Federal Way City Council Pos. 3 candidate Sharry Edwards has declined the 30th District Democrats’ endorsement after the organization censured her during a contentious meeting earlier this month.
Edwards had received a co-endorsement with former council candidate Lamont Styles after prominent supporter Mayor Jim Ferrell urged the 30th District Democrats to also endorse her at a July meeting.
“I am choosing to decline the Endorsement and move forward in this campaign as an Independent,” Edwards stated in a press release on Thursday.
Mayor Jim Ferrell did not respond to requests for comment.
Edwards goes on to state that she thought her strong stance against illegal drug use led to her “vocalizing opposition to the marijuana industry offering political leaders and candidates monetary contributions.”
This led to a strong divide within the 30th District Democrats, the press release continues.
“I have apologized to anyone that has been offended by my strong stance on this issue… and I have publicly apologized to a member of this organization that felt my statements were a personal attack on her (Christi Keith) personally, which they were very much not,” Edwards stated.
Edwards had previously accused her opponent, incumbent Deputy Mayor Susan Honda of accepting bribes from members of the marijuana industry towards her campaign. Edwards later rescinded her statements, saying she was unaware of the political ramifications of using the word “bribery.”
However, she has not backed down on her stance against Honda’s acceptance of campaign donations from the marijuana industry. The donations were legal and Honda reported them to the Public Disclosure Commission.
“I’m not the one that took the drug money, I’m not the one that made other people look bad,” she said.
This issue was reportedly addressed during an executive session portion of the 30th District Democrats Aug. 7 meeting shortly before the organization formally censured Edwards.
Mayor Ferrell had claimed the censure was an “ambush” and said Edwards “deserved better than this.”
The organization claimed they censured Edwards “for conduct unbecoming and injurious to the organization.”
That behavior included her bribery accusations against Honda.
Honda said on Friday that Edwards did not apologize to her for the accusations, nor has she contacted Honda. Honda declined to comment further on the matter.
Edwards told the Mirror she did not reach out the Honda because her declining of the endorsement had nothing to do with her.
Edwards’s questionable conduct also included a Facebook post exchange between Edwards and a 30th District Democrats precinct committee officer, Christi Keith. Keith said in a letter to the Democrats that she felt threatened by Edwards during an online conversation about safe-injection sites and needle-exchange programs.
Keith said on Friday that Edwards never apologized to her for her actions on Facebook.
However, Edwards said she did apologize to Keith during the Aug. 7 executive session portion of the meeting.
“It’s a good thing that she recognizes she no longer holds Democratic values and publicly embracing independent value; voters should know where candidates stand,” Keith said.
Allison Taylor, 30th District Democrats chair, said in a statement that the organization “fondly acknowledges anyone who steps up to serve their community with the best of intentions.
“We remain committed to our values and our efforts to electing those with our shared principles. We will also continue to be a safe, open space for people of all backgrounds who share our moral stances on issues regarding housing, community health and safety, climate justice, economic parity and social equity. We appreciate anyone who has determined that their values are not similarly aligned and that they no longer share our values.”
Edwards ended her press release on a hopeful note about her campaign, and said it’s better for her to not be associated with the organization.
“As a mother of three, a nurse, and an advocate for the safety and health of our community, I will be able to more efficiently work towards my goals without worrying about offending people under this organization’s umbrella. We have a lot of work to do.”