Post Election Jolt: More Winners and Losers
Here are a bunch more.
1. Name Recognition
Former conservative State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders lost his bid for re-election.
2. Tim Ceis
Seattle's former deputy mayor got poor reviews from Democrats after his showdown with Slade Gorton on the redistricting commission last year—the former 1st Congressional District, a safe haven for liberals such as its ex-rep Jay Inslee—seemed transformed into lean-red turf. Well, well. Liberal Suzan DelBene took the newly drawn district 53.48 to 46.52.
(Footnote, though: The redistricted map is certainly lacking. No other districts were competitive, creating tailored fiefdoms for the incumbents.)
3. Consultant Jason Bennett and Argo Strategies
Bennett's shop won two high-profile Seattle upsets: A) Confronted with $100,000 in outside money from labor unions, his candidate, Gael Tarleton, won an acrimonious house race in the 36th legislative district (Queen Anne, Ballard, Magnolia), 57 to 43, over lefty favorite Noel Frame. B) He also took on the incumbent King County sheriff, albeit one with a right-wing background and embarrassing sheriff's department audits to account for, and came out on top. His candidate, John Urquhart, beat incumbent Steve Strachan 57 to 42.
The state's most urban district is likely to be home to both the state house and state senate majority leaders.And while it's too early to know for sure, Bennett is also behind the independent expenditure mailings that have put Republican state Sen. Don Benton (R-17, Vancouver) on the ropes; Benton is in a tight race with Democratic challenger Rep. Tim Probst (D-17, Vancouver)—a contest that could give the Democrats a working majority.
It's not too early to note this, though: Bennett and his team at Argo Strategies, including his colleague Shakti Hawkins, also did the independent ads that helped the Democrats win the 5th Legislative District in Eastern King County, red turf that has been in Republican hands—it was Dino Rossi's old seat—since the early 90s. Washington State Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz was giddy about the news on Tuesday night. Democrat Mark Mullet won the race 53.8 to 46.17
Seattle consultant John Wyble deserves serious props on the Mullet and Probst races too. He did the direct mail.
4. State Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-16, Walla Walla)
After giving a much-heralded pro-gay marriage speech when she crossed party lines and voted for the landmark law, local conservatives and the National Organization for Marriage (the group that eventually paid for this fall's losing repeal campaign) targeted Walsh, promising to take her out come election time.
No luck. NOM never made good on its promise to bankroll opponents—they made zero donations to Walsh's Tea Party opponent Mary Ruth Edwards, who only raised $8,600. Edwards was endorsed by the Human Life PAC, an anti-abortion group, and the Tea Party of Central Washington.
All the counties that fall in the 16th voted against R-74, but they sent Walsh back to the legislature, 56.5 to 43.4.
5. The 43rd Legislative District (Capitol Hill, the U District, Wallingford, Madison Park, downtown)
The state's most urban district is likely to be home to both the state house and state senate majority leaders. Rep. Frank Chopp is already speaker of the house, and the post-election shuffle in the senate is supposedly going to make Sen. Ed Murray the leader of the upper chamber.
If you thought legalizing pot and gay marriage was pushing the envelope, wait for full funding for the Basic Health Plan, the housing trust fund, expanded education funding, and tax increases for public transit—all part of the atheist agenda (and, coincidentally, things that Murray and Chopp have a record of supporting over the years.)
1. Name Recognition
Former state Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders lost his bid for reelection.
2. King County Executive Dow Constantine.
King County Council member Bob Ferguson’s victory in the race for state attorney general cements Ferguson’s reputation for being an unstoppable force in the Democratic Party (previously, Ferguson defeated Democratic council incumbent Cynthia Sullivan and, after the council was downsized from 13 members to nine, he won again against incumbent Carolyn Edmonds).
Ferguson’s win also makes it much less likely that King County Executive Dow Constantine, often mentioned as the Democrats' ascendant star, will take over the governor’s mansion in eight (or four) years: Since his first run in 2003, Ferguson has never lost a race, or even come close.
The AG's office is widely seen as a stepping stone to governor. (At least for Democrats.)
3. Reagan Dunn's Split Personality
Dunn, who lost his race for state attorney general to his King County Council colleague Bob Ferguson, had two major, and conflicting, problems: He was too conservative for King County liberals (he ran on a platform of cracking down on criminals and reducing payouts from frivolous lawsuits), but too liberal for eastern Washington conservatives (he supported gay marriage and abortion rights). Opposition from both sides doomed Dunn to failure.
Take that, Mother Nature: The city of Seattle overwhelmingly approved a $290 million ballot measure to replace the crumbling waterfront seawall, ensuring that future earthquakes won’t send downtown businesses and homes toppling into Elliott Bay.
5. The Washington Education Association
We already named their sworn enemies, the education reform group Stand for Children, losers for spending big and coming up short in a series of state legislative races—and probably flopping in the governor's race, where they endorsed and spent on McKenna. But face it, on the main education battle of the season, charter schools (I-1240), it looks like Stand, relying on huge donations from its rich allies, got its money's worth and won. (It's currently squeaking by at 50.98 to 49.02).
And that's the point here. WEA did a lot of spending and winning this season, but when it came to going to the mat on their members' marquee issue, fighting charter schools, they spent a minimal $200,000.
6. And a sore loser: The Anti-Gay Marriage campaign
Washington State voters are overwhelmingly supporting the gay-marriage measure, R-74, and the gay-marriage opponents at Preserve Marriage Washington aren’t happy. Some choice quotes from their sour-grapes, sore-loser statement conceding defeat to modernity:
“We are fighting for a cause that is true, and beautiful, and right—the sacred institution of marriage. It’s a cause worth fighting for, and we will continue to educate citizens and policymakers on the timeless truth that real marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
“Washington has a very high percentage of voters who never attend church.”
“The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in this very liberal and secular state. The results show only that in a deep blue state, with a huge financial advantage, gay marriage activists can win—barely."
Barely? Hardly. As of this afternoon, R-74 was winning statewide 52-48—a four-point margin, far larger than many partisan races.