Paul Berendt, the longest serving Democratic Party chairman in the nation when

Paul Berendt, the longest serving Democratic Party chairman in the nation when

Paul Berendt, the longest serving Democratic Party chairman in the nation when he stepped down eight years ago, is having a hard time coming to grips with Seattle’s newly elected socialist councilwoman.

“When I stepped down in 2006, I saw nothing but blue skies for the state party. And now I feel differently,” Berendt tells Seattle Weekly. “A lot of my liberal friends are gleeful over (Kashama) Sawant’s victory. But I see it as a dark cloud for the party.”

Berendt is a mainstream Democrat, a centrist to his core, who grew up on a cattle ranch in northeast Washington’s Pend Oreille County. During his 11-year tenure, Washington became the only state in the nation’s history to elect two women senators and a woman governor.

Now working at Strategies 360, a public affairs firm in Seattle, Berendt was not at all thrilled to hear of Sawant’s clenched fist pumping inaugural speech in which she proclaimed, “In this system the market is God, and everything is sacrificed on the altar of profit. Capitalism has failed the 99 percent.”

Says Berendt: “I am not a socialist. I am a Democrat.”




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in News & Comment

Screenshot from Amazon.com
Kent School Board votes to reject LGBTQ book ban decision

Multiple board members mentioned a need for policy changes in the book challenge process.

Photo of Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson after he shot and killed Jesse Sarey on May 31, 2019. Courtesy photo
Auburn police officer’s violent history could be used against him in court

Judge Nicole Gaines Phelps hasn’t yet decided whether it will be allowed in the trial.

File Photo
Data released on fireworks-related injuries in Washington

Last year fireworks caused $122,000 in damage.

File photo.
Mysterious in-home deaths of father, two daughters ruled as starvation

Written materials about fasting were found in the home; the father’s death called a suicide.

Dr. Faisal Khan. Courtesy of King County.
Dr. Faisal Khan appointed as next King County health director

Dennis Worsham will continue to serve as interim director until September 6.

Tsr
Renton spa employee accused of trying to coerce woman into prostitution, posing nude

Quyen T. Nguyen, 39, has been accused of attempted promotion of prostitution… Continue reading

Teaser
King County experts discuss extreme heat mitigation plan

The plan includes improving infrastructure and communications to prevent future disasters.

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterburg (File Photo)
King County Prosecuting Attorney vows to protect reproductive freedom

Dan Satterberg joins over 80 prosecutors from around the country in their pledge.

Most Read