Friday, June 29, 2012

Democratic Hopefuls for 1st CD Debate

Five Democratic Candidates for the open seat in the newly formed 1st Congressional District met at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Wednesday night to debate policy and show why they alone should carry the Democratic Banner.  The debate was the idea of Scott Williams and was sponsored by the 5th, 45th, and 48th Democrats.  Enrique Cerna was the host and Jim Brunner of the Seattle Times and Jerry Cornfield of the Everett Herald were on the panel.  Questions were taken from the audience as well as the two journalists.  While their views on policy were similar, there was plenty of difference in style.  My analysis:

1.  Laura Ruderman  A natural politician, she seems almost destined to serve in congress some day,  She is excellent on articulating the issues.  Served in the Washington State Legislature, so she would seem to have a leg up on making policy.  She is known as a tireless doorbeller.  Her early roots are on the East Coast and many people find her somewhat abrupt.  Healthcare seems to be her favorite issue.

2.  Steve Hobbs  A pleasant surprise, he also has legislative experience, currently serving in the State Senate.  He says that he is a lifelong resident of Snohomish County.  Considered rather Conservative, Hobbs says that he has endorsements from many different sides.  Hobbs was also very comfortable discussing issues.  He received a smattering of boos for saying that he supports charter schools, a stand that may be his undoing.  Hobbs says that Democrats need to have a moderate like him to keep the seat Blue.

3. Suzan Del Bene  A former Microsoft executive and a founder of other high tech companies, she did public service as director of the state Department Of Revenue.  She ran against Dave Reichert in 2010 for the 8th Congressional District, but it was a bad year to run as a Democrat, espessially against an entrenched Republican incumbant.  She is warm and apealing in a "one on one" situation, with excellent eye contact. It should also be noted that she has the endorsement of Governor Gregoire.  Wednesday's debate however was arguably not her best performance.

4. Darcy Burner  Without a doubt, the voice of the disenfranchised.  If you want to "rage against the machine", Darcy is your vessel.  The favorite of a network of political bloggers known as Netroots, she was this year's keynote speaker at Netroots Nation. She ran twice against Reichert in the 8th District, almost beating him on both occasions.

5. Darshan Rauniyar, In a perfect world he would be a great candidate.  A naturalized U.S. citizen from Nepal, he champions himself as the "non politician" saying that the American dream is dying.
He is involved in local business, however, in Wednesday's debate, I did see him as someone who would nescessarily be an agent of change. Although it may be difficult in today's political climate.

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