North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland and Snoqualmie Councilmember James Mayhew, alongside three other councilmembers, have issued a joint-statement condemning a political flyer mailed by King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert, that has been widely criticized for being racist, antisemitic and divisive.
The flyer contains an image of Lambert’s Democratic opponent, Sarah Perry, as a puppet being controlled by Senator Bernie Sanders, Vice President Kamala Harris, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant, and Lambert’s King County Council colleague Girmay Zahilay. The flyer accuses Perry of being a “socialist puppet” controlled by these politicians of color.
“I do not know why she chose to use that term,” Perry said, as she doesn’t identify as a socialist.
Perry and Lambert are currently competing for the district 3 position on the King County Council, which represents residents in the Snoqualmie Valley. Lambert did not respond to requests for comment despite multiple calls and emails to her campaign office.
Lambert’s flyer has already been condemned by King County Executive Dow Constantine, State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and several members of the county council. King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay, who was depicted as puppeteering the strings on Perry’s back, also found issue with the flyer, accusing Lambert’s campaign of fear-mongering. Zahilay endorsed Perry for Lambert’s District 3 seat.
“Some might say it’s because I endorsed her Democratic opponent. Actually 6 of [Councilmember] Lambert’s colleagues endorsed her opponent,” Zahilay tweeted on Oct. 6. “And yet, of those 6, it’s only my face in a big red bowtie and my name in red boogie man letters that she chose to distribute to thousands of voters.”
The full joint-statement can be read below:
“A fundamental responsibility of elected representatives is to serve and respect everyone in their community. We have serious issues to address to keep our communities healthy and safe and must stand united against divisive ideological politics. We were saddened and dismayed that county council incumbent Kathy Lambert not only sent offensive mailers about her opponent but also did not take responsibility when the harm of this message was shown. We believe hyper partisan attacks have no place in our elections and most certainly not in governing. The incumbent has lost sight of this fundamental responsibility and it’s time for her to step aside. We encourage voters to demand their elected officials work with leaders from all backgrounds, as Kathy’s opponent has pledged to do, and therefore endorse Sarah Perry for King County Council.”
The statement was signed by: North Bend Mayor Rob McFarland, Snoqualmie Councilmember James Mayhew, Carnation Councilmember Tim Harris and Issaquah Councilmembers Tola Marts and Chris Reh.