Skunked Democrats hope to turn the tide
Note: This article is a sidebar to a feature story.
What happens in Washington state will reveal a lot about the difference two years can make. Democratic leaders hope to shake up the state Legislature the same way they want to win back the House of Representatives.
The current state House has the worst known voting record on environmental issues, says Ed Zuckerman of Washington Conservation Voters. The damage might have been worse, he adds, but anti-environment bills were often blocked by the narrowly Democratic Senate or vetoed by the governor himself.
Only one race in November seems relatively sure: Washington's new governor probably will be King County official Gary Locke, a Democrat who won 24 percent of the vote during the state's all-party primary on Sept. 17. His Republican contender, Ellen Craswell, finished third behind another Democrat, Seattle Mayor Norm Rice. Craswell doesn't stand a chance in November, says the Sierra Club's Bill Arthur, even though "she did an incredible job organizing the religious right." He doubts her fundamentalist views will appeal to a broader audience: "Is there room on Ellen's ark for you?" he quips.
On the ballot: U.S. SENATE: no races. U.S. HOUSE: 1st District - Rick White (R-incumb.) vs. Jeff Coopersmith (D); 2nd District - Jack Metcalf (R-incumb.) vs. Kevin Quigley (D); 3rd District - Linda Smith (R-incumb.) vs. Brian Baird (D); 4th District - Richard "Doc" Hastings (R-incumb.) vs. Rick Locke (D); 5th District - George Nethercutt (R-incumb.) vs. Judy Olson (D); 6th District - Norm Dicks (D-incumb.) vs. Bill Tinsley (R); 7th District - Jim McDermott (D-incumb.) vs. Frank Kleschan (R); 8th District - Jennifer Dunn (R-incumb.) vs. Dave Little (D); 9th District - Randy Tate (R-incumb.) vs. Adam Smith (D). GOVERNOR: Ellen Craswell (R) vs. Gary Locke (D).