Politics WA Dems & GOP Select New State Party Chairs
The Democrats elected former left-wing King County Council Member Dwight Pelz as new state chair this afternoon. Pelz, a loud brawler, replaces outgoing chair Paul Berendt.
The Republicans, replacing their outgoing chair (and quipster) Chris Vance, elected attorney and party activist Diane Tebelius. Tebelius ran against Dave Reichert in the Republican primary in 2004. Her latest claim to fame: Losing the Rossi trial and defending her party’s recent controversial voter challenges in King County.
Immediately upon being selected (Pelz beat rival Laura Ruderman 95-70), Pelz showcased his knack for sound biting.
Asked about Tebelius, no wimp herself (Tebelius is a former federal prosecutor and she raised nearly a half a million dollars in her R primary loss to Reichert), Pelz said: “She’s smart, and she’s tough. But she’s got a tough product to sell.” He went on to bash President Bush’s record of misleading the public about Iraq, the Republicans’ “Culture of Corruption,” and the Republicans’ history of bilking the working classes.
Berendt leaves Pelz with the best situation for Dems of any West coast state: The Democrats control both houses in the Olympia, the Governor’s mansion, and both U.S. Senate seats.