Friday Jolt: Jean Godden, Bobby Forch, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Ed Murray

By Afternoon Jolt November 18, 2011

Today's Winner: Jean Godden.

City council incumbent Jean Godden, the only incumbent who had a close race for reelection this year, appears to have survived a tough challenge from SDOT manager Bobby Forch. Forch is currently within about 2,600 votes of Godden. Based on our conversation with Forch's consultant John Wyble today, we expect Forch will concede on Monday.

Today's Loser? You decide.

Here's the scenario: State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Ballard) tells us she's part of a new group of "about 10" Democratic senators in Olympia (they used to informally refer to themselves as "the Bunch of Us") who have been organizing and meeting more formally in the run-up to this year's session as a progressive caucus to "strategize" about flexing their muscle. Kohl-Welles said the group hopes to counterbalance the power of the Roadkill Caucus, a group of conservative Democrats in the senate who often ally themselves with the Republicans on budget issues against the Democratic majority.

Kohl-Welles says their issue goes "more in-depth" than just fighting for revenue (Democratic leadership is for that) and is about "how to deal with the budget overall." [pullquote]I'm a member of one caucus: The Senate Democratic caucus.—Sen. Ed Murray.[/pullquote]

Kohl-Welles wouldn't name any of the players, though she did (poignantly) point out that young Seattle Sen. Scott White, who recently died suddenly from heart problems, "was directly involved in getting the meetings going" (they've had three meetings) and "was very engaged in the last few months."

However, when I asked the Democrats' Senate-side budget leader and Kohl-Welles' Seattle colleague Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) whether he was a member of this group and/or what he thought about it, he said: "I'm a member of one caucus: The Senate Democratic caucus. And we're not going to be able to control the floor if we aren't one caucus."
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