The National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington wants Joe Fain to resign from the Washington State Redistricting Commission because of a past rape allegation.
Fain, CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce since February 2019 and a former 47th District state senator who represented parts of Kent, Auburn and Covington from 2011 to 2018, began serving on the commission this month. He was appointed to the group in January by Senate Minority Leader John Braun of Centralia.
The National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington is a multi-partisan grassroots membership organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected and appointed offices at all levels of government through recruitment, training and PAC support for endorsed women candidates.
“We believe Fain should resign from the commission until a proper investigation of these serious charges has occurred,” according to an open letter the group posted at nwpcwa.org/joefain. “While we recognize the commission is not the proper authoritative body to conduct the necessary investigation, the commission must take immediate action to ensure a safe environment that upholds the duties of this important role.”
Fain and four other non-elected members are leading the redistricting effort to redraw the state’s legislative and congressional boundaries to proportion. The commission has until Nov. 15 to draw up the new maps, something that is done every 10 years. The Legislature appoints the commissioners.
Candice Faber, of Seattle, alleged in September 2018 that Fain had raped her in a hotel room on the day she graduated in 2007 from Georgetown University Washington, D.C. Fain, who was not in office at the time of the alleged sexual assault, has denied the allegation and called for an investigation into the claim. Faber did not press charges.
The state Senate in December 2018 ended an outside investigation it had planned into the rape allegation lodged against Fain, an Auburn Republican, nearly a month after he lost his 47th Legislative District reelection bid to Democrat Mona Das.
Other groups that signed the letter included the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Sexual Violence Law Center, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii and the Washington State Democratic Party.
The organizations want the commission to demonstrate safety and justice for sexual assault survivors and accountability for offenders.
Fain has not yet responded to an email from the Kent Reporter for comment.