Special election chaos: DelBene, Ruderman join Burner in contest

UPDATE: Democrats Suzan DelBene and Laura Ruderman announced today they will run in both the special and regular elections in the 1st Congressional District.

Both women declared their intentions within minutes of Darcy Burner’s announcement that she would vie in both contests.

The three women are among seven candidates who’ve been campaigning for months for a full two-year term in the congressional district.

For weeks, state Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz had tried to keep the trio and Democrats Steve Hobbs and Darshan Rauniyar from also entering the special election to serve the final month of U.S Rep. Jay Inslee’s term. He thought he had a deal among the Democrats until this morning.

In a statement, Pelz said:

“Our goal was to minimize voter confusion and maximize the opportunity to elect a Democract in the New 1st Congressional District.

“We worked with all of the candidates running in the New 1st District and reached near consensus that it would be best if they each filed in only one race; but with an understanding that if one of the candidates entered both races then all would feel compelled to compete on an equal footing.

“I am very disappointed that Darcy Burner chose to put her own perceived self interest ahead of that of the public by breaking ranks and filing in both races. I understand that the others will have no choice but to do the same.”

Original post:

Democrat Darcy Burner announced today she will run in both the special and regular elections being conducted in the 1st Congressional District this year.

In her announcement, she said:

“Speaker Boehner has made clear threats to slash Social Security benefits after the election. Social Security is paid for and earned by working Americans,” Burner said. “It belongs to the people who have worked hard and paid into the program, not to Speaker Boehner and his caucus of bullies in Washington D.C. Cutting Social Security would hurt middle class Americans who have paid into it their entire working lives, and violates the guaranteed promise made to all Americans. I will fight tooth and nail to make sure Congress keeps its hands off of Social Security.”

At this point, Burner is the only candidate to file in both races. However, that may change before the filing deadline arrives at 5 p.m. today

Also today, Snohomish County Councilman Brian Sullivan, a Democrat, filed for the special election to fill the unexpired term of U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee.

State Democratic Party Chairman Dwight Pelz recruited Sullivan. He hoped it would deter Burner and the other four Democrats battling in the regular election for a two-year term from entering the special election.

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