1. In case you missed it: Yesterday afternoon, in the latest chapter in the contentious Sonics arena vote, I reported on an email exchange between Port of Seattle CEO Ted Fick and Seattle Times publisher and CEO Frank Blethen that raises questions about mixing editorial and business.
2. State representative Brady Walkinshaw (D-43, Capitol Hill) remained in second place in this week’s top-two primary (increasing both his vote count lead and percentage of the total vote versus now-third place finisher King County Council member Joe McDermott.) The trend makes it increasingly likely Walkinshaw will face off against the first place finisher, state senator Pramila Jayapal (D-37, Southeast Seattle) in the general election to replace retiring U.S. representative Jim McDermott (D-WA, 7). There is a footnote that should keep Joe McDermott’s hopes kinda alive, though: Walkinshaw, who moved into second place over McDermott after Wednesday’s night count, fell back in his percentage of the take versus McDermott, going from seven percent of the take in his big Wednesday surge to about 3.5 percent yesterday. However, Walkinshaw’s raw vote lead over McDermott increased from about 500 to 1,222.
Civil rights leader Jayapal increased her take of the total votes in the latest count, nudging up from 39 percent to an astounding 40 percent in the nine-person field. Jayapal heads into the general as a strong favorite, but, editorializing here: It will be much more interesting to see Jayapal face off against Walkinshaw (who shares Jayapal’s youthful, social justice base) than against the more establishment Democrat, Joe McDermott.
3. In another important race, Democratic challenger Lisa Wellman pulled to within 22 votes of incumbent suburban Seattle Republican state senator Steve Litzow (R-41, Mercer Island). Wellman, a teacher turned tech star (she was an Apple VP and is currently the managing director of nsquared solutions), was originally 800 votes behind Litzow on Tuesday night, but has continued to gain ground.
There was never a question she would emerge from the top-two primary, but drawing virtually even with the longtime Republican incumbent (Litzow has disavowed Trump, by the way) in a sleepy August primary (advantage Republicans), sets Wellman up for a presidential election year vote (advantage Democrats) as a strong contender with a woman at the top of the ticket.
The Litzow versus Wellman race is key in the battle over the state senate, which Republicans currently control 26-23.
4. Speaking of suburban Seattle and bad signs for the GOP: The house Republicans, trying to overcome a 50-48 Democratic advantage, spent more money to defeat state representative Roger Goodman (D-45, Kirkland) than they did in every other targeted legislative race combined. Republican house members spent more than $30,000 to take out Goodman—and got nowhere. Lefty Goodman is up 62 to 38 against his GOP challenger Ramiro Valderrama.