Washington Labor Council ‘opposes’ Herrera Beutler

Delegates to the  Washington State Labor Council’s Committee on Political Education (COPE) convention on May 5 voted to oppose the re-election of U.S. Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler in the 3rd District, which covers Southwest Washington.

Herrera Beutler, a Republican from Camas, succeeded Democrat Brian Baird in 2010 after he decided not to run. She defeated labor-endorsed Democrat Denny Heck.

Following the 2010 Census and re-districting, Washington gained a congressional seat, and the 3rd District was strengthened for the Republicans.

Heck is now running in the new 10th District. He was endorsed at the COPE convention.

No established Democrat stepped up to challenge Herrera Beutler. Their candidate is Jon T. Haugen, a former Navy pilot now working at a commercial airline. Haugen ran unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2008.

Elizabeth Uelmen, a school principal and wife of union firefighter Mark Johnston — filed to run but later dropped out.

WSLC did not endorse in the 3rd Congressional primary.

During her short time in Congress, Herrera Beutler has compiled a 4 percent COPE voting record — one “right” vote against 27 “wrong” votes — as tracked by the national AFL-CIO.  Her “right” vote was against an amendment to House Resolution 1 that would have defunded the National Labor Relations Board for the remainder of 2011. The amendment failed by a vote of 176-250.

In legislative races in Southwest Washington, COPE endorsed:

  •  Democrat Tim Probst for Senate  in the 17th District. He is leaving the House to take on four-term Republican incumbent Sen. Don Benton.
  • Democrat Monica Stonier, a middle school teacher making a run for Probst’s House seat in the 17th District. At presstime, she was running unopposed.
  • Democrat James Gizzi, a member of the Clark County Planning Commission, for House Seat 2 in the 17th District. The post is held by Republican Paul Harris.
  • Democrat Annette Cleveland for state Senate in the 49th District. The seat is being vacated by Democrat Craig Pridemore, who is running for state auditor. Cleveland was the only candidate to file as of press time.


WSLC delegates also resolved to oppose Republican state Sen. Joe Zarelli in the 18th District. Zarelli has no opposition from any political party.

In statewide primary races, WSLC endorsed the following:

  • Washington Supreme Court, Pos. 2 – Susan Owens; Pos. 8 – Steven Gonzalez; Pos. 9 – Bruce Hilyer and John Ladenburg (dual);
  •  Insurance Commissioner – Mike Kreidler;
  • Lt. Governor – Brad Owen;
  • Secretary of State – Kathleen Drew and Greg Nickels (dual);
  • Sup’t of Public Instruction – Randy Dorn;

On statewide ballot measures, WSLC took the following action:

  • Approve Ref. 74 (Marriage Equality Act allowing same-sex couples to marry);
  • YES on Initiative 502 (Marijuana reform that legalizes possession of small amounts of regulated marijuana and taxes it);
  • NO on Initiative 1185 (Tim Eyman measure requiring 2/3s super-majority to repeal special interest tax breaks or to raise taxes);
  • NO on Initiative 1191 (Making Washington a so-called “right-to-work” state);
  • NO on Initiative 1192 (Redefining marriage as a civil contract and banning same-sex marriage).

In February, the Washington State Labor Council issued early endorsements for U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell,  Jay Inslee for governor, and Bob Ferguson for attorney general. All are Democrats. Both the governor and AG are open seats.

Washington’s primary is Aug. 7. It is an open primary, which means the top two vote-getters, regardless of their political party, will advance to the general election in November.

WSLC will consider further endorsements at its convention Aug. 6-9.

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