When we posted the election results last night—Metropolitan Parks District ahead; Republican "Young Gun" Pedro Celis in third (behind Democratic U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene in first and climate change denier Robert Sutherland, who raised $4,601 to Celis' $428,925, in second); state house Rep. Frank Chopp (D-43, Wallingford) crushing socialist challenger Jess Spear; and state senate Republicans ahead, mostly comfortably, in all five of the key races with the one exception in the 45th, where challenger Matt Isenhower made a hopeful-ish showing, getting more than 45 percent against incumbent state Sen. Andy Hill (R-45, Kirkland)—we missed a couple of other newsworthy results.
• First, despite paying all the attention to the five state senate seats—the 6th, the 28th, the 30th, the 42, and the 45th—that the Democrats targeted to retake advantage (with minimal success heading into the general), they did score a surprise and potential game-changing win in the 35th. Longtime conservative Democratic incumbent state Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-35, Potlatch), who caucuses with the Republicans giving them a slight 26-23 advantage last session, was losing to a bonafide Democratic challenger Irene Bowling 35-33.
• Meanwhile, in a contest that won't have an impact on the Republican/Democratic count, but could end the career of controversial state Sen. Pam Roach (R-31, Auburn), Republican Rep. Cathy Dahlquist (R-31, Enumclaw), much preferred by the GOP establishment, came in a close second with 39.2 to Roach's 40.1, cuing up a tough general election runoff.
• No surprise here, but former OneAmerica leader Pramila Jayapal cruised to first place last night in a six-way race to replace retiring Southeast Seattle state Sen. Adam Kline (D-37), with 51.25 percent. Teacher Louis Watanabe came in second with 17.2 percent.
• Finally, while a bona fide Democrat emerged in first place in the 35th state senate race, a bona fide Tea Party candidate emerged in first place for U.S. Congress in the 4th Congressional District in central Washington: farmer and former Washington Redskin (we did a Cola One Question with him about his old team's controversial name in June), Clint Didier.
Besting two establishment Republicans, state Sen. Janéa Holmquist Newbry (R-13, Moses Lake) and former state agriculture director Dan Newhouse, Didier got 30.44. Newhouse—who raised $391,000 to Didier's $248,000— got 26.64, and Holmquist Newbry got 10.54.
Here's Didier's statement:
“I am both humbled & proud for the outpouring of support from everyone tonight – and it’s not just from the 4th District, or even just Washington State. I’m getting messages that say ‘atta boy,’ ‘way to go’ and ‘you ROCK’ from people across the entire country. They are telling us they understand that this is an important race to push the ‘reset’ button on both the country AND the Republican Party. As one voter told me, ‘It’s topple Tuesday!’
“When tea party leader Amy Kremer came to Washington to campaign with me, she told me that it reminded her so much of when she campaigned with Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. She said she could tell that the people of this District really understood a candidate that didn’t do business as usual, and that they would support him. Well, tonight proves she was right!
“Ronald Reagan talked about ‘Morning in America.” Could it be morning again? I think so, and the election results tell me the voters do as well because they’ve given the first-place finish to a real conservative instead of the Establishment Republican who outspent us.
“Someone tweeted me tonight: ‘My wife and I are excited that a candidate we can believe in finally won.’I’m not a career politician and don’t want to be. I want to be a citizen legislator just as our founders – many of whom were farmers like me - intended.
“Many thanks to people and groups like Matt Kibbe and FreedomWorks, Campaign for Liberty’s LibertyPac, Ron Paul, Rep. Thomas Massie, Young Americans for Liberty, National Association for Gun Rights, the Latino National Republic Coalition, Mark Levin, Jerry Martin of Tri-Cities Tea Party, and Amy Kremer. Thanks for your endorsements and support. And of course, to my family and campaign volunteers.
“Many of you have told us that your prayers are with us. I thank you for your support, & ask that you continue to work and to pray for our country.
“I know everyone is probably tired of my football references, but I just can’t resist another one. The game clock is still ticking on this country. Tonight shows we’re in the red zone- -and the voters have until November to make the choices that will make America a winner - again.
“And then together, we can make it morning in America – again.”
Erica will be on KUOW's "The Record," 94.9FM (and online) talking about last night's tentative MPD victory, at noon.