Caffeinated News and Gossip

1. The election is winding down—and one Republican actually won in a season otherwise dominated by Democrats and progressive causes.

PubliCola-endorsed Kim Wyman, the longtime and widely respected Thurston County Auditor, beat Democrat Kathleen Drew for Secretary of State, 50.67 to 49.33 with a 35,000 vote margin. 

2. There is one key race that is still undecided, though. The state senate battle in the 17th Legislative District to determine whether the Democrats have a 27-22 or 26-23 advantage is still up in the air. (With two conservative Democrats in the senate, a 26-23 margin wouldn't be enough to give the Democrats true control of things.)

After being ahead on election night, and then down in later counts, the Democratic challenger, state Rep. Tim Probst (D-17, Vancouver), is up again, barely, currently beating incumbent Republican state Sen. Don Benton (R-17, Vancouver) by a mere 16 votes.

Of the thirteen daily papers statewide, only one—the Olympian—was in sync with voters; they endorsed Inslee.

3. Indeed, locally, Election 2012 has been kooky beyond compare. Here's a full catalog of just how bizarre it's been: The Biggest Bombshells from the Weirdest Local Election Season Ever.

And a little more mishegas: Even as GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna kept falling further and further behind after each vote count, his campaign manager released an eccentric video—complete with a magic marker equation on a dry erase board guaranteeing a victory. McKenna's campaign officially conceded a day later, late Friday, to Democrat Jay Inslee

 4. In addition to providing oddball moments, Election 2012 also had (beyond the obvious ballot results), some unexpected winners and losers: Here's our list

We'll add one more: The Olympian.

Of the thirteen daily papers statewide, only one—the Olympian—was in sync with the majority of voters in the state; they recommended Democrat Jay Inslee.

It also happens to be one of the more thorough and well-reasoned endorsements of the whole season, crediting Inslee where credit is due (his environmental record, for example) and criticizing him where he falls short (his vague ideas about meeting the McCleary mandate to fully fund K-12 education. They also correctly criticized McKenna's K-12 funding plan to cap other spending at six percent, citing "deep cuts" to social services.)

With post-election-day hindsight, the Olympian's wise editorial is worth going back and reading. And PubliCola's advice to Inslee: Please re-read it as well.