By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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“I am officially withdrawing from the race for state Democratic Party chair,” Nancy Biery said in a written statement issued Thursday.
“While it's clear there are many changes our party desperately needs to get back on solid ground, it's my assessment that the status quo forces are unwilling to make those changes.”
Biery, 59, announced her candidacy for the position in November.
Biery said she has no immediate plans to endorse another candidate to replace current Chairman Dwight Pelz, who is leaving the post in February.
Biery said endorsements by several key party leaders of one of her opponents, Dana Laurent, would make it difficult to prevail.
Laurent is currently executive director of Win/Win Network and Action in Seattle.
Biery said other candidates for the position include former congressional candidate Jay Clough, lobbyist Jim Kainber and current Democratic Party Executive Director Jaxon Ravens.
I-5 extended outreach
Biery said her proposal to begin an outreach to voters outside of the Interstate 5 corridor was not embraced by members of party establishment “who want to keep things the same as they are now.”
Laurent has been endorsed by many high-level officials, including Gov. Jay Inslee's chief of staff, Joby Shimomura.
Inslee himself has not taken a stand, but Shimomura's action most likely reflects the governor's preference, Biery said.
As Pelz is leaving with three years to go on his current term, an interim chair will be selected at a meeting in Vancouver, Wash., on Feb. 1.
The February election will fill the current term. An election will be scheduled in February 2015 for a full two-year term.
The state chair operates out of an office in Seattle and supervises a paid staff of five or six people, and earns more than $100,000 a year, according to Ravens.
Biery said she plans to continue her consultant work.
“I'm going back to getting Democrats elected to office, which is something that I'm really good at,” she said.
“It's where I can make a contribution, and if I'm not the chair, I can accomplish this without having daggers in my back.”
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or firstname.lastname@example.org.