The Moderate Washingtonian

Outlook on politics and elections in the state of Washington from an overall centrist viewpoint. My views tend to be libertarian in nature, but at the same time are largely nonpartisan.

15 December 2005

Conservative state senator will not seek fourth term

Sen. Stephen Johnson [R-Kent], as many had been expecting, will not run for another term to his Senate seat, but is open to running for the state Supreme Court. US Rep. Dave Reichert [R-Bellevue] has a stake in this in that his little brother, Steve Reichert, quickly seized the Johnson news to announce his campaign for the 47th district seat, a district that has quickly been drifting more Democratic and more moderate.

Claudia Kauffman, a Democrat, had previously filed for the race with the Public Disclosure Commission, but with Johnson's exit it may lead to the entrance of either of the district's Democratic state representatives, liberal Geoff Simpson or moderate Pat Sullivan, both of Covington. Sullivan is in his first term after knocking off conservative state Rep. Jack Cairnes [R-Auburn] in a blowout rematch of a razor-thin 2002 Cairnes victory. Simpson has won several close decisions after defeating conservative state Rep. Phil Fortunato [R-Kent] in 2000. Sullivan should have a long career in this district because of his centrist ideology, but Simpson would probably have trouble in the Senate race (or upcoming reelections, for that matter) because he is ideologically much more liberal than the district electorate.


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