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A “battle for the soul” of House Democrats

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on April 20, 2010 at 7:10 am with 5 Comments »
April 19, 2010 6:36 pm

Rep. Christopher Hurst has filed paperwork to run for re-election. That’s no surprise. What’s interesting is his party affiliation.

Instead of Democrat, it’s “Independent Democrat,” a slap at the majority party that he disagreed with frequently this year.

The former police detective from Enumclaw voted against the $800 million tax package and the I-960 suspension that paved the way for the taxes. He was among those conservative-to-centrist Democrats that some dubbed the “Roadkill Caucus.”

Hurst said he will remain in the House Democratic caucus and support Speaker Frank Chopp of Seattle, but he and other legislators from rural and suburban areas will demand organizational changes next year. They need more of a voice to balance out “Seattle liberals,” he said, especially with Majority Leader Lynn Kessler of Hoquiam retiring.

“I really feel that a handful, maybe 14-15 liberal members of our caucus, really drove too much of the policy this year,” Hurst said.

The makeup and chairmanships of key committees will be on the table, as will leadership posts, he said. He calls it a “battle for the soul of the House Democratic Caucus.”

Others may file as Independent Democrats. “I don’t think I’m going to be the only one.”

Leave a comment Comments → 5
  1. webtimes22 says:

    You can’t change your stripes, and adding independent and supporting Frank Chopp are at odds. You can not have the same leadership and expect different results. Gov. Gregoire said she would change things and the state still spends more than it takes in and has one of the highest tax rates in the country.

  2. special__k says:

    Maybe you can’t change your stripes but when the votes were filed he at least took a stand and said enough is enough. Not sure I could support him but I’m at least thankful that some in their party see the wisdom in voting the peoples agenda and not big business, big government, big spending.

  3. WaldronJoe says:

    Hurst obviously listened to his constituents and voted right on the tax issue.

    As a lobbyist representing the interests of gun owners in Olympia for the past 16 years, I can attest to his commitment to protecting the rights of gun owners as well. Hurst is the leader of the pro-gun rural Democrat caucus that has sided with the GOP in blocking anti-gun legislation in the (Seattle) Democrat-controlled House for several years now.

    Joe Waldron
    Chairman, Gun Owners Action League of WA
    Past President & legislative chairman, WA Arms Collectors
    Legislative chairman, WA State Rifle & Pistol Association

  4. neutralobsever says:

    You can’t battle for something that in fact does not exist. House democrats have proven that they have no soul whatsoever so don’t worry folks there is nothing to fight about.

  5. I.m glad Chris is doing this from what I have seen of him he votes with gop more often than one may think. He seem to remind me more of a reagan democrat . Why else would he decide to run independant! makes alot of sense to me.

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