2021 Reorganization Candidates


Mary Newcomer Williams: I would be honored to serve as Chair of the 5th LD Democrats for the 2021-22 biennium. I’m interested in this role because I believe the strength of the Democratic Party depends on strong, local, on-the-ground organizations that share the message of Democratic values within our communities, and I’m committed to helping strengthen our 5th LD Democrats in serving that function. We already have a solid foundation as a well-functioning organization of engaged, committed members. I hope that we can build on this foundation by (i) continuing to grow and support our community of PCOs and volunteers that help elect Democrats to office; (ii) expanding our efforts to become a more diverse and inclusive community; and (iii) amplifying our voice in policy and legislative activities in local and state government and in the county and state party organizations. I would bring to the role my recent experience as Second Vice Chair and Communications Chair, including helping our organization transition to productive virtual meetings during the pandemic, as well as my experience as a PCO since summer 2018.


Tanya Lavoy: I would love to continue serving as your first Vice Chair (and Membership Chair). I am familiar with the time commitments required and am ready to support our Chair and to collaborate with the rest of the leadership team. Due to the 5th Dems’ unique rotating meeting approach, I have had the opportunity to lead and plan both executive board and general meetings. Switching to all virtual meetings was certainly a logistical challenge, but I was excited to see that the level of engagement has continued to be strong. As we expect to continue in a virtual meeting format for the foreseeable future, I look forward to improving upon and finding ways to strengthen our sense of community. I also recognize the need to engage a diverse set of perspectives in our organization. As a bit of background, I work for the state legislature and am currently obtaining my MPA at The Evergreen State College. I also bring to the table prior experience leading field operations on a state senate campaign. I have served as a Snoqualmie PCO since 2017 and have knocked doors and made calls across our district to help turn and keep the 5th LD (and 8th CD) blue. I would be honored to earn your vote to continue as Vice Chair of the 5th Dems.


Jessica Soderman (she/her): Over the past five years, our team has done some incredible work in the 5th LD, flipping our LD and CD completely blue. As our State Committee Member, I have enjoyed my role in creating party rules and infrastructure that helps us elect great Democrats statewide! Outside of politics, I have lived in Preston (on Coast Salish & Snoqualmie lands) for most of my life, like five generations of my family before me. I am a queer woman with disabilities, a survivor of medical bankruptcy, and a 14-year veteran project manager in the tech “gig economy”. My tech and project management background has been extremely useful as I work with various groups within the State Party. I hope to return to the state committee, to continue to advocate for our under-represented communities, and to represent the progressive values of the 5th LD. I ask for your vote to serve the 5th LD on the Washington State Central Committee, as our female-identifying State Committee Member, for the 2021-2022 term. I appreciate your support!


Martin Chaney: It’s been a great honor and privilege to serve the 5th District for nearly a decade, including three terms as your Chair and most recently as a State Committee Member. I humbly ask your support to re-elect me as your (male identifying) State Committee Member. I am proud of the work we have done together and to have led the organization through its transition from red to solid blue. We also built a solid leadership team which I know will maintain and build our Democratic majority. But much work remains and the role of SCM is the best fit for myself and the 5th. Our SCMs represent the 5th to the State Party Organization and fulfil a critical coordinating role with other LD and County organizations. If re-elected I intend to seek a position on the State Executive Board, where my background as a Sansei (3rd generation Japanese American) coupled with my experience turning two LDs blue will provide missing perspectives in an organization which seeks to center diverse voices. Together, we can make the 5th a role model for the State, and help other districts be strong and blue. If re-elected, I will work hard to make you proud.

[WITHDRAWN] Mark R. Jones, Ph.D.: I am seeking the position of Washington State Democrats 5th Legislative District — State Committee Representative. I am a former Democratic 5th LD Precinct Committee Officer for the Sweeney Precinct — 2004-2006, and former Greater Maple Valley Area Council (Unincorporated King County), Vice Chair — 2004-2006. I have lived in Unincorporated King County for over twenty years. I have served in positions from menial labor (domestic | farming | food services) to pinnacle professional leadership as a Senior Executive (CEO | CIO | CTO | CSA | CTA | S/VP | Director | Trustee) at enterprise-level scales — serving commercial, government, and community organizations. I have also served as an elected “Diplomat” at national (Committee Vice Chair & Head of US Delegation) and international (Vice Chair) charged with negotiating the “harmonization” core information technology standards and products. I am the right person for this role because of my cross-cultural leadership, BIPoC experience, and awareness and insight into policies, practices, procedures, decisions, behaviors, and impacts that perpetuate the root causes of social caste disparities and socio-economic injustices . . . As well as those that construct and sustain measurable equitable and inclusive social and economic patterns that promote thriving for all communities and families.


Jen Carter: I am a busy grassroots phone banker and faithful Democrat who lives our values every day. A PCO since 2017, I served as an Elector to the Electoral College in 2020. In 2018, I was elected by PCOs county-wide as Vice Chair for Outreach of the King County Democrats. In 2019, I heard our call to put “blue butts in seats,” winning the election for a commission on the board of taxpayer-funded Snoqualmie Valley Hospital. When I took my board commission, I stepped aside from my executive role with King County, elevating promising young Dem, Chris Franco, to the role. I stayed on as a member of the communications committee and tally committee, and attended every virtual meeting in 2020. I’d be honored to represent the folks of the Fighting 5th at the KC Dems, and I ask for your support. ENDORSED by SHASTI CONRAD, Chair, King County Democrats: “I endorse Jen Carter for 5th LD rep to the King County Democrats. Since 2018, Jen has brought energy and enthusiasm to the KC Dems. As delegate, she will make sure that the voices of East King County are front and center.”—Shasti Conrad, Chair, King County Democrats

Carol Lynn Harp: I am self-nominating for KCDCC female delegate. I have served as KCDCC female alternate for over four years, and I believe the position of KCDCC female delegate or alternate is where I can best contribute my efforts to our LD.


Roger Ledbetter: For the last two years I have represented the 5th Dems at KCDCC meetings. I have attended regularly, and if re-elected will commit to attending all meeting that I can possibly get to. I believe that the Democratic Party should be a big tent. Embracing diversity must mean more than respectful tolerance of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. It should also mean tolerance and respect for a range of ideas, candidate preferences, and problem solving. As a tolerant progressive I think I am well suited to represent the 5th Dems who tend to be progressives who embrace their more centralist Democrats. When appropriate, I will try to make use of the PCO Facebook page to listen to our membership. In 2018, I was appointed to serve as the Ombudsperson for the KC Dems. The Ombudsperson’s role is to mediate interpersonal conflicts and increase respectful teamwork. If re-elected, it’s likely I’ll be appointed Ombudsperson again. It would be an honor to serve again in these two capacities.

Martin Chaney (if not elected State Committee Member)


Carol Lynn Harp (if not elected KCDCC Delegate): I am self-nominating for KCDCC female alternate. I have served as KCDCC female alternate for over four years, and I believe the position of KCDCC female delegate or alternate is where I can best contribute my efforts to our LD.


Jolyon Johnson: I believe that with my experience on the 5th LD Dems e-board, I am prepared to work with the King County Democrats to build the bench with diverse progressive leaders.

Martin Chaney (if not elected State Committee Member or KCDCC Delegate)


Kristiana de Leon


Erika Boyd: I have been honored to be the inaugural Chair of the 5th LD Democrats Young Leaders Committee and am now seeking to continue this work as the Alternate Delegate to the King County and WA State Young Democrats. With the help of the other young members, I’ve been able to carve out a (digital!) space for engagement, encouragement, accountability, and support for a small but mighty core of the next generation of political powerhouses. Despite it being a wild year to found a committee, this network of “AvocaDems” has been a joy and a bright spot in a dark year. My bandwidth will tighten a bit this upcoming year but I still have capacity to be the alternate delegate to the Young Democrats and make sure that our critical 5th LD voice is at the table and well represented among the other LDs. I would appreciate your support in this role.


Elliot Paull: Like some of you, I have contributed many years in non-profit leadership roles, and only over the last four years have I focused my volunteering on local politics. I led the citizens’ advocacy to stop a bill in the State Legislative associated with Cedar Grove Composting. That work inspired me to do more and in 2018, I began volunteering to help flip the 5th LD and 8th CD as part of the Blue Wave, joining the Indivisible WA CD8 Group and the 5th LD Dems. I am indebted to those who worked tenaciously prior to that and since. Most recently, I have served in the 5th LD as a member of the Endorsement Committee and the Rules & Bylaws Committee, I have canvassing tirelessly, and led canvassing activities for legislative and congressional candidates. Through that, I have developed a strong and positive working relationship with many of you as well as our legislators and congresswoman. I hope that I have earned your support and would be honored to serve as the Second Vice-Chair of the 5th LD Dems.


Anne Frances Owen: As Democrats, we know that every voice matters in the key discussions and decisions that shape our local, state, and national communities. If I’m elected secretary, I’ll focus on discovering and sharing the perspectives that we each bring to crucial and passionate conversations within this organization. From college journalist to professional writer, editor, and content manager, I’ve spent my adult life translating complex concepts into quick explanations that are easy to read (or, let’s face it, skim). Listening skills and attention to detail have always been hallmarks of my work ethic, and I’ll keep everyone in the loop by providing clear, concise, accurate, and timely information. Whether you miss a meeting entirely or just need a reminder about a particular outcome, you can count on me to convey important milestones on our path toward recovery, equity, and sustainability.


Eric Durban


Elliot Paull: During the past two years, I have worked closely with our current PCO Chair, Sarah Perry, on many aspects of the work of the PCO Committee. I learned that this is a big and important role, and I am willing to put in the time and effort to continue to build and lead our team of dedicated energized PCOs and other volunteers. I look forward to working with you all in recruiting PCOs, PCO leads and other campaign volunteers, and canvassing for endorsed candidates.


Johna Thomson: I’ve been a member of the 5th LD Dems for three years now. I really enjoy the camaraderie of this group! I love working alongside fellow Dems to get Democrats elected locally and nationally. The position of Communications Chair is critical to keeping our members informed and involved. I’m willing to take on the challenge of keeping those emails coming; posting those Facebook updates; and taking a stab at updating the web site. I live in the south part of the district, in unincorporated King County, with a Black Diamond address.


Martin Buckley: Top of mind for 2021 and 2022 is as we move beyond Covid and Zoom meetings; moving to support membership and engagement through technology. In 2020 the website and email were moved to a more secure and scalable platform; this is the foundation for any further work to support the executive board, membership and beyond.


Alicia Busch: I am a passionate Anti-Racist activist and community organizer. My work to dismantle systems of oppression and harm, along side all work with the Democratic Party are two of my greatest passions in life. I believe in us, as a Democratic party. I believe in us in the 5th LD. I also feel that we have a lot of work to do within the Democratic party to better serve underrepresented and marginalized individuals and communities. Thank you for all of the work that you do and it is an honor to do the work along side you.