Washington Democrats voted by acclaim Saturday at their state convention to endorse the re-election of several leaders, including U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, state Treasurer Jim McIntire, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler and Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark. They also endorsed Bob Ferguson, the lone Democrat running for attorney general.
By contrast, state Sen. Jim Kastama of Puyallup was booed as he explained his controversial decision to join Senate Republicans in a budget coalition at the Legislature this year.
Kastama is running for secretary of state. His rival Kathleen Drew, the former state senator who once beat Dino Rossi, was the first-ballot pick for secretary of state. She also beat out former Seattle mayor Greg Nickels, who had been recruited to run by the state party chairman.
In the other race decided by secret ballot, state Sen. Craig Pridemore of Vancouver was the first-ballot pick for state auditor. He beat out state Rep. Mark Miloscia of Federal Way and state Rep. Troy Kelley of Tacoma.
Olympia Democrat Denny Heck also won the unanimous endorsement of 10th Congressional District delegates for his campaign in the newly formed district. The other Democrat in the six-candidate race, Jennifer Ferguson, did not ask to be considered, according to Thurston County Democratic chairman Stew Henderson.
Kastama told delegates that his budget maneuvering eventually helped produce the most bipartisan budget in Senate history and also a jobs package. Boos came when he quoted former state treasurer Dan Grimm as saying he’d made the only responsible decision on the budget. More boos came when he mentioned getting support from conservative Sen. Tim Sheldon of Potlatch as well as from liberal Sen. Ed Murray.