The two simultaneous elections to replace former Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., got a lot more confusing on Friday, when two-time congressional candidate Darcy Burner, a progressive Democrat running to take Inslee's seat in 2013, also filed for the special election to fill out the remainder of his 2012 term.
The state Democratic Party, which already had a mess on its hands, is not happy.
The party had planned to have Snohomish County Council Chairman Brian Sullivan fill Inslee's seat for less than a month, and had asked the five Democrats competing to hold the first district in the 113th Congress — including Burner — to sit this one out.
Instead, on Friday, Burner announced that she would challenge Sullivan for the seat.
Three of her Democratic opponents — former Microsoft executive Suzan DelBene, former state Rep. Laura Ruderman, and technology executive Darshan Rauniyar — as well as the only Republican candidate for the seat, former congressional candidate John Koster, then filed before the deadline on Friday too.
State Sen. Steve Hobbs, the only other Democrat in the race, briefly flirted with the possibility of joining them but decided against it, blasting his opponents' decisions in a statement, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The move, he said, is a cynical one: The candidates hope to double their fundraising efforts by taking maximum donations from wealthy donors for both the special and primary elections.
The election promises to be a confusing one for voters.
The special election will be held in Inslee's current district, while the regular primary will take place in the new 1st district simultaneously. Those who reside in both the old and new districts will cast ballots for both the special and the regular elections.
Inslee resigned in March to run for governor.
The primary is on Aug. 7.