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 January 2008

A rare GOP recruiting success

The Central Kitsap Reporter reported today that Kistap County Commissioner Jan Angel will run against six-term Rep. Pat Lantz this November. Lantz has had several close calls but won about as comfortably as one can expect in the 26th last cycle with her 13-point victory over Republican Beckie Krantz. Angel chose to run against Lantz instead of freshman Rep. Larry Seaquist because of the likelihood that the 70-year-old Lantz would retire following the upcoming legislative session, but says she's committed to the race whether or not Lantz runs.

Given recent GOP fortunes in swing districts I'm quite hesitant to predict a pickup, but with Angel's recognition from her multiple countywide wins in Kitsap it would not be out of the question that she could win this race. She won her last term by 7% in 2004, and the 26th is also the most GOP-friendly district in Kitsap.

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02 January 2008

McKenna v. Ladenburg taking shape

It appears that Democrats have finally gotten around to nudging outgoing Pierce County Exec. John Ladenburg into the attorney general race, as the potential candidate says he'll make a decision within the month. McKenna has had a first term relatively free of scandal and is seemingly a good bet for reelection, but considering how dominant the Democratic Party has been since his ten-point 2004 victory a strong Democrat like Ladenburg will have ample opportunity to give the incumbent a scare.

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01 January 2008

Initial Legislative Outlook - House Republicans

While I don't have any pickups initially projected for the beleaguered House Republican Caucus, there are a handful of seats they could feasibly take if the pieces fall in place for them. The following are their ten best opportunities.

1. Rep. Don Barlow, 6th District: Barlow's election was certainly one of the surprises of the 2006 cycle, with him eventually defeating John Serben by 260 votes weeks after election night. Serben is running again along with Kevin Parker, and without popular Chris Marr above him on the ballot, Barlow may be hard-pressed to retain this GOP-leaning seat. From what I know of Parker, he's a moderate businessman and would probably be the tougher opponent for Barlow, but I have yet to find a campaign site or any major news from the Parker campaign. He's raised $14,000 already while Serben has filed months ago and raised nothing, so we'll see what happens.

2. Rep. Troy Kelley, 28th District: Given recent Democratic fortunes in the 28th I predict Kelley will probably be retained, but the swing nature of the district could make him vulnerable to a credible Republican candidate. In his first session he was one of the most fiscally-conservative Democrats in the House, and such independence will only serve him well in this former GOP stronghold. Certainly my favourite new legislator.

3. Rep. Tami Green, 28th District: For similar reasons as Kelley, Green remains an endangered incumbent. She's more liberal than Kelley but still plenty moderate for the 28th, and unless the GOP starts to get its act together in the suburbs she should stick around indefinitely.

4. Rep. Larry Seaquist, 26th District: Seaquist won by ten points against a ridiculously conservative opponent as Democrats swept one of the closest swing districts in the state in 2006. Against a more credible challenger in a less than landslide year, it's very possible he could be toppled. We'll just have to see if the 26th GOP has learned their lesson from running out-of-mainstream candidates like Jim Hines and Ron Boehme. A possible candidate that could give Seaquist a strong run is Pierce County Councilman Terry Lee.

5. Rep. Pat Lantz, 26th District: Lantz won a very close race for reelection in 2004 but caught some relief in the 2006 landslide. She begins with the advantage but this one could end up competitive depending on the GOP candidate.

6. Vacant, 35th District (Eickmeyer): Although the 35th district is solidly Democratic, this rare open Democratic seat may provide the GOP an opportunity for a pick-up. Two Democrats are currently running, Daryl Daugs and Frederick Finn, and Finn has the support of retiring Eickmeyer. The presumptive GOP candidate is Herb Baze, a real estate agent and former Mason County Commissioner.

7. Vacant, 44th District (Lovick): As Lovick was elected Snohomish County Sheriff last November, the path appears to be wide open for Liz Loomis, a former failed legislative candidate and member of the Snohomish City Council. She still has to overcome the appointment process but seems the likely winner, and will likely be favoured in the general election as well.

8. Rep. John McCoy, 38th District: Despite that the 38th is solidly Democratic, McCoy has never truly solidified his seat and is a perennial target for Snohomish Republicans. His very liberal voting record and controversial nature seem to be the reason, but lacking Republican fortunes have kept him around and will likely do so again.

9. Rep. Christopher Hurst, 31st District: While Hurst only won by single digits for his third (non-consecutive term), he has a solid personal vote and after defeating a powerful moderate Republican incumbent like Jan Shabro I doubt he will face as serious a candidate this cycle.

10. Rep. Hans Dunshee, 44th District: Like John McCoy, Dunshee seems a perennial target due to his liberal voting record but has a real knack for hanging on year in and year out. He won by double digits last cycle for only the second time in his career.