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.

04 May 2006

The Fighting 48th -- meet the faces

The ever in-flux 48th legislative district is likely to have at least two very competitive races this fall, and considering its swing district nature, even incumbent Rep. Ross Hunter might not be safe. With the recent addition of yet another face to the race to replace Rodney Tom in the House, I decided it was high time to gather some background information on the candidates who are currently running.

Sen. Luke Esser [R]
Rep. Rodney Tom [D]

Apparently Esser has not put up a campaign site yet since his website,, is still showing his botched Congressional campaign site, and even Rodney Tom's site has not been updated to his current political affiliation and campaign. I feel good about this race. If Rodney can hold onto the Independents he captured in his campaigns for the House and still grab some of his Republican allies, he will win. Esser has not had a true general election challenge since at least 2000, when he was reelected to the House with 59% (consequently, the 48th district got what they deserved when they chose Esser over Steve Van Luven in the 2002 Senate primary), and is certainly more conservative than the district's centrist mainstream. If the liberal Republican incarnation of Rodney Tom came within 4% of losing reelection in 2004, a conservative Republican Luke Esser should lose in 2006.

House #1
Rep. Ross Hunter [D]
Nancy Potts [R]

According to her website, Potts is a GOP PCO and a real estate agent. Knowing nothing else about her, the GOP could have done much worse. Hell, they picked Rodney Tom out of real estate four years ago and it worked for a while. Hunter will be favoured, but perhaps Potts will fare better than James Whitfield did in 2004. Despite his moderate stances, Whitfield was a ballot box flop. On a side note, I was not aware of Hunter's chemotherapy as evidenced by his bald-headed photograph on his website. Best wishes for a full recovery.

House #2
Deb Eddy [D]
Bret Olson [R]
Santiago Ramos [D]

Given Ramos' entrance in the past couple days and no significant fundraising numbers as a result (his initial C4 showed $60 on hand) one can assume Eddy is still the favourite for the Democratic nomination. As a former member of Kirkland's City Council, Eddy is an attractive candidate but by no means a lock for the seat. She has yet to post any significant fundraising numbers and has less than $1000 on hand after recognizing a $3000 campaign debt. I'm assuming that Ramos is of Santiago Ramos Insurance in Bellevue, but his skeletal campaign site has yet to hold any personal information. On the opposite side, the old GOP 48th playbook revealed itself yet again, in the candidacy of real estate agent Bret Olson. Olson is also a former aide for US Rep. Jennifer Dunn, and has adorable Republican dimples. His campaign site,, is not yet online. Olson is an unknown quantity thus far due to no C4 fundraising reports, but in an open seat competition could prove to be a solid candidate. This race currently leans Democratic.

At this point, it's a Democratic sweep, albeit by a slight margin. In King County's premiere swing district, that may well not last.


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