Democrats have been itching to oust Republican Reagan Dunn from the King County Council since he was appointed to fill fellow Republican Rob McKenna's council seat in 2005. Yet the Hollywood-haired Dunn represents the county's 9th District, a mountainous, sprawling, largely rural swath southeast of Bellevue. For years, the district has been pegged a Republican haven, and Dunn is a Republican's Republican. The kind of representative who opposes all taxes—even those funding firefighters, law enforcement officers, and parks—on principle. Because of this conventional wisdom, Dunn's challengers have largely been long shots, dismissed with little institutional support or money.
But now Democrats think they have a chance at capturing Dunn's seat, thanks to the changing demographics of the district and a challenger named Shari Song. Last year, the 9th District "voted for marriage equality, for Obama, and it's pro-choice... and none of these are Reagan Dunn," Song says. "The perception of this being a hardcore Republican district is wrong." [Eds note: Dunn actually bucked his party to back gay marriage in 2012.]