Battle of the Dems? Carlyle may challenge Kohl-Welles for 36th District seat

The 36th District Legislative seat could be battled over by two Democrats.

Last Friday Rep. Reuven Carlyle told Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, that he would be running against her this November’s election, saying that it’s nothing personal. Not official quite yet, Carlyle is taking the weekend to deliberate.

There have been predictions that the Carlyle vs. Kohl-Welles race would ultimately stride into the November election under the state’s “Top Two” primary system. 

The system has every candidate from every political party appear on the same “primary” ballot. No matter the party affiliation, the top two voter’s picks are the only candidates named on the November general election ballot.

The 36th District, which includes parts of downtown, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Greenwood, Fremont and Ballard, has remained a Democratic sector over recent years.

The district contains a confluence of old and burgeoning economies. It’s known for housing a large portion of the maritime economy -- an essential economic engine for the City and State. The old meets the new with the technology industry booming in portions of the district.

Because of the district’s economic influence, if there is a race between the two its bound to be heated.

Carlyle would take on Kohl-Welles who has long supported measures to change gun regulation and sex trafficking crack down. She was also instrumental in legislation reform for the state’s marijuana laws.

The contender, Carlyle, has a Master’s degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and has chaired the House Finance Committee. Carlyle is an entrepreneur and has had success in the technology industry. He is recognized for drawing in Mayor Ed Murray for election last fall. He also opposed Gateway Pacific coal terminal north of Bellingham.

Look to the Ballard News-Tribune for further coverage of the race.

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