Washington State Democrats pulled out the party’s big guns in downtown Kirkland Friday afternoon to stump for candidates for state office, Congress and the Legislature in a “get out the vote” rally.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray joined U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, who is up for re-election, congressional candidate Suzan DelBene, gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee, Washington secretary of state candidate Kathleen Drew and state attorney general candidate Bob Ferguson in pumping up the decidedly partisan crowd of about 100 at Marina Park. Also on hand were state legislative candidates Larry Springer, Roger Goodman and Cyrus Habib of Kirkland and Rosemary McAuliffe of Woodinville.
All urged the crowd to make contact with their friends and tell them why it is important to vote in Tuesday’s general election. “This is the home stretch, the next four days,” said Habib. “It’s not enough to be involved in the next four days. We’ve got to be committed.”
It was Cantwell’s and DelBene’s second stop in Kirkland this week and Cantwell called it a critical “swing” city. “As Kirkland goes, so goes King County, so goes this election,” she said. “We are here for the second time to ask Kirkland to send Suzan DelBene to the U.S. House of Representatives.”
The themes were of typical Democratic issues: Women’s rights to health care, marriage equality, education, jobs, the economy, the environment and the need to maintain Washington’s leadership in aerospace and technology.
Murray recalled being asked to attend a late-night Senate meeting during the federal budget deadlock last September when a government shutdown loomed. “I walked into that room and it was all men except me,” she said. “(Republicans) wanted to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. They said “Give us that and we’ll break this deadlock.’ I looked at that room and said, “Not on my watch!’
“One of their goals is to take away the right of women to health care. That’s why (electing) Suzan DelBene is so important. She is going to keep our focus on jobs and the economy. But if they come in the middle of the night and want to take away women’s rights, she will say, ‘No!’”
Also speaking were two longtime nurses on the need to maintain focus on health care, and Krista Warnock, owner of Spa Krista in downtown Kirkland. She spoke of her difficulty in obtaining a loan to expand her business, and the need to support re-approval of the Cantwell-sponsored Small Business Lending Fund.
“In 2013, we are going to need to grow again,” she said. “Thanks to Sen. Cantwell, I know I’ll have a better chance of getting a loan to do that.”
Inslee noted his opponent Rob Mckenna’s opposition as state attorney general to the so-called “Obamacare” national health care law, the Reproductive Parity Act regarding health insurance coverage of abortion, and Referendum 74, the same-sex marriage proposal.
“With your help, we’re going to have a governor to help help move this state forward,” Inslee said. “I can’t wait to work with Larry Springer, Roger Goodman and Cyrus Habib. We’re not going to let Rob McKenna take this state backward.”
For a look at all the candidates, see the attached photo gallery.