Physician joins state Senate special election
American politics is a full-time sport, so it’s no surprise that even in an off-year for elections there are important campaigns to keep an eye on. Several “special elections” to fill state legislative vacancies will determine the balance of power in Olympia—including a Senate race featuring a physician candidate.
In that closely watched race, Dr. Richard Knierim, a pathologist and WSMA member, is seeking office as an Independent Democrat to represent the 48th District (Bellevue area). A newcomer to politics, Dr. Knierim works at Swedish Medical Center and was elected to the College of American Pathologists’ board of governors in 2015. Dr. Knierim will be running against Sen. Patty Kuderer, who was appointed to the seat in January after having served in the House of Representatives for a year. A trial attorney by trade, Sen. Kuderer serves as the assistant ranking Democrat on the Senate Health Care Committee. In addition to Knierim and Kuderer, Libertarian Michelle Darnell is also seeking the seat.
The marquee matchup this year will be in the state’s 45th District (Woodinville/Redmond area), where two newcomers to politics will square off in a race that may determine partisan control of the Senate. The Majority Coalition Caucus, made up of 24 Republicans and one conservative Democrat, currently holds the district seat and governs the Senate by a 25-24 majority. Democratic candidate Manka Dhingra is running against Republican Jinyoung Englund, and her campaign, if successful, would swing that chamber to the Democrats.
This year’s primary election will be held on Aug. 1 with the general election to follow on Nov. 7. As always, look to WAMPAC, the WSMA’s campaign arm, for information on campaigns and how you can get involved. For more information, contact Sean Graham at email@example.com.