(The following story was originally published in The Seattle Times.)
As one of the most formidable politicians in Olympia, House Speaker Frank Chopp typically hasn’t faced much of a challenge getting re-elected in Seattle’s predictably Democratic 43rd Legislative District.
First elected in 1994, Chopp is seeking an 11th term this fall. He’s already the longest-serving House speaker in state history, having held or shared the post since 1999. He has often run unopposed or faced only token opposition.
But this year the 43rd District’s other major political party is trying to give Chopp a reason to sweat.
It’s not the Republicans — who fielded no candidates in the 43rd — but Socialist Alternative, the leftist party that rattled the establishment with the election of Kshama Sawant to the Seattle City Council last year.