Endorsement Procedures

If you are a candidate interested in seeking the endorsement of the 5th LD Democrats, please contact our Endorsements Committee by sending an email to [email protected]

Endorsement Procedures (adopted Jan. 6, 2021)

Preamble Endorsements are a public declaration of support by the 5th District Democrats (“5th LD”) on behalf of a candidate for public office, a person seeking appointment to a public position of responsibility, or in favor of or opposition of a ballot measure. They represent a determination by the membership that election/appointment of the candidate, or approval/defeat of the ballot measure, will further our Democratic values and ideals.

Article I: Purpose

Section 1: These procedures are standing rules for endorsements as per Article X of the
Bylaws of the 5th District Democrats (“Bylaws”) and for the Endorsements Committee.

Article II: Endorsements Committee

Section 1: The Endorsements Committee (“Committee”) shall consist of a minimum of six
voting members of the 5th LD.

Section 2: The District Chair shall appoint the Endorsements Committee Chair with the
approval of the Executive Board and a majority of those members present and voting at a
membership meeting.

Section 3: Additional committee members shall be appointed by the Endorsements
Committee Chair with concurrence by the District Chair. Appointment of committee
members shall seek to reflect the district’s diverse geographical areas, cities and towns and
give preference to persons from groups historically marginalized based on gender, race, age,
religion, sexual orientation, economic status and ethnic origin. One or more members may
serve as Committee Vice-Chairs.

Section 4: The Committee Chair may remove committee members with three or more
unexcused absences at their discretion with concurrence by the District Chair.

Section 5: Committee appointments are until the next reorganization meeting.

Article III: Responsibilities of the Endorsements Committee

Section 1: The Committee is responsible for reviewing the qualifications of candidates and
making a recommendation to the membership on which candidates to endorse (for
nominations, elected office, or appointed positions) and which ballot measures to support or
oppose.

Section 2: Committee members are expected to participate throughout the year. Committee
members are responsible for researching candidates and ballot measures prior to drafting
recommendations.

Section 3: The Committee may, at its discretion, produce its own questionnaires, hold its own
candidate and ballot issue interviews, or schedule discussions between rival candidates or
ballot issue viewpoints seeking endorsement.

Section 4: The Committee should encourage endorsement requests from candidates and ballot
measures for which at least one registered voter in the 5th LD is entitled to vote.

Section 5: The Committee should recommend candidates that reflect the Democratic values
and ideals of the 5th LD’s membership, and should strive in each race to recommend the
single candidate that best reflects those values and ideals.

Section 6: Deliberations by the Committee are confidential, including interviews with
candidates, any designated representatives of candidates, and those seeking endorsements for
or against ballot measures.

Article IV: Significance of endorsements 

Section 1: Endorsements represent a directive by the 5th LD’s membership to its Executive
Board and other committees to make every reasonable effort to support the election effort of
the endorsed candidate or furtherance of the ballot proposal position.

Section 2: Endorsed candidates and ballot measures are entitled to all services the 5th LD
provides to candidates; this, for example, includes access to databases and lists, ability to
promote events through the 5th LD’s calendar, and the right to list the 5th LD as an endorser
in campaign materials.

Section 3: Candidates and ballot measure campaigns may not receive any financial support
from the 5th LD unless they have received an endorsement.

Section 4: The 5th LD shall only promote the circulation of petitions for ballot measures it
has endorsed.

Section 5: Candidates and ballot measures may not claim to have the support of the 5th LD –
or imply the same – unless they have actually been endorsed for that specific term and
position, or that specific ballot measure.

Article V: Timeframe and criteria for endorsements

Section 1: Every candidate endorsement shall be for a specific candidate, office and term.

Section 2: Endorsements may be considered for any candidate or ballot measure for which at
least one registered voter in the 5th LD is entitled to vote.

Section 3: Early endorsements are made before the end of any filing period for a regular
election.

Section 4: Regular endorsements are made after the end of filing but before the primary
election, or as part of the necessary business of a nominating convention.

Section 5: Late endorsements are made after the primary election, even if candidates are not
required to run in the primary.

Section 6: Endorsements for any candidate or ballot measure may not be considered within
one month of the election where such race or ballot measure will appear on the ballot.

Section 7: For special elections, endorsements cannot be made earlier than six months prior to
those elections. The concepts of early, regular, and late endorsements shall not pertain to
special elections.

Article VI: Eligibility for endorsement

Section 1: Candidates must request endorsement to be considered. Completion of a candidate
questionnaire submitted to either the King County Democrats or the Committee constitutes a
request.

Section 2: Candidates must show support of Democratic values and ideals. Candidates can
demonstrate this support by stating that they prefer the Democratic Party when filing and
running in partisan elections.

Section 3: Endorsements for or against ballot measures (such as for initiatives, constitutional
amendments, referendums, or local levies or bonds) can be considered without a request from
the campaign or having a completed questionnaire.

Article VII: Evaluation of endorsement requests

Section 1: Endorsement requests, whether for candidates or for positions on ballot measures,
should generally be directed to the Committee for review prior to consideration by the
membership.

Section 2: If the Committee is evaluating a race in which there are multiple candidates
eligible for endorsement as specified in Article VI, and one or more have not completed the
necessary questionnaire or been interviewed by the Committee, it may choose to defer a
recommendation in that race in order to give fair consideration to all eligible candidates.

Article VIII: Endorsement motions; process for approving at membership meetings

Section 1: The Committee is encouraged to prepare materials for presentation at membership
meetings where it anticipates releasing recommendations. For instance, the Committee may
distribute printed handouts or make use of audiovisual equipment to explain its research and
rationale.

Section 2: Endorsement requests shall be considered at every regular memberhip meeting
between the close of filing and the general election. No special notice is required for regular
and late endorsements at these meetings. For all early endorsements, the membership must be
notified at least seven days in advance of all endorsement requests that will be considered at
the next membership meeting.

Section 3: The Endorsements Committee must present its recommendations before any
endorsement motions from the floor can be considered by the membership. Motions to
endorse that are offered prior to this presentation shall be out of order. A recommendation by
the Endorsements Committee in favor of endorsing a candidate or in support or opposition to
a ballot measure constitutes an endorsement motion and second.

Section 4: Approval of motions for endorsement, whether for a candidate or a ballot measure,
requires a two-thirds vote of members present and voting at a membership meeting to be
approved. Motions to rescind an endorsement require the same standard. Voting eligibility
requirements are set forth in Article III of the Bylaws.

Section 5: A motion to endorse a candidate from the floor is only in order if not an early
endorsement and the candidate is eligible for endorsement as specified in article VI of these
procedures.

Section 6: Combinations of candidates and positions may be considered in a single motion.
For example, a motion to endorse all unopposed Democratic candidates or a motion to
endorse several candidates for the same office may be considered.

Section 7: The Chair may choose to limit debate to no more than a fixed number of
statements of a limited time for and against each motion, such as two statements for and
against of no more than two minutes each, and appoint a timekeeper to enforce the rules.
When such debate limitation is in place, any motion to terminate debate by “calling the
question” shall be out of order.

Section 8: When a vote on an endorsement motion is held, the Secretary or Acting Secretary
shall record the number of ayes, the number of nays, and number of abstentions on the
motion immediately after the chair or acting chair has tallied or accepted a tally for each.

Article IX: Endorsements for candidates

Section 1: Any candidate nominated by the Washington State Democratic Party shall be
considered endorsed by the 5th LD, and endorsements for any other candidates for the same
office shall immediately lapse.

Section 2: Motions to endorse a candidate seeking the Democratic Party nomination for the
offices of President or Vice-President of the United States of America shall never be in order.
The candidate nominated for the offices of President and Vice-President of the United States
by the Democratic Party at the Democratic National Convention shall be considered endorsed
by the 5th LD.

Article X: Endorsement resolutions

Section 1: Resolutions whose whereas clauses include support or opposition to any candidate
or ballot measure are endorsements and subject to all the requirements and restrictions of
these endorsement rules, including any eligibility restrictions and adoption thresholds.

Section 2: Endorsement resolutions are a way of formally combining the rationale for an
endorsement with the endorsement itself.

Article XI: Endorsements for leadership positions in the Democratic Party

Section 1: Individuals seeking a position of responsibility in another Democratic Party
organization that geographically overlaps with the 5th LD may request an endorsement, such
as KCDCC officers. Such requests shall be evaluated by the Committee.

Section 2: Motions to endorse an individual for a position of responsibility within the 5th LD,
such as District officers, shall never be in order. Individuals interested in seeking and holding
leadership positions should make their intentions known to the Recruiting Committee, or to
the Executive Board if there is no Recruiting Committee organized.

Article XII: Amendment of these Endorsement Procedures

Section 1: These procedures are special rules of order and may be suspended or amended
only by either the same requirements for amending the 5th LD bylaws, or by a two-thirds
majority vote of the entire voting membership providing notice has been published to the
membership at least 10 days prior to the meeting.

Section 2: The membership may choose to refer consideration of any changes to the
Endorsements Committee for review and recommendation.