NEWS RELEASE                                            JANUARY 31, 2001
Washington State Grange files to intervene in blanket primary lawsuit

The Washington State Grange has filed with the Federal District Court in Tacoma
 to intervene in the lawsuit brought forth by the Democratic Party of Washington
 attempting to throw out Washington's blanket primary system.

Named along with the Grange on the application for intervention are Terry Hunt,
 State Master of the Grange and a rancher in Coulee City, and Jane Hodde of
 Olympia. Hodde is the widow of Charles Hodde, one of the main authors of the
 original blanket primary initiative put out by the Grange in 1934. At that
 time, Mr. Hodde was Washington State Grange Lecturer and was well into his
 decades-long career in state government.

Hodde brings a unique perspective to the blanket primary. She was a registered
 voter in 1935, when the blanket primary was put into law, and having been a
 Grange member since 1931 she was in on the initiative process those 65 years 

"We gathered all the signatures needed for that initiative in one day," she
Grange attorney Jim Johnson filed the brief Jan. 30, noting the Grange does
 indeed have standing to intervene in the case because the Grange was the
 sponsor of the original initiative that created the blanket primary in
 Washington. Hunt and Hodde have standing in the case, argues Johnson, because
 they are registered voters in Washington and stand to be harmed if the concerns
 of the voters are not addressed on the federal court level.

The Washington State Republican Party has already intervened in the case, and 
the Libertarian Party, now considered a major party after last years' election,
 have also filed to intervene. The Grange, Hodde and Hunt are joining the
 Secretary of State's office as intervening defendants.