The following was approved by the Body of the 45th District Democrats last Wednesday (July 1).

Last year, the 45th Legislative District Democrats endorsed Nicolas Duchastel in his candidacy for the Woodinville City Council. Although he lost the race by a smattering of votes, he conducted his campaign with dignity, courage, lots of energy, and tremendous goodwill. Nicolas made us proud of him and in our endorsement of him.

Very unfortunately, during the race and even more so since the election, Nicolas has been the target of scurrilous innuendo and outright personal defamation. In connection with all of this, a majority of the Woodinville City Council recently voted to remove him from the Woodinville Planning Commission, in kangaroo-court fashion, with nothing even arguably approaching due process, thereby depriving the citizens of Woodinville of Nicolas' talents and efforts to improve their city's quality of life. He was not even allowed to ask questions about the reason for his dismissal, publicly question his detractors, or publicly defend himself. This was not an open and fair process by any stretch of the imagination.

Nicolas has been a tireless volunteer within the 45th District Democrats for years. For years before he ran for the Woodinville City Council, and then since last year’s election, Nicolas has served on our Endorsement Committee. The Endorsement Committee is critical for any political party. Its job is to recommend candidates for endorsement to our general body.

Every year the committee must recommend one candidate over another in numerous races, including local city council races. This is often a very difficult process with hard choices. Nicolas was — and is again — one of the most diligent and hard-working members of our committee and is known for "tough questions" during candidate interviews. These are all good characteristics for either a city council or planning commission member.

Nicolas has nothing but friends within the 45th District Dems, and the undersigned, on behalf of the 45th District, and individually, decry the defamatory and cowardly smears that he has had to endure.

We are very disappointed that the Woodinville City Council did not allow Nicolas to publicly address the concerns of the Woodinville Council before his dismissal from that city's planning commission. And as such, the public was denied the benefit of his perspective and it being noted for the public record. Instead, he was summarily fired with no opportunity being given to defend himself. In doing so, the Woodinville City Council and its leadership denied Nicolas due process before removing him. As a Woodinville resident, I am very disturbed that this was allowed to happen to any of our fellow residents.

What went on here with Nicholas Duchastel is not what the citizens of Woodinville — and the rest of the country — deserve to expect from their elected leadership!

David A. Williams

Chair, 45th Legislative Democrats

Bellevue

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