The Literary Department

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He's down, but not out

A Japanese American who lost a bid to fill former Rep. Gary Locke's seat says he'll try for it in the primaries

by Jason Truesdell
NW Asian Weekly

Even though Kip Tokuda lost the appointment to replace the seat vacated by former state Rep. Gary Locke, he planned to vie with Vivian Caver for the primary in September.

Caver's new position will be short-lived because Locke's two-year term will soon end.

She will have to run in the primaries if she wants to keep her seat.

Tokuda, the Japanese American who sought the appointment to replace Locke as 37th District state representative, has no hard feelings about Caver's victory.

"Caver has a history around human and civil rights. It would behoove the Asian community to work with her."

Locke was elected King County executive in November, and began his new role on Monday.

Tokuda was out of the country during most of the politicking to gain the appointment from Democratic precinct county officers.

He was in China in the process of adopting a child. He and his spouse felt that family concerns should hold priority over politics.

Tokuda returned in time to attend a special meeting of precinct county officers, where the replacement for Locke's seat in the state house was chosen.

He said that the Rainbow Coalition sponsored a question and answer forum which allowed candidates to tell what they had to offer.

After that, the officers took a public vote, rather than a private vote, which some of those in attendance had been expecting.

Tokuda attributes some of Caver's success to the public vote, which tends to favor the better-known candidates within the party.

"Caver has a significant following based on her years in leadership, " he said.

As the 37th District Democratic party chair, it was natural that Caver would take the most votes.

"Asked how she felt about winning, Caver said, "I'm very ecstatic -- and overwhelmed."

She said she planned to work for the economic development of all minorities, and in particular, "I will work hard on any issue affecting Asian Americans."

She hopes to work with the Asian American community to learn its specific interests.

"I want to touch base with the community to find out their concerns, " she said.

Caver plans to run for the primary in September.

As an incumbent, she will have the advantage over Tokuda, who is gearing up for the primary campaign himself.

Tokuda, who has never held political office, has a reputation for being a civic leader.

"Largely, my activity has been civic, either in human services or in civil rights," he said.

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Last Edited: Thursday November 03, 2005
Last Automatic Update: Tuesday, January 24, 2006
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