West Richland man wants to lead state Democrats

Geoff Folsom, Tri-City HeraldNovember 13, 2013 

A West Richland man is looking to head the state Democratic Party.

Jay Clough, who ran unsuccessfully for office twice in recent years, said he wants to give Eastern Washington more of a voice in a party that has its power base west of the Cascades.

He is the chairman of the Benton County Democratic Central Committee and serves on the state Democratic chairs organization.

People from both sides of the state approached Clough to run for the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, he said.

Priorities for Clough, 37, include giving Democrats clear control of the state Senate, while strengthening the majority in the state House of Representatives, he said.

Clough feels he can show Eastern Washington residents how the area has been helped by Democrats through the years, from construction of irrigation canals to Hanford. He said he also will show state Democrats how the east side of the state can help them.

"I think that me being from Eastern Washington brings a more holistic viewpoint, but it's an entire state party effort," he said.

Nancy Biery, a former aide for Sen. Maria Cantwell and former Gov. Gary Locke, also has announced plans to run for state Democratic chair. On her website, Biery said she served as chairwoman of the Democrats in Jefferson County, one of the state's "bluest and highest turnout" counties.

Clough said the position will be voted on by 176 committee members Feb. 1.

Clough lost to U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Pasco, in the 2010 election. He then lost to state Rep. Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, in 2012.

Clough, a Marine Corps veteran, ran against Klippert with a platform supporting gun rights and strengthening the economy and education. He works in retail management.

Clough is a native of the Tri-Cities and graduate of Kennewick High School.

-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; gfolsom@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom

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