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.

09 May 2006

45th madness

Bill Finkbeiner's retirement sent the 45th district at both levels into madness. For the longest time, we knew that Bill Finkbeiner was being challenged by Eric Oemig. We also knew that Reps. Toby Nixon and Larry Springer were unopposed for reelection. Now, Nixon has stepped up as the GOP's replacement candidate and there are rumours that Laura Ruderman might jump into the race for Democrats.

I'm not usually one to think up conspiracy theories, nor even be insane enough to spread them, but this is my prediction for what will happen in the coming weeks. Ruderman will run for Finkbeiner's seat, setting up a rematch against Nixon, who she defeated in a 2000 House race by a small margin. Oemig, who would of course be soundly defeated in a primary against Ruderman, will be urged to step back and run for Nixon's House seat, where the GOP has yet to field a replacement. Oemig would start with an advantage in that race due to his early cash advantage from the Senate campaign. Springer, meanwhile, will dodge what otherwise could be a competitive reelection fight because of the focus on the two open seat contests.

The underlying reason for all this will be that Nixon will, in all likelihood, beat Oemig. Oemig has money, but he does not have name recognition, nor does he have the necessary experience to defeat a sitting legislator. Ruderman would enter the race at least even with Nixon, and the race would be anyone's game. At the same time, Oemig would not have the drawbacks in an open seat that he would in challenging Nixon. This would give Democrats a decent opportunity to sweep the district's races.


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