Former President Jimmy Carter Praises WA Dem Candidates In Seattle

Former President Carter, DNC Chairman Tom Perez raise money for Dow Constantine, elevates profile of Manka Dhingra

National Democratic figures descended on Washington state on Tuesday to raise money for local candidates. At an event for King County Executive Dow Constantine, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and former President Jimmy Carter praised the Democrat and also gave a shoutout to Manka Dhingra — the Democrat for the legislative seat that determines the balance of power in the Washington state senate.

The Seattle Times reported that “much attention was lavished on the candidate Democrats hope can win that [45th distrtict] seat, Manka Dhingra, a senior deputy prosecutor in King County.” The Times goes on to say: “Dhingra spoke from the stage to the 900 on hand and was touted by Constantine, Perez — and even former President Jimmy Carter, who made an unannounced appearance on stage.”

Dhingra has raised substantial money since she announced earlier this year — $261,879 — but fundraising seemed to have slowed last month as she only raised $62,000.

King County Executive Dow Constantine is expected to breeze through to re-election in the fall, so it was no surprise Democrats took substantial time to help a down ballot candidate like Manka Dhingra, who is setting up to have an expensive and highly-competitive race against Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund. Governor Inslee recently called the state senate race in the 45th legislative district the 3rd most important election in the country in 2017.

During the fundraiser in Seattle on Tuesday, DNC Chairman Tom Perez plugged the party’s “every zip code strategy” — a play on Howard Dean’s “50 state strategy.” In recent years, Democrats have seen their national footprint shrink as their bases of support have consolidated in ubran areas and Republicans made down-ballot gains during the Obama years. Republicans control the majority of governor’s mansions, the majority of state legislative bodies, while also controlling the White House and Congress.

By nationalizing the local races in Washington state, Democrats expect to raise additional money but risk losing touch with the local issues voters are dealing with. Both Dow Constantine and Manka Dhingra have positioned themselves as local leaders opposed to President Donald Trump. Former Democrat state senator for the 45th district, Eric Oemig, proposed impeaching President George W. Bush, and he lost re-election to Andy Hill in 2010 as Republicans pinned Oemig as being too extreme for the eastside district.

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