A week ago, I reported on Washington State’s Democratic Party repeatedly ignoring congressional candidate Sarah Smith’s inquiries into obtaining VAN access for her candidacy.
For a quick recap, check out Smith’s explanation of the situation below.
In the week since this situation was first reported, not much has been gained as far as answers from the state party. Her campaign was originally told by the Washington state Democratic Party that “candidates require endorsements from 51% of the Legislative Districts and the approval of the State Party Chair to gain access to VAN.” The Smith campaign has tried repeatedly to get clarification from the state party on:
- Where is the language for this bylaw?
- Why isn’t this bylaw implemented uniformly, and who voted to ratify this bylaw?
Once the Smith campaign has these answers they will push for this rule to be applied evenly to all candidates. Sarah Smith tells Progressive Army:
While I am disappointed with the State Party, I am absolutely impressed by the commitment and tenacity of the County and Legislative District leadership to address this issue on a local level while planning for a bigger picture address for the entire state in the near future. Our state wants transparency and this situation has revealed the areas that we, as a state party, can improve our processes to achieve that transparency.
I am optimistic that we can reach a solution and help come together as a state party around this issue so we might change the future of candidates here. This situation is not just about our campaign, it’s about every progressive campaign across the state of Washington and every campaign that will come after. We have an opportunity to leave the process better than how we found it and I believe there is a moral obligation on our part to ensure we do that. We are continuing our efforts working on resolutions, reaching out to the state party, and rallying the Legislative Districts and Counties to unify around the call for fair elections and interparty transparency. We will be moving forward with aiding in the drafting of a resolution to call for the separation of campaign services and endorsements on the state level. We will also be drafting a petition to be delivered to the state party with the names of those who stand with our vision of a Washington State Democratic Party that promotes inclusivity and openness for all candidates.
Even if you don’t think Sarah Smith has a chance of winning her primary against a long-standing democratic incumbent, the fact that she is fighting for systemic process changes that would afford future candidates a better chance in the future makes her candidacy worth watching and supporting.