Democrats are hoping for a national electoral wave that could extend down to local races to solidify their control of the state Legislature. The 47th is one of the Legislature’s few swing districts.
Washington Democrats appear to have found a candidate to challenge state Sen. Joe Fain, a moderate Republican from Auburn, in one of the state’s few legislative swing districts.
Mona Das, who owns a mortgage business and lives in Covington, was expected to announce her candidacy against Fain on Tuesday.
Das, whose parents brought her to the United States from India when she was a child, last year joined a pool of Democrats vying to succeed U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, who isn’t seeking re-election.
In an interview Monday, Das said she dropped that bid earlier this year after facing steep odds in a crowded primary field. But during that campaign, people suggested she consider running against Fain, she said.
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Das said she became excited watching this year’s frenetic, 60-day legislative session, where slim Democratic majorities approved, among other things, a ban on bump-stocks for semi-automatic rifles and legislation on equal pay and voting access.
“What I saw that they accomplished in 60 days was amazing,” she said.
Democrats currently have a one-seat edge in the Senate and a two-seat majority in the state House.
Das and other Democrats are hoping for a national electoral wave that could extend down to local races to solidify their control of the Legislature.
The 47th District, which includes Southeast King County and parts of Kent, Covington and Auburn, is on the Democratic wish list.
Das, 46, is expected to campaign against the 2017 property-tax plan approved by lawmakers that is intended to pay for court-ordered school funding. That plan has had an outsized impact on King County property owners.
A news release by Das announcing her candidacy notes that Fain voted for that plan.
Fain, who serves as floor leader for Senate Republicans, is seen in Olympia as an influential moderate.
Last year, he helped broker the deal for a paid family-leave plan that lawmakers approved. This year, legislators approved a bill sponsored by Fain that prevents school administrators from censoring work by student journalists.
The 47th District is one of a handful in the state that currently send both Democrats and Republicans to Olympia.
In 2016, the district voted for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee. Voters also re-elected Democratic House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan of Covington.
But in the same election, voters there re-elected Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman and GOP state Rep. Mark Hargrove of Covington by comfortable margins.
Fain — who couldn’t be immediately reached for comment — won about 64 percent of the vote in the district in 2014.