Former Planned Parenthood Northwest political director Dana Laurent has scored a bit of a coup in her race for Washington State Democratic Party chair by winning the endorsement of Joby Shimomura, Governor Jay Inslee's chief of staff. One of Inslee's closest advisors, it is hard to imagine that Shimomura would have publicly endorsed Laurent without first clearing it with the governor. So barring an Inslee endorsement of one of Laurent's opponents, it seems reasonable to interpret Shimomura's endorsement of Laurent as a polite proxy for the governor's.

As of now, the race to replace Dwight Pelz as party chair appears to have two clear frontrunners: Laurent and current party executive director Jaxon Ravens. Ravens, a long time Democratic Party activist who has worked for the state party since 2004, is well respected in the party and would represent a vote for continuity. It'll be interesting to see how this race ultimately plays out.