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.

06 May 2008

Haler isn't getting off scot free after all

With all eyes focused on whether Shirley Hankins will run for reelection to her 8th district House seat, seatmate Larry Haler was seemingly getting a free ride. With all the big local names (Carol Moser, Rick Jansons, to a lesser extent Brad Klippert) jumping in the first race, I expected Haler to draw a no-name challenger and win with 70% of the vote again, but a former municipal officeholder has thrown a wrench in that scenario. Rob Welch, up until recently a city councillor and mayor, is challenging Haler as a Republican, and with the new Top Two primary in place, it could easily become one of those choice one-party runoffs that have party goons across the state up in arms.

Not to go off on a Pelz-hating tangent here, but this could be a prime example of what is so great about the Top Two. An incumbent that would have otherwise been heading down the road to an easy victory now has a fight on his hands, and I couldn't care less that it's coming from a member of the same party. I'm not picking on Larry Haler here, but in general terms when you might have a poor legislator in a district where they aren't going to get a needed challenge from the opposing party there isn't anything wrong with getting it from the same party. Unlike these bullshit smoke-filled room PCO nominating conventions, this sounds like democracy.

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