Tonight, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna came in second place, which is not where a Republican like McKenna needs to be. Sure, it sends him to the general, but with ominous prospects. Primary elections like these, which attract an older electorate, should favor a conservative candidate like McKenna. That's even more the case when the turnout is low like this primary. Moreover, McKenna has won statewide before as attorney general and he should have the name recognition to woo these predictable old primary election voters. But he didn't. Instead, Democrat Jay Inslee is four points ahead on the first day of returns. With many more returns to come in, particularly from liberal King County—where lefty votes tend to trickle in late—Inslee's lead could continue to grow in the next few days.
All of this goes to show that McKenna is not only a crappy lawyer, he's a crappy campaigner.
Meanwhile, a few highlights about contests decided tonight: The Seattle library levy is passing handily, the King County juvenile justice center is narrowly in the lead, and state supreme court justice incumbent Steve Gonzalez appears to have beaten his joke of a challenger, Bruce Danielson. On the downside, Gonzalez isn't winning by much—his advantage is in King County—which shows how many racist fucks in the rest of Washington reflexively voted for the guy with the Anglo-Saxon name and no experience to back it up.
Over on the Eastside, Darcy Burner has conceded that Suzan DelBene, not Daaaaarcy Burner, will run against Republican John Koster this fall.
In the 46th District, it's looking like Jessyn Farrell will face off against Sarajane Siegfriedt; and in the 36th District, Gael Tarleton will try to beat Noel Frame. Plus SO MUCH MORE! Just keep reading below.
Apart from those candidates who won't make it through to November, the biggest loser of the night no doubt is Republican legacy Reagan Dunn, who is currently getting his ass kicked by Democrat Bob Ferguson 52-38. Ferguson is leading in every Western Washington county but Lewis, as well as in five Eastern Washington counties. And in King County, where voters know the two council members best, Ferguson is up by a hefty 61-34 percent margin.
Of course, it's dangerous to read too much into primaries, but there's nothing good Dunn can read into this one.
King County Superior Court judge Bruce Hilyer is currently in third place in the race for Washington State Supreme Court Position No. 9.
But, Hilyer thinks still-to-come King County returns could bring him into second, dropping disgraced former Justice Richard Sanders out of the running and making this an exciting race between Hilyer and current front-runner Sheryl Gordon McCloud. Let's hope so—either of them would be great for the court, unlike Sanders.
"My campaign tells me that they thing I’m in good shape to take second place once all the returns are counted," Hilyer tells the SECB. "There’s a lot of votes in King to be counted."
The mood is a bit low at Sahar Fathi's situation. She did not leave the starting line with a bang. She is fifth in a race with seven runners. But she has confidence that her position will improve: "We came across 500 people who had not voted last night. Things could change."
After the first round of ballot tallies showed Suzan DelBene leading Darcy Burner 23.3 percent to 14.6 percent in WA-01, Burner called DelBene to concede. "Best to get it done quickly and gracefully," a disappointed Burner said by phone. DelBene way outspent her four Democratic opponents after pumping $2.3 million of her own money into the primary race, but Republican John Koster still scored an impressive 43.7 percent of the vote.
Koster and DelBene will also face off in the special election fill the remaining month of Jay Inslee's term.
If these numbers hold up, there's been a big upset in the 11th Legislative District, where unimpressive Democrat Steve Bergquist and Republican Sarah Sanoy-Wright are leading with 28.35 and 24.8 percent of the vote respectively. We would've figured Bergquist to finish dead last, but we apparently don't know squat about the district.
Noel Frame, who is now heading into the general to face off against Gael Tarleton, is getting her rally on at the 5 Spot Cafe:
- Via Lisa MacLean
When the TV at the Great Nabob showed the juvenile justice center rebuilding Prop 1 passing, an older gentleman screamed out an orgasmic, "Yes! Yes! Yes! YES! YES! Yessssss."
A short while later, King County Executive Dow Constantine, a little further from climax, stood on a bench and declared: "We are ahead on behalf of the children and families of this county!" Everyone cheered.
The City of Seattle property-tax levy to shore up library service is passing with more than 60 percent OF the vote. However. another property-tax levy to rebuild the decrepit juvenile justice center has only a narrow lead, with 52.6 percent of the vote. All the county results are here.
The Secretary of State's Office shows Democrat Jay Inslee winning by four points, partly thanks to a 23-point lead in King County. That's a Democratic advantage many folks weren't expecting tonight. So where is Rob McKenna? He hasn't showed up at his own party yet.
The drop for King County in the Gonzalez race show him beating Danielson three to one. The room exploded in cheers. Up to that point, people had been nervous watching the returns from smaller counties (many of which, Gonazlez said, didn't actually receive mailers, just a ballot with a white guy's name and a Latino guy's name). In the minutes before the King County drop, Gonzalez spoke behind a table thanking his supporters and handing out bottles of tequila called El Relingo. He said, "El Relingo means the stallion. I hear it has that effect.:
"Okay, Steve!" a lady from the back of the room shouted. "This is a G-rated event."
Gonazalez first thanked Governor Christine Gregoire for appointing him in the first place, and said he had to be puished to submit his name for appointment. He had said no to five justices and two bar presidents who suggested he submit his name. "But," he said, "I heard comments two justices made on race and then changed my mind. I took my own advice—I tell my students, 'Never reject yourself—let other people do that for you.' And they will." Then he choked up a bit and the crowd clapped to fill the silence.
People are drinking beer and wine, and eating chips and vegetables, and eagerly pounding on their phones and laptops to check results. Members of the Wahsington Bus are here, as well as many judges and social activists. People are happy with the overall results, but there is an undercurrent of disapppointment that so many voters in Washington chose Danielson because of his honky name. "This race is too close," someone at the party said. "It makes me disappointed in my own state."
If elections were won by the square mile, totally unqualified Anglo-named Supreme Court candidate Bruce Danielson would've kicked ass tonight. He's currently ahead in 29 counties. Fortunately, they're not, so highly qualified Justice Steve Gonzalez will win his first election to the court. Right now the Secretary of State's website shows Gonzalez leading 50.29 Percent to 49.71 percent with all but King and Clark counties reporting. But Gonzalez is leading King County by about 90,000 votes, so that is that.
So congratulations to Washington voters for not being quite as stupid (or racist) as we feared them to be!
The Great Nabob—scene of tonight's Hilyer / Owens / Prop 1 / Pridemore party—is also the scene of last year's defeat of Great Nabob owner Maurice Classen in his run to replace Councilwoman-for-Life Jean Godden.
Classen failed to get The Stranger's endorsement and lost his primary bid. Now he's sipping a Makers on the rocks, hosting and toasting his political friends, and answering the SECB's questions.
SECB: What are you doing with your life now that Jean Godden, The Stranger, and Bobby Forch ruined it?
Classen: Back to work at the prosecutor’s office. I head up the Seattle efforts against gangs for the prosecutor’s office.
SECB: Are you bitter?
Classen: Only about my lost pride.
SECB: Are you going to get back into politics?
Classen: I’m certainly tyring to stay as active as possible… That’s why we continue to have events here. I don’t know if I’ll ever run again, but I’ll certainly do what I can to make a difference.
SECB: What do you think when you see Jean Godden making speeches as City Hall?
Classen: I only wish Jean the best.
SECB: Any regrets from your run last year?
Classen: I think we ran a good, hard race. I’m disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to serve, but I don’t think there’s anything I regret about the race. I certainly do regret The Stranger’s lack of endorsement, though.
Here's the other big race in the city, which shows Jessyn Farrell certainly bound for the general election. She'll likely be facing Sarajane Sigfriedt, who is running in second place. Third place is Republican Scott Hodges, who seems unlikely to pick up traction because later votes, which will be counted in the next few days, typically trend to the left.
Jessyn Farrell 28.17%
Dusty Hoerler 11.94%
Scott M. Hodges 19.20%
Shelly Crocker 16.76%
Sarajane Siegfriedt 21.56%
Stan Lippmann 2.14%
Tonight's results for the hotly contested 36th Legislative District's position 2:
Gael Tarleton 30.20%
Sahar Fathi 12.01%
Ryan Gabriel 14.88% (GOP)
Evan Clifthorne 4.96%
Linde Knighton 2.07%
Brett Phillips 14.99%
Noel Christina Frame 20.77%
This will be the last drop of the night, and subsequent results seem unlikely to make up the gap between Frame and her nearest follower.
Right over HERE.
Sahar Fathi and her people at the Cherry Street Coffee House waiting for results. There are cakes on the table, and someone is delivering a speech about how they changed the discourse of this election. Everyone seems smart and nice. But there is no booze here. None.
Secretary of state candidate Kathleen Drew is having her election-night party on the TOP FLOOR of the Watermark Tower downtown, the view from the apartment is amazing. The party is lively and nice, with lots of Democrat bigwigs and well-heeled party supporters. (But nothing can compete with the view.)
Inslee wasn't expected to do well tonight—he'll do better in the general election when the progressive vote is united behind him. But he's here to do preemptive damage control. He arrives long enough to say, "This is a great night, milestone, very excited, momentum, great race, decision in November, superior vision for the state of WA, sustainable chocolate manufacturing, small electorate tonight, we think we're going to be just right tonight!"
"The real race starts tomorrow!"
Apparently, we missed appearances by McDermott and Ferguson, who spoke briefly in other windowless rooms of this snackless hellhole while we were trapped in with Dear Leader Inslee. Bummer.
Statewide results are beginning to arrive, generally favoring Republicans. See them here. But the big urban liberal bastion—King County—hasn't yet reported.
It's significant to point out again that turnout is low, only 25.2 percent in King County as of today's 8:00 p.m. ballot return report. Based on past performance, that suggests final turnout of about 33 percent, far below Secretary of State Sam Reed's 46 percent prediction, and even below the low end of my 35 to 40 percent range.
WA-01: DelBene leads in Whatcom County, 21.89 to 13.38 percent. No results yet from Skagit, Snohomish or King.
Down in dry, snackless Rainier Valley, we're getting word that Jay Inslee will be arriving in our empty, partyless hyperbolic press chamber in 10 minutes or so. He'd better be soaked in tequila or we're burning our ballots. Meanwhile, the SECB just ran into an old friend who said, QUOTE: "Please don't tell anyone I was here or working on this." Another ringing endorsement for the state democratic party!
No one has even bothered to make coffee, but at least there is a rubber dish strainer next to the empty coffee pot holding a single fork and a few coffee liners. Just in case.
Most everyone is dressed in shlubby / game day finest, except for the handful of guys wearing distressed denim and REALLY SHINY TIES. There isn’t any booze. This is the opposite of The West Wing.
As we wait for the results, it's significant to point out again that turnout is low, only 25.2 percent in King County as of today's 8PM ballot return report. Based on past performance, that suggests final turnout of about 33 percent, far below Secretary of State Sam Reed's 46 percent prediction, and even below the low end of the SECB's 35 to 40 percent range.
Socialist Kshama Sawant took about 9 percent of the vote against incumbent Democrat Jamie Pedersen in the 43rd District. But the SECB endorsed Sawant in the 43rd as a write-in candidate against Frank Chopp, where write-in candidates got more than 10 percent of the vote.
SAWANT: "I think the results are very resoundingly confirming what our position has been, and what our perspectives have been as socialists and activists—the Occupy Movement, the Arab Spring—I think people are hungry for a change. In the State of Washington, people for decades, have been locked in the stranglehold of big business—both the Democrats and the Republicans represent big business, and not ordinary people. It's time for a change."
SECB: "So you're happy with the result numbers?"
SAWANT: "Yeah, for NOW, we are totally excited—and we are really looking forward to running a strong campaign in the general elections. I think that it would be fantastic for us to win, but our campaign—because we are running it as activists, and not as career politicians—we're about the campaign itself, and getting the word out, and we want to get people politically involved."
This photo taken, while the entire room chanted "We are the 99%! We are the 99%!"
- The Stranger
During his long-awaited official address tonight, McKenna couldn't stop talking about our need for a new direction new direction new direction nude erection. But he didn't mention results AT ALL. He spent most of the time attacking Jay Inslee and income tax supporters. "Jay Inslee cares about the adults in the education system," said McKenna, drawing a lot of boos. Later he proclaimed the amount of door-belling he did in Seattle to be one of his campaign's greatest victories—despite the fact that he lost spectacularly in Seattle.
McKenna is trailing by four points statewide and 23 points in King County. It's an awful showing.
But seriously: Nothing mentioned about the results. Just looking forward and nude erections.
Welcome your new GOP overlord:
“There is not a party and I have not seen any cupcakes,” announces Benton Strong, Democratic Party operative, by way of welcome. We’re sitting at State Democratic Party HQ on Rainier Avenue S, the powerhouse that’s hosting gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee, Congressman Jim McDermott, and Attorney General wannabe Bob Ferguson. We hear Bob’s sitting in a van somewhere with his wife and kids; no word on where the other two Democratic hopefuls are; our guess is they're frozen in cryogenic stasis until the 8:15 drop.
A sign on the door says, "DO NOT TAKE FURNITURE." Fucking Christ.
We hear there’s a giant elephant head dispensing lemonade over in Bellevue where McKenna’s pre-toasting his victory, but on the Democratic side of the lake, we're lucky to get a bag of half-eaten pretzels and a soggy Obama cutout (because someone can’t keep her tongue in her goddamn mouth).
- The Stranger
- Fox News takes out Obama
These are supposed to be our powerhouses—the great white hopes of the state democratic party—and they can’t even spring for a few cupcakes and balloons. We’re doomed. DOOMED.
Finally, someone to drink with the SECB at the multi-politician party at the Great Nabob on lower Queen Anne. It's our pick for state auditor, Craig Pridemore, who's feeling slightly nervous but declares: "All my friends voted for me, so it's going to be OK."
The SECB is inside Rob McKenna's campaign party at the GOP HQ in a Bellevue office park. It's a miracle w they let us in at all, really. Charles McCray, McKenna's spokesman, just glared at us.
Most of the supporters here are old and white, and there are only about 80 of them. Which isn't enough for one campaign staffer who began herding to get them close to the TV cameras. "We need to make it look more crowded," she told the old white people.
A lot of the food is red, white, and blue. They've got two American flag cakes, Sam Adams beer, and big elephant punch bowl.
The football stories are coming fast and thick at the Steve Gonzalez party in the Cristalla Lounge on Second and Lenora. One friend, while talking to the candidate, recalled a quarterback from Ohio State (whose first name was Art), who said something like 'I do everything I can until the football leaves my hands—the rest isn't up to me.' The friend, who worked on Andrea Darvis's 2004 judicial campaign, said "I thought we ran a great campaign, but you have done everything you can."
Another friend of the candidate, Monica Alicea-Galvan, a municipal court judge in Des Moines, WA, told another football story. "That famous coach from the Green Bay Packers used to say, 'In a bacon-and-egg breakfast, the chicken is involved but the pig is committed.' Steve Gonazalez is committed." SECB asked her in what way Judge Gonzalez is committed. She said, "He has taken strong stands against racism....." We asked, "Do you mean Justice Sanders?" "Yes," she said, "But he didn't treat it as confrontational, he took the stand, and took it on as a teaching moment."
"It's all about the names," Alicea-Galvan continued. "If there were no names on the ballot, just a list of accomplishments, Steve would win. But it's kind of scary that the names are the big test for tonight."
Down at the bottom of this post, we're asking, "Is Anyone Actually Reading Our Coverage of the Crappy Primary Election?" Go vote—about voting!
Ballot boxes are open until 8:00 p.m. There's a list of their locations right here. For election results in King County (including the library levy, juvenile justice center levy, and legislative districts within the county's borders) go here starting at about 8:30 p.m. Or go here for statewide results (including legislative districts). Meanwhile, there's chatter on Twitter about the election results at #waelex.
The SECB saw this outside the party for Bruce Hilyer, who is running for the Washington State Supreme court, and thought: Sweet! The hot ladies and mens must have just jumped out of the Hilyer ride and started celebrating!
Uh, no. The SECB is drinking by ourselves at this party:
The SECB has, after being told to wait in the lobby, been invited into the Rob McKenna for Governor Campaign fiesta at the Washington GOP headquarters in Bellevue. We are required to wear a "Stranger" name tag and we're looking for something to drink...
Three martinis down and the SECB has fanned across the city—in cabs!—to take in the wondrous totality of lesser Seattle in the great nearby! On primary night! Because we care about elections!
We wanted to go visit the party being thrown by the campaign for Greg Nickels, who's running for Secretary of State, but he's not having a party. Maybe that's Greg's way of saying that he's not going to qualify for the general election. But it's GREG NICKELS'S BIRTHDAY TODAY!!! Happy birthday, former mayor! Sorry that you're probably going to come in third place, getting knocked out of the primary... just like three years ago. Um. Sorry about that, Greg. We miss you. Hindsight's 20/20 and all that.