Is Change In The Air For The Legislature?

by lewwaters

All of Tuesday’s votes should be in by now and counted. Certification won’t be long and the vote will become official. No changes will be coming in the count and candidates who won a top two will go on to the November general election.

Voters didn’t fall for dirty tactics in all of the races and it appears there may be a decent chance that the state legislature may do an “about face” this year. Even if the majority doesn’t change, the numbers ought to become more even, hopefully putting a stop to the out of control spending approved by Democrats and some less than reliable Republicans.

One such official is making a definite exit from our legislature and good riddance.

While I haven’t followed all of the legislative races around the state, the vote count shows some very favorable races indicating that some changes might be seen come November.

The 15th Legislative District seems prepared to retain Senator Jim Honeyford, who ran unopposed. Bruce Chandler who received an impressive 67% of the votes over his opponent and David Taylor who also received nearly 67% of the votes will still face a run-off in the general election, but it is expected they will remain sane voices in the legislature.

The 17th Legislative District looks like it is well ready to seek change as Brian Peck and Paul Harris both came out ahead in their races. Peck, a first time candidate earned 53% of the votes over his incumbent opponent, one term incumbent Tim Probst. Harris, competing for an open seat easily defeated both Martin Hash and Monica Stonier with 56% of the votes.

Harris and Stonier move on to the general as do Peck and Probst.

In the 18th Legislative District, incumbent Ed Orcutt ran unopposed. Ann Rivers, who rightfully should have received the position 1 seat in 2007, joined Dennis Kampe in winning a slot in the top two primary. Rivers faced multiple opponents, including one of questionable character, Washougal council member Jon Russell, who held out until the last to concede to her.

Rivers and Kampe move on to the general and if those who voted for the others on the right side get behind Rivers, she should easily defeat Kampe and retain that vacant seat for the right.

In the heavily Democrat 49th Legislative District, the two Democrat incumbents, Jim Jacks and Jim Moeller, received the majority of votes, but first time candidate Bill Cismar and businessman Craig Riley are in close striking distance as both incumbents received less vote percentage than each did in the 2008 primaries.

In 2008, Moeller took his top two slot with 64% of the vote compared to receiving 53% in 2010. Jacks received close to 59% in 2008 compared with 55% in 2010 against an unknown candidate with a shoestring campaign budget.

With the proper support and donations, both Riley and Cismar might unseat both of the incumbents and turn the 49th Legislative District over to some fiscal sanity.

Many local races remain a toss up going into the general, but it looks like there just may be some new faces heading off to Olympia after November.

Let’s just hope they place the taxpayers first and party second when they arrive.

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