A little Washington State politics for a change. One of the most important local races–and one of the most important House races in the country–was in the Washington 8th district, pitting former Microsoft computer engineer Darcy Burner against former King Country sheriff Dave Reichert. Reichert is a do-nothing Bushite who got (moderate political) religion when he realized that Bush no longer had any cache even in local Republican circles. All of a sudden he became an environmentalist. Slade Gorton tried the same tactic during a tough race to retain his Senate seat (which he lost) against Maria Cantwell.
Reichert is also an evangelical true believer who, during an election campaign breakfast avowed that the U.S. was a Christian nation and that his goal was to further that proposition in his work in Congress.
To give you an idea of the tenor of Reichert’s campaign: after Burner, who holds a Harvard BA in computer engineering with a “concentration” in economics, claimed in a campaign appearance she had a “degree” in economics, Reichert went to town claiming that she had fictionalized her resume. Turns out Reichert claimed on his own resume and his Congressional website a BA from a Christian college in Oregon and only earned an A.A. (two-year) degree. Guess who really fictionalized his resume?
Burner lost to Reichert two years ago in her first race against him. No Democrat has ever held this seat.
Recent polls had Burner leading by 4% over Reichert. But election results so far have shown him clinging to a 500 vote lead, but with only 49% of the vote counted. I find it odd that you can have a Congressional election in this day and age and more than 24 hours AFTER the election you’ve counted less than half the vote. But this is the price you pay when you move away from old fashioned in-person voting as Washington is doing. In a close race, absentee ballots decide and they can only be counted as fast as they arrive in the mail.
I don’t know what precincts remain to be counted and I don’t know what Burner’s prognosis is. But I’m rooting for her and hoping that the polls will be borne out. Here’s a Daily Kos update.
Dino Rossi–unlike four years ago when he almost acted as co-governor after a squeaker of an election–conceded to Governor Gregoire. He offered her whatever help he could provide over the coming four years, but I can’t imagine anything he can do for her unless she needs the help of the building industry and big developers in whose pocket Rossi was (and who helped raise millions for his mud-bucket campaign).
Our neighbor to our south, Oregon, has just ejected Republican Gordon Smith from the U.S. senate and replaced him with Democrat Jeff Merkley. That gives the Dems 58 seats with Saunders (59 depending on what party Lieberman is with on any given day of the week). Which makes Al Franken’s possible squeaker loss in Minnesota a real schande as it costs them the 60 votes they need to end Republican filibusters.