Published on September 29th, 2014 | by Joseph Peha


Endorsements and Voter Guide for the 2014 General Election!

Each election the 36th puts together a concise, packaged voter guide that’s distributed to thousands of doors across the district. It contains useful fantastic information about our endorsements, a sample ballot, a letter from our chair, and advertisements from endorsed campaigns.

Download your own copy here and check out the full content of our voter guide below – and remember to mail in your ballot by November 4th!


  • US Congress – Dist. 7 – Jim McDermott
  • WA State Senator – Jeanne Kohl-Welles
  • WA State Rep. – Pos. 1 – Reuven Carlyle
  • WA State Rep. – Pos. 2 – Gael Tarleton
  • WA Supreme Court – Pos. 1 – Mary Yu
  • WA Supreme Court – Pos. 3 – Mary Fairhurst
  • WA Supreme Court – Pos. 4 – Charles Johnson
  • WA Supreme Court – Pos. 7 – Debra Stephens
  • KC District Court – Pos. 1 – Johanna Bender
  • KC District Court – Pos. 2 – Mark Chow
  • KC District Court – Pos. 5 – Anne Harper
  • Seattle Muni. Court – Pos. 2 – Kimi Kondo
  • Seattle Muni. Court – Pos. 3 – Steve Rosen
  • Seattle Muni. Court – Pos. 5 – Willie Gregory
  • Seattle Muni. Court – Pos. 6 – Karen Donohue
  • I-591 – NO
  • I-594 – YES
  • Advisory Vote No. 8 – MAINTAINED
  • Advisory Vote No. 9 – MAINTAINED
  • Seattle Props 1A & 1B
    • Question 1 – YES
    • Question 2 – (No Endorsement)
  • Seattle Citizen Petition No. 1 – NO
  • Seattle Trans. Prop. 1 – YES

The 36th District Democrats also endorsed the following candidates for King County Superior Court, who do not appear on the ballot because they ran unopposed: John Chun, Roger Rogoff, and Tanya Thorp.

The 36th District Democrats did not make an endorsement decision in the following races: Prosecuting Attorney; Court of Appeals; District Court Positions 3 and 4; Municipal Court Positions 1, 4, and 7; and Initiative 1351.


Dear Neighbor,

When deciding how you will vote in the November 4th General Election, I hope you will consider the endorsements of the 36th District Democrats. We carefully screen the candidates for experience, effectiveness, and adherence to the Democratic Party platform. We dive into the policy minutia of ballot measures to determine whether they reflect progressive values.

Our endorsement process is extensive and involves hundreds of hours by dozens of volunteers to help vet the candidates and ballot measures. For more information about our endorsements and to join our organization please visit:


Jeff Manson's Signature

Jeff Manson

Chair, 36th District Democrats


Jim McDermott for US Congress

Rep. McDermott has been a reliable progressive for years. In 2000, he lead the effort to pass the African Growth and Opportunity Act to help the struggling economies of sub-Saharan Africa. He was a courageous early voice against the Iraq War in 2002. In recent years, he successfully increased unemployment benefits to help struggling families and worked behind the scenes to improve the Affordable Care Act. Rep. McDermott continues to advocate for tax reform to address increasing economic inequality. Vote to reelect Jim McDermott to Congress.

Jeanne Kohl-Welles for State Senator

Sen. Kohl-Welles has served in the State Senate since 1994 and continues to be a leader on social justice and economic equity issues. She has been recognized for passing the strongest legislation in the country to prevent human trafficking and protect its victims. Before marijuana was legalized for recreational use, she was a leader on legalizing medical marijuana and continues to work to effectively regulate this industry. A recent Washington Post analysis of state legislatures and legislation concluded that Senator Kohl-Welles is the most effective Democrat in the Washington State Senate. She should be reelected to a sixth term.

Reuven Carlyle for State Representative
Pos. 1

Rep. Reuven Carlyle has developed a reputation as an innovative and principled legislator since being elected to the legislature in 2008. He has called for an automatic sunset on all tax loopholes so wasteful ones can be closed. In 2011, he joined other legislators and citizens to sue to overturn Tim Eyman’s 2/3-supermajority rule. When Boeing recently demanded an historic tax exemption, Rep. Carlyle courageously fought to make it conditional on Boeing jobs remaining in our state, to be retroactively rescinded if Boeing did not comply. This latter effort was unsuccessful, but Washington State citizens are well-served with a common-sense watchdog as Chair of the House Finance Committee. Vote to reelect Reuven Carlyle as State Representative.

Gael Tarleton for State Representative
Pos. 2

After serving on the Seattle Port Commission for five years, Rep. Gael Tarleton has completed a successful first term in the State House of Representatives. In her first session as a legislator, she successfully passed a rare amendment to the Landlord Tenant Act, providing additional protections for renters, a growing population in the 36th legislative district. She has also focused on protecting workers, sponsoring bills to increase the state minimum wage and require employers to provide paid vacation leave. She has brought her experience from the Port to the legislature, serving as a leader on maritime and working waterfront issues. Rep. Tarleton deserves reelection to a second term.

Mary Yu for State Supreme Court
Pos. 1

Mary Yu was appointed to the Supreme Court to fill a vacancy earlier this year and is running for election to a full term. Justice Yu served with distinction on the King County Superior Court for 14 years, receiving high accolades from her colleagues and attorneys who practiced before her. In this capacity, she made history when she opened her courtroom at midnight on the first day marriage equality was legalized and officiated over the first same-sex weddings in Washington State. Justice Yu’s appointment to the Supreme Court was also historic, as she is the first Asian, the first of woman of color, and the first member of the LGBT community to serve on the Supreme Court. We enthusiastically endorse Mary Yu for election to the Supreme Court.

Mary Fairhurst for State Supreme Court
Pos. 3

Mary Fairhurst started her legal career as a law clerk for the State Supreme Court and served with distinction as an Assistant Attorney General. She later became the youngest attorney and only the second woman to be elected as President of the Washington State Bar Association. Elected to the Supreme Court in 2002, she has been a reliably liberal voice on our state’s highest court. Justice Fairhurst is passionate about improving access to justice and supporting legal aid and pro bono services. She deserves reelection.

Charles Johnson for State Supreme Court
Pos. 4

Charles Johnson is the longest-serving Justice on the Supreme Court, having first been elected in 1990. Since that time, he has also taught constitutional law as an adjunct law professor at Seattle University School of Law. While we do not always agree with his decisions (such as siding with a conservative majority against marriage equality in a high-profile 2006 case), Justice Johnson has developed a deserved reputation as a thoughtful jurist who appreciates the practical implications of legal theory and process on people’s lives. His opponent this year is not campaigning and does not appear serious about the job. Vote to reelect Charles Johnson.

Debra Stephens for State Supreme Court

Debra Stephens is a Spokane native who focused her legal work on appellate practice, arguing before the Washington Supreme Court over 125 times prior to her appointment to the same bench in 2007. Since joining the Court, Justice Stephens has become known for her active questioning of attorneys during oral presentations, picking apart their legal arguments and posing insightful hypotheticals. Her opponent this year is a disbarred attorney who would likely be ineligible to serve if elected. Justice Stephens is not only eligible to serve, but has distinguished herself as one of most talented members of the court. She should be elected to another term.

Bender, Chow, and Harper for District Court

The King County District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction, hearing cases such as misdemeanors, small claims matters, protection orders, and foreclosures. It is a high-volume court that is best served by judges who can effectively manage a busy calendar without losing sight of the human element of their work. Three sitting District Court Judges reached out to our organization for an endorsement to their respective positions, each of whom should be reelected. Judge Johanna Bender has served on the District Court for only two years but impressed us with her legal knowledge, administrative acumen, and calm and compassionate demeanor. She has recently been designated to lead the Court’s therapeutic courts team, including mental health court and veterans court. Judge Mark Chow was the first Asian American judge in King County and has earned a reputation for fairness and treating all individuals in his courtroom equally. He helped establish one of the first mental health courts in the country. Judge Anne Harper has served on the court for five years after many years as a public defender. Passionate about social justice, she advocates for equal access to our courts for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Kondo, Rosen, Gregory, and Donohue for Municipal Court

The Seattle Municipal Court is another high-volume court that needs judges with strong administration skills and an even temperament as much as a quick legal mind. We have endorsed four of the incumbents running for reelection. Judge Kimi Kondo has served on the Municipal Court since 1990 and has been elected by her colleagues to be Presiding Judge since 2011. In that capacity, she has brought necessary reforms to the court and impressed us as a competent administrator. Her opponent is running a credible campaign, but has not convinced us that Judge Kondo should be removed from the bench, or that he would do a better job. Judges Steve Rosen, Willie Gregory, and Karen Donohue are running unopposed. They were each first elected in 2010 and are completing their first term on the bench. They have each demonstrated that they are capable judges and have been moving the Court towards necessary technological and systems reforms. They deserve reelection.

NO on Initiative 591
YES on Initiative 594

Initiative 594 would close a legal loophole in firearm sales and require universal background checks before purchasing a firearm, including from private sellers at gun shows or on the internet. In contrast, Initiative 591 would do the opposite, legally preventing the State of Washington from adopting such a background check requirement. If both initiatives pass, the one with more votes will become law. It is long past time for Washington to adopt responsible, common-sense background checks on firearm sales. Vote NO on I-591; and YES on I-594.

Vote MAINTAIN on Advisory Votes 8 & 9

While Tim Eyman’s requirement that any tax increase (including extending taxes or closing loopholes) receive a 2/3 vote in each house of the legislature was ruled unconstitutional, another provision of I-960 remains: it requires any tax increase to go before the voters for a non-binding advisory vote. There were two such tax decisions in the 2014 legislative session, hence Advisory Votes 8 and 9. (Advisory Votes 1 through 7 were considered in 2012 and 2013.) Both of these tax votes involved narrow areas of the tax code, passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, and increased government revenue in an era of never-ending budget cuts. Although nonbinding, please vote to MAINTAIN these tax decisions.

YES on Seattle Propositions 1A & 1B
Question 1

Seattle Propositions 1A and 1B both concern supporting early learning, but approach the issue from different angles. Unfortunately, due to a court ruling, voters must choose one to the exclusion of the other. Voters are presented with two questions regarding these propositions. Question 1 asks whether either of these measures should be enacted into law. We recognize and value the importance of early childhood education and encourage you to vote YES on this first question. Question 2 then asks voters which of the two measures they prefer. Our organization was not able to reach a consensus on which measure to endorse over the other. We encourage voters to further study Propositions 1A and 1B to make an informed decision.

NO on Seattle Citizen Petition 1

Seattle Citizen Petition 1 would impose a $5 car tab fee and create a new governmental entity, a City Transportation Authority, with authority to levy taxes, putatively to build a new monorail system. However, such a transportation system is not part of any local or regional long-term transportation planning and would likely undermine fragile transit funding efforts. Our transportation system is fragmented enough as it is, both in terms of modes of transportation (car, bus, light rail, heavy rail, streetcars, etc.) and overlapping jurisdictions (City, County, State, Sound Transit). The last thing we need is a new governmental entity to study a project which already failed a decade ago. Vote NO.

YES on Seattle Transportation Proposition 1

By state law, King County is severely restricted in its ability to raise sufficient revenue to fund basic services, including the King County Metro bus system. In recent years, Metro has nearly doubled fares while severely trimming overhead and management positions to cut costs. Meanwhile, Republicans in the State Senate continue to block reforms that would allow Metro to increase revenue to maintain current bus service levels. Earlier this year, a county-wide ballot measure was proposed to voters that would maintain bus service by imposing a $60 car tab and raising the sales tax by 0.1%. While this measure was approved overwhelmingly by Seattle voters, it failed county-wide. Now, Seattle is proposing the exact same tax for Seattle only, which would fund metro bus service for Seattle only. (The measure includes language that prevents Metro from using the Seattle funds to subsidize the rest of the county.) Without this additional revenue, dozens of bus routes will be reduced or eliminated early next
year. Please vote YES to save Metro!


The 36th District Democrats also endorsed the following candidates for King County Superior Court who do not appear on the ballot because they ran unopposed: John Chun, Roger Rogoff, and Tanya Thorp.

The 36th District Democrats did not make an endorsement decision in the following races: Prosecuting Attorney; Court of Appeals; District Court Positions 3 and 4; Municipal Court Positions 1, 4, and 7; and Initiative 1351.


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