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.

16 September 2006

Profile: 26th Republicans, Senate and House

Initially I had only been going to do a Senate profile here, but upon realizing I had left out the House primary to replace Derek Kilmer I've decided to cover both this morning. First, the Senate:

Essentially, the GOP has to choose from a polarizing but experienced candidate and a newcomer with decent potential. Nominating ex-Rep. Lois McMahan here will offer someone who has won twice in the district, but by thin margins amongst many other losses. If the GOP picks her, they are apparently content to gamble she can win a rematch with Derek Kilmer in spite of national anti-Bush sentiment and a huge cash disadvantage. If the GOP hopes to have any future in this district they should nominate Jim Hines and offer voters a fresh face. Giving a choice of McMahan every two years is getting stale, and aside from two GOP-favoured years, voters have stated they do not want her to represent them. If Hines loses by 30 points, at the very least they attempted something new. More likely, however, is he will perform better against Kilmer than would McMahan in spite of name recognition differences.

Unfortunately for the GOP, I have an inkling that voters will pick the familiar name Tuesday despite that the party mainstream has lined up behind Hines and he has more money. Considering the small amount of primary voters, I think the chance of picking the more familiar name and/or picking the more conservative partisan typical of most primary voters is great enough to switch what would be a Hines lean in most other matchups.

Prediction: McMahan Lean

In the House, Republicans will have to pick between conservative policy wonk Trent England and Ellen Craswell minion Ron Boehme, an ultra-conservative minister and author. This race seems to have been getting more attention in the newspapers than most other primaries, with editorial boards offering endorsement upon endorsement for England, mostly due to Boehme's extreme views. This movement may well have tightened things up, and while I would love to see England win this primary, in a race of two political newcomers I almost always side with where the cash is, and Boehme has much more here. The winner will face Democrat Larry Seaquist, and if Boehme does win this primary, the GOP more than likely has shot themselves in the foot for an open seat in the state's premiere swing distrct.

Prediction: Boehme Lean


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