THE RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK'S primary election (or “winnowing election” as some call it) are a measure of our community’s political pulse. For eastside communities in the 45th Legislative District, such as Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville and Sammamish, the results from the election of the state’s House of Representatives, positions 1 and 2, are incredibly important.
Local business owner and former school teacher Larry Springer, who is the 45th Legislative District’s current representative for position 2, fared very well against his Republican challenger Jim Thatcher. Springer led Thatcher by 1,720 votes on election night. That divide widened, however, as more votes were counted: Springer, according to the August 13, 2012 results, beat Thatcher 56.61% to 43.39%, which is a difference of 3,563 votes in Springer’s favor. Springer’s lead is likely all but insurmountable by Thatcher in the general election.
For the House position number 2, Roger Goodman also firmly beat his Republican challenger Joel Hussey. Roger Goodman, at the end of Tuesday night, led Hussey by 722 votes. Jacob Bond, another Democrat in the race, received 7% of the vote or 1,072 votes.
But like Springer, Goodman’s lead has only grown with more returned ballots: Goodman has captured 49.59% of the vote (13,294 total votes), Hussey has received just 43.83% (11,749 votes) and Bond received 6.58% (1,764 votes). Hussey too will likely be unable to overcome this margin during the general election.
Any candidate who receives more than 50% of the vote after the primary election is firmly positioned to win the general election. For Springer, that fact is obvious. For Goodman, though he was less than ½ percent shy of receiving 50% of the total vote, it is important to realize that almost 7% of the vote was siphoned by his democratic challenger Bond. Most of the almost 2,000 votes captured by Bond will go to Goodman in the general election. Hussey, by contrast, was the only Republican in the race and still he fell far short of the 50% brink.
The Presidential Election between Obama and Romney – which was not on the primary ballot in Washington – will no doubt affect these races. But the lion’s share of the eventual voter turnout will more than likely fall to Goodman and Springer’s favor. Obama’s grassroots network will far exceed Romney’s this general election as it did McCain’s in 2008. Thus any momentum Hussey and Thatcher may garnish from riding Romney’s coattails will still not overcome the tidal wave of voters who will turn out to reelect Obama this November.
These realities show that voters in our community are ready and willing to stand behind both Roger Goodman and Larry Springer, both of whom will serve their contingents better than their conservative challengers.
Trent Latta is an attorney and Kirkland resident. He may be reached at TrentLatta@gmail.com.