Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Teamster Trifecta: Election wins in WI, ME and WA on 08.16.11

You probably already know that two Teamster-endorsed candidates held on to their seats in Wisconsin yesterday. (Woo-hoo!!)

And you may also know that a Democrat won a special election to the Maine House of Representatives. The victory will help put the brakes on wingnut Gov. Paul LePage's radical anti-worker agenda. (Woo-hoo!!)

But you probably don't know that two Teamsters and a Teamster family member won local primary elections in Washington state yesterday as well. (W-h!!) A few other races were too close to call.

John Williams, president of Teamsters Joint Council 28, had this to say about the victories:
Real working family candidates are running for election from school board to mayor to county executive...We’ve seen an increase in the number of Teamster members running for local office. They say they are fed up with the anti-working family agendas being pushed in Olympia, in Wisconsin, and in Washington, DC.
Union members are running for office (and winning) because they're committed to every worker in America, not just to themselves. Workers understand the global economy isn't working for them, and so they're building a new vision based on good jobs. That was what the protests in Washington, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan were all about, and that's what races for school board and city council and state legislature are all about.

In Washington, Teamsters and their families ran for a half-dozen offices in a "top two" vote-by-mail primary election on Tuesday. Some races were still too close to call. More results will be released this afternoon.

We do know Wayne Elston, a road worker and member of Teamsters Local 839, won the three-way primary for Kiona-Benton School Board with 45.45 percent of the vote.

Paul Fritts, deputy sheriff and member of Teamsters Local 252, was at the top of another three-way primary for mayor of Aberdeen with 38.18 percent of the vote.

In Kent, two Teamster family members ran for City Council. Debbie Raplee looks to be in the top two with 27.12 percent of the vote, and Dana Ralph captured the most votes with 41.34 percent.

Greg Duff, a concrete mixer driver and member of Teamsters Local 174, had 26.91 percent of the vote for Burien City Council. We don't know yet if he'll advance to the general election (but it's looking good).

And we're still not sure of the outcome of the Whatcom county executive race. David Stalheim, city planner and member of Teamsters Local 231, received 25.71 percent of the vote.

Stay tuned.