1. Here's a reality check on the GOP's apparent "Draft Andy" (state Sen. Andy Hill, R-45, Redmond) meme for their 2016 gubernatorial candidate.
One of the pros on Hill is that he showed he can do well in crucial King County turf like Kirkland and Redmond; he's currently at 52.83 percent after being targeted by the Democrats, including fending off $820,000 in independent expenditures flown in to help Democratic loser Matt Isenhower.
Hill's showing is encouraging for the GOP because the Republicans need to dilute the Democrats' King County stronghold which overwhelms the Republicans in statewide elections. That's why former Republican Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna was the big GOP hope in 2012. He's from Bellevue and proved in two statewide races for AG that he could carry the eastside Seattle suburbs (he got 59.07 percent in his 2008 AG's race, for example, in the 45th LD).
But that leads to the Con on the Hill theory. McKenna beat now-Gov. Jay Inslee in the 45th LD in 2012 getting 48.93 to Inslee's 48.08. But Inslee still won the state 51.54 to 48.46.
And more important: The turnout in the 45th LD in 2012 was 85 percent. The turnout in King County right now during this off-year election is at 33.18 percent, a deceptive slice of the electorate to go basing gubernatorial dreams on.
A Seattle alternative candidate who caused a comparative earthquake was the "Prefers Republican Party" insurgent in N. Seattle's 46th Legislative District.
2. Another reality check: This one for the Socialist Alternative Party diehards who divine a good omen in their candidate Jess Spear's 16.54 percent showing (4,644 votes) against state Rep. Frank Chopp (D-43, Wallingford).
A Seattle alternative candidate who caused a comparative earthquake was the "Prefers Republican Party" insurgent in N. Seattle's 46th LD.
Shoreline Community College student Branden Curtis got a whole 18.75 percent (5,684 votes so far) against Democratic incumbent state Rep. Jessyn Farrell (D-46, N. Seattle).
Curtis, the former captain of the Eisenhower HS football team in Yakima challenged lockstep liberal North Seattle with his brand new vision, campaigning on grassroots ideas like "small and efficient government [and] strengthening our free market system."
He also ran on a shoestring ($0) budget.
Farrell raised $68,000 (including Democratic corporate party contributions from BNSF Railway, the Washington Beverage Association, and Avista Corp.)
Spear raised $71,000.
3. Speaking (seriously now) about the election: Yesterday, we called Microsoft a winner for backing the Republicans in the fight for the state senate this year.
In the key state senate races, for example, Microsoft contributed: $1500 to state Sen. Steve O'Ban (R-28, Lakewood) and $0 to Democratic challenger state Rep. Tami Green (D-28, Tacoma); $1500 to state Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-35, Potlatch) (Sheldon caucuses with the Republicans) and $0 to his opponent, Democratic Party-backed Irene Bowling; $1250 to state Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-42, Ferndale) and $0 to Democratic challenger Seth Fleetwood; $800 to state Sen. Andy Hill (R-45, Redmond) and $0 to Democratic challenger Matt Isenhower; and $1,000 to state Sen. Michael ("the Supreme Court should mind its own business on K-12 funding") Baumgartner (R-6, Spokane Valley) and $0 to Democratic challenger Rich Cowan.
Speaking of education. One thing Microsoft based its GOP favortism on was the Democrats' opposition to an education reform bill. Funny: Ericksen voted against the bill along with six other Republicans in one of the most telling moments of the 2014 session.