Incumbents win in legislative races

November 14, 2012

By Caleb Heeringa

In the first race after redistricting earlier in the year, most Sammamish voters saw new names on their ballots.

The southern half of the city is now in the 41st District, while the northern half is in the 45th.

But the batch of new-to-Sammamish lawmakers all won re-election Nov. 6, with generally large margins of victory.

With campaign season now in the rear view mirror after a decisive 58-42 win, Rep. Larry Springer (D) said it was “time to get back to work” on the thorny issue of K-12 and higher education funding. The Legislature is facing a $1.2 billion hole in the next biennium to comply with the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision last year, which ruled the state has neglected its constitutional duty on education.

Springer said barring a sudden change in the vote totals in the Governor’s race, he did not see the dynamics in Olympia changing much next year – Democrats will have a large majority in the House, a slimmer majority in the Senate and a Democratic governor.

“It really comes down to the Governor race – whoever wins that will be in the driver’s seat,” Springer said.

Jim Thatcher, Springer’s Republican challenger, thanked his opponent for a healthy race. Thatcher, who ran for public office for the first time this year, said this won’t be his last campaign, as he intends to run against Springer again in two years.

“We put together a good organization this year and have a good group of supporters,” Thatcher said. “We’ll be better prepared in a couple years.”

Rep. Roger Goodman (D) won a fourth term by a 56-44 margin. Goodman said he was eager to spend the next two years streamlining the state’s economic development efforts.

“Let’s take a look at how we can take a strategic approach to the issue rather than scattershot, with a tax incentive here and an industrial park there,” Goodman said.

Joel Hussey, Goodman’s challenger, said he was disappointed to see little change in the electoral dynamics in Olympia. Hussey said Democrats will need to work across the aisle to address the big-ticket issues facing the state, like education funding.

“They’re going to have to be able to work on a bipartisan basis – these issues are so big,” Hussey said.

In the 41st District, incumbents were also the winner.

Steve Litzow, a freshman Republican state senator from Mercer Island, outpaced Mercer Island Democrat Maureen Judge. Litzow garnered about 54 percent to 46 percent for Judge.

Scott Roberts, citizen action network director at the Freedom Foundation, a public-policy think tank based in Olympia, said Litzow learned the district during a failed state House run in 2008 and a successful state Senate race in 2010.

Renton Democrat Marcie Maxwell, a state representative elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2010, cruised to a commanding victory over Issaquah Republican Tim Eaves, a novice candidate.

Maxwell clinched 58 percent to Eaves’ 42 percent.

 

Reporter Warren Kagarise contributed to this story.

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