Republicans want Federal Way residents to believe Shari Song is a carpetbagger, while Democrats claim Mark Miloscia doesn’t support the use of birth control pills.
It’s not news that campaigning can often turn nasty and bend the truth in heated political races.
And this Senate race for the 30th Legislative District isn’t exempt.
One of the most controversial allegations stems from the belief that Democrat Shari Song simply moved to Federal Way for political gain, to be elected.
The Washington State Republican Party and political action committee Working Families have put out numerous flyers on the issue.
“[Miloscia’s] opponent just moved into the district in April to run for office — renting a house here while keeping homes in Bellevue and Kent,” a Republican-sponsored ad states. “Last year, she moved somewhere else to run for office. It’s clear his opponent wants to be elected, but it’s not clear what she has done for Federal Way, Auburn, Milton, Des Moines, Algona and Pacific.”
But Song tells a different story.
“Earlier this year, my mother-in-law had health issues,” Song said. “She needed to have heart surgery … It’s been quite a tough year for our family — four hospitals, dozens of tests, one heart surgery.”
To be a carpetbagger is to be a political candidate who seeks election where they have no local connections.
However, what some people don’t know is Song and her husband lived in Federal Way 28 years ago when they were first married in 1986. Her two sons attended Federal Way Public Schools and she was actively involved in a Korean church. In the early 1990s she started the Federal Way-based Mission Church Preschool. Her real estate career began in Federal Way in 1993 and she led the city’s Diversity Commission.
Song has also won the Woman of Distinction award from the Soroptimist International, another Federal Way organization.
But because of her husband’s work, Song moved around Washington, living in Bellevue and Seattle.
“This year, again he’s been transitioned,” she said. “He travels to San Francisco and Redmond.”
Song thinks being called a carpetbagger is an exaggeration because while she has moved other places, she’s always kept strong ties in Federal Way. Furthermore, she doesn’t own a primary home at this time.
“I own two small rental homes in Kent and Bellevue,” Song said. “When my kids graduated high school, we sold our primary home. Then when they needed to come back home, they moved to Bellevue. Our older son is still living with us.”
But when it came time to be closer to family, it got a little crowded living altogether at her in-law’s. So, they moved across the street from her in-law’s home in Federal Way. Song said when her friends found out about her plans, they told her “this is a great opportunity for you, Shari. We could use somebody like you with a history of community service,” she said, noting Sen. Tracey Eide, the current Senator for District 30, was among those who urged her to run.
Overall, Song isn’t worried about the allegations because she said during her door belling people care about the actual issues, such as transportation, education and how to grow Federal Way’s economy.
Miloscia praised Song for her dedication to her family but pointed to other news outlets who have also made the carpetbagging claim.
“I can’t fault anybody wanting to be close to family members in times of crisis,” Miloscia said in a phone interview. “It just reminds me of what [Sen.] Rodney Tom did but he dropped out of the race.”
Miloscia, a Democrat-turned-Republican, believes Song was recruited as she was when she ran against King County Councilman Reagan Dunn, who won.
“It’s not just Democrats and Republicans,” Miloscia said. “Do we want the power structure in Seattle to be picking the powers? Most people don’t recognize Shari Song.”
Miloscia said people in Federal Way like to know their elected leader, which is what he’s heard as he’s gone from door to door campaigning.
Miloscia, a Federal Way resident and former state representative, has been involved in the community for 28 years, spending time as a Federal Way Public Schools substitute teacher, with the Greater Federal Way Chamber of Commerce, the Federal Way Boys and Girls Club, the Lakehaven Utility District, Federal Way Reachout Homeless Shelter, among other organizations. Although he does agree Song’s campaign ads are right in stating he’s pro-life, as he has been the “entire time” because of his Catholic religious beliefs, he said she’s wrong in stating he’s against contraception, specifically the pill.
“I’m obviously against abortion pills but other than that there’s really no issues,” he said. “I’ve never been on record saying I’m against the pill.”
Miloscia said he also doesn’t oppose abortion if the woman’s life is in danger, another allegation by Song’s party.
“I’m Catholic and the teachings that I follow are that all human life is precious and you don’t make the decision when you’re juggling between one person and another,” he said.