Friday, August 01, 2014

Can a Socialist unseat the powerful Democratic Speaker of the House? It may be an only-in-Seattle question. But Frank Chopp faces a Socialist Alternative challenger following Kshama Sawant's example.

Crosscut reports:
It's the ultimate outsider versus the ultimate insider. The Socialist versus the Speaker of the House. Jess Spear versus Frank Chopp.

On paper, the state legislative race in Seattle looks like a mismatch. Chopp is the most powerful lawmaker in Olympia, the longest serving House speaker in Washington's history. The question is whether Spear is more aligned than Chopp with what the people of the 43rd Legislative District really want to be done in Olympia.

Is she the Socialist version of shoestring-budget Tea Party candidate David Brat, who upset U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a recent Virginia Republican primary? By coincidence, Spear's undergraduate degree is from Virginia's Randolph-Macon College, which is where Brat is an economics professor.

Seattle's 43rd District consists of Capitol Hill, the U District, Wallingford, Fremont and a part of downtown Seattle. It is arguably the most liberal chunk of land in Washington, despite the presence of Broadmoor, the only Seattle neighborhood to vote for Mitt Romney in 2012. It's Washington's smallest legislative district geographically. The most densely populated. Fewer school kids than most legislative districts. Stocked with three full-fledged universities. Lots of professionals. Home of the well-read, ultra-liberal weekly The Stranger.
Extremist update.