

He also said that he is just beginning to build a campaign organization while Chase has the organization that she has built through five legislative campaigns.

The district Democratic organization gave Chase an endorsement before Eggen declared his candidacy. District Democrats endorsed Chase for state representative in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008 and for state senator in 2010.

At a recent meeting of district Democrats, many members said that a loyal Democrat shouldn’t challenge a Democratic incumbent.

Eggen twice has won election to the non-partisan Shoreline council with endorsements from the 32nd Legislative District Democrats.

Many active 32nd District Democrats backed Eggen when he challenged Democratic then-State-Sen. Darlene Fairley in the 2006 primary.

Eggen has been a member of the District Democratic organization executive board and currently is a Democratic precinct committee officer and an alternate representative from the District to the King County Democratic Central Committee.

He says that his best chance to defeat Chase is using his ability as a person-to-person, door-to-door campaigner.

When he announced his candidacy, Eggen said that he is running because the district needs leadership that not only stands for progressive values but that can build consensus and get results on issues important to its residents.

Eggen challenges Chase’s record, noting that she has passed only 14 bills out of 335 in her 13 years in both the House and Senate, and saying that Chase has strained relations with many local governments in King and Snohomish counties.

Chase first joined the State House of Representatives by appointment at the beginning of the 2002 legislative session before winning election to four two-year House terms and one to the Senate. She serves as ranking minority member of the Senate’s committee on trade and economic development and is a member of the Rules Committee and the committee on energy, environment and telecommunications.

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