What an amazing election night we had! President Obama re-elected, Washington State made history by legalizing marijuana and approving gay marriage, and elected Jay Inslee the first alternative energy governor and a bunch of other good folks. And we elected the first woman to the Whatcom County Superior Court bench, Deborrah Garrett.
My race, not so much. My final tally is 45.97% of the vote. Matt Krogh, running for the other 42nd seat, ran a more aggressive campaign with TV advertising, and received about the same percentage of the vote against his Republican rival as I did. Suzan DelBene won in the 1st Congressional District against an equally conservative opponent, running lots of TV and negative ads, but did not win in the Whatcom County portion of the 1st.
Used to be that Kelli Linville (D) and Doug Erickson (R) would get about the same winning margin, which meant that a small but significant portion of the voters were splitting their ticket between the two 42nd LD positions. There may still be swing voters, but when they swing, they vote the whole party ticket. Remember when we used to complain that there was no difference between the parties? Now the differences are stark, and unless you can find a true moderate voter out there, they are lining up on one side or the other.
I have no sadness in not winning my own race — maybe that comes from having done this election thing for 8 years in a row now. Every election is practice for the next. I’ve met a lot of great new people who care about the future of our district and state and I intend to get to know them better. Most of us want the same things: A home, a safe place to raise our children, quality education, a living-wage job. The only way we will be able to truly move forward is when we realize we all need each other if we want to have sound, rational policies in government.
Thanks to everyone who pitched in on the campaign over the last seven months. I’ve been honored to have such dedicated and hardworking volunteers to get us as far as we got. I want to particularly acknowledge those who have been with me from the start, including Peggy, John, Aileen, Dan, Sherry, Michele, and Judy, and campaign managers Jennifer and Tara. I read somewhere at the beginning of the campaign that the way to build loyalty is to ask people to do you favors. I know I’ve asked a lot, and you all have come through for me, and I’m thankful.