Democrats from Eastern Washington have long felt like second-class citizens in their own party. So they were delighted when Gov. Jay Inslee singled them out for attention Monday at the state party’s delegate breakfast at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
Inslee, who represented the Yakima area in Congress from 1989–93, began by saying, “I’m going to dedicate my comments to Eastern Washington Democrats this morning.” His statement met with enthusiastic cheers and applause.
Sandra Williams, a delegate from Spokane Valley, appreciated the shout-out.
“A lot of times we feel left out in Eastern Washington, that all the focus is on the left side (of the state),” Williams said. “So I appreciate that he noticed us, and I hope that he will follow up on that noticing us by recognizing what issues are specific to Eastern Washington and putting some energy behind those.”
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Delegate Ava Sharifi from Spokane, believes Inslee’s address of the Eastern Washington delegates was a political move designed to “help his voter base.” Sharifi, who has seen Inslee speak several times, says that the governor tries to tailor his appeal to different audiences.
A lot of times we feel left out in Eastern Washington, that all the focus is on the left side (of the state). So I appreciate that (Gov. Inslee) noticed us, and I hope that he will follow up on that noticing us by recognizing what issues are specific to Eastern Washington and putting some energy behind those.
Sandra Williams, Spokane Valley delegate
At the breakfast, delegates hear from a variety of speakers relevant to the state and are given important logistical information about the convention.
In his remarks, Inslee, who is running for re-election, discussed his own positive impact on the state’s economy, clean transportation and education.
At the breakfast, Washington delegates hear from a variety of speakers relevant to their state, are told about events planned for the day and are reminded of important logistical information about the convention.
Rep. Suzan DelBene, a Democrat from Northwest Washington’s 1st District, ended her speech by referring to presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton as the next president.
Her statement was met by cheers from about half the room, while the rest glared silently forward.
Most of the state’s delegates are pledged to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Like DelBene, Inslee is pledged as a superdelegate for Clinton.
Christina Klos is a student journalist from Temple University working with McClatchy to cover the Democratic National Convention from Philadelphia for the Tri-City Herald.