Defying an effort by the state party to dissuade the field of 1st Congressional District Democratic candidates from also filing in the special election to serve out the remaining weeks of Jay Inslee's term in the pre-redistricting 1st CD, Darcy Burner officially filed in both races this morning, on the final day of candidate filing week. I'm guessing Washington Dems chair Dwight Pelz probably isn't too pleased.
On a conference call last week arranged by Pelz, the other Democratic candidates—Laura Ruderman, Suzan DelBene, Steve Hobbs, and Darshan Rauniyar—had all agreed to stay out of the special election if the rest of the field would, but Burner balked, largely due to concerns that it would leave the Democratic nominee at a financial disadvantage in the general should the lone Republican John Koster run in the special, enabling him to essentially double the cap on campaign contributions. Campaign insiders disagree on the dollars at stake, but it's likely somewhere in the $200K to $500K range.
Now that Burner has filed in both races, the rest of the field is likely to follow suit. And what that means is ultimately hard to say.
Both races will appear on the ballot in those precincts that overlap the old and the new 1st CD, confusing enough regardless of who is running. Some election observers fear that this could lead to the doubly-confusing scenario of a different Democrat appearing on the general election ballot in each. Maybe. But I'm not the only one who thinks that the primary election will likely swing hard in one candidate's direction (much like the crowded King County executive primary race ultimately swung to Dow Constantine), sweeping one candidate to victory in both races. We'll see.
In any case, prepare for the recriminations to begin. No doubt Burner will be accused of not being a team player. But tired of party politics, who's to say that may not be exactly what voters are looking for in a candidate?
UPDATE: As expected, DelBene has announced she is filing in the special, and Pelz has issued a statement saying he is "very disappointed" with Burner for "breaking ranks." C'est la vie.