Evergreen state goes dark blue

A political GPS is not necessary to realize Washington state took a hard left at the Cascades.

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The Evergreen State was dark blue on Tuesday as voters heavily favored Democrats in most statewide offices while also approving gay marriage and legalizing marijuana.

The strong showing for Democrats is centered in the state’s urban areas, particularly Seattle-King County. Those numbers so strongly favored Democrats that it simply engulfed the Republican support in Eastern Washington. It appears a lot of voters — on both sides of the Cascade — voted a straight party line.

That’s ironic in Washington’s statewide races as many of the Republican candidates seeking office — gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna, secretary of state candidate Kim Wyman and lieutenant governor candidate (and Whitman College graduate) Bill Finkbeiner — were politically moderate and, in our view, very well-qualified.

Secretary of State Sam Reed, a Republican who came of age in the party when centrist Republicans such as Dan Evans ruled, said prior to the election that the slate of GOP candidates were the best he had seen since the 1970s.

But because the national political parties seemed to have moved from the center to the edges, there was a backlash felt in independent- minded Washington. All some voters heard was a loud voice from the hard right in the national Repubican Party and they didn’t like it.

As of this morning, the only Republican leading is Wyman in the secretary of state race. She is up by less than 15,000 votes out of about 1.8 million counted. The race could go either way.

Democrat Jay Inslee looks like he will be the next governor as he essentially holds a 51-49 advantage over McKenna. It’s unlikely the voting trend will change. All of the other statewide races appear to have been won by Democrats.

Washington voters upheld the Legislature’s decision — albeit by a relatively close 52-48 margin — making gay marriage legal. That’s a position we have endorsed as a matter of equity. The rest of the nation has not yet embraced gay marriage, but it seems to be moving in that direction. Gay marriage was approved by voters Tuesday in Maine and Maryland.

Washington also took the lead (along with Colorado) in making pot legal. On that issue, we have some concerns, particularly on how the new law will mesh with federal law and with employers.

Marijuana is still against federal law, so an agreement will have to be worked out with the federal government or there will be trouble. Let’s hope the disputes are worked out by the two levels of government before citizens are caught in the crossfire.

And how are employers who have mandated drug tests for new hires to respond to state legalization? Where will folks be allowed to smoke pot? What level of consumption is too much to drive?

These and many more questions must be answered and very soon. The law is supposed to take effect Dec. 6.

Comments

campbell_rd 1 year, 5 months ago

What a sad day for those of us East of Seattle. Values were trampled upon by minor issues and press that picked a candidate early, never giving fair coverage. I can't wait to see the mess this election will bring down upon us. Careful what you wish and vote for!

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baldeagle 1 year, 5 months ago

It was heard that one area judge makes it a habit to ask defendants in his court on drug charges if they started on marijuana and the vast majority respond in the positive. But proponents continue to contend it is not a gateway drug. Really?

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oneStarman 1 year, 5 months ago

The Biggest Pushers in the Country are Big Pharma. The REAL Gateway Drug is the VICODIN in Mom's Medicine Cabinet. American Doctors Over Prescribe $9 BILLION DOLLARS of these Drugs. These Addictive Narcotics are now common on Middle School Playgrounds where they are sold for Lunch Money. They lead DIRECTLY to the use of street narcotics like Heroin which is a growing problem even in here. In Walla Walla a SHOOTING GALLERY was busted not to long ago, just spitting distance from Sharpstein Elementary School, with 500 used syringes found there.

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namvet60 1 year, 5 months ago

I totally agree - for those of you that voted this state dark blue remember your vote in another 3 1/2 years when the President says he didn't have enough time and the US of A's economy is lower than Greece. What a disappointment!

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mtnthc 1 year, 5 months ago

The west side is my savior,...

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mufbridge 1 year, 5 months ago

I believe we all will be seeing red before this is over

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campbell_rd 1 year, 5 months ago

Legalized marijuana and marriage no longer having any meaning. Great move Washington!

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