By Charles Lam
Northwest Asian Weekly
The Republican Election Night Headquarters was calm Tuesday night, Nov. 6, as hundreds of Republican supporters crowded the two large projector screens that displayed election results at the Bellevue Hyatt. As more states began to tick into the blue column, Romney supporters began to quietly grumble. When Barack Obama’s re-election was announced by CNN, boos echoed across the room. But despite the national setback, the Washington Republican Party urged for sustained hope as Washington state continues its long ballot counting journey.
“For the last 17 months, you’ve worked incredibly hard. You’ve been patient … and tonight, I’m going to ask you to be patient for just a few days longer,” Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Rob McKenna said. “You know how it goes, we vote by mail, so it takes a couple of days longer, but this year, it will be worth the wait.”
Early election results are showing democratic leads in all state executive races except for the Secretary of State race, where Kim Wyman leads Kathleen Drew by a slim margin of about 20,000 votes.
Early Tuesday night, Wyman took the stage to speak.
“I know the numbers aren’t there right now, but we are headed in the right direction,” she said.
State GOP Chairman Kirby Wilbur was also optimistic. He said the early democratic leads were consistent in the party’s internal polls.
“We expected to be four of five points down at this point,” he said. “But I think we’re going to see some new state-wide office holders in Olympia.”
Mixed with somewhat disappointing results were positive ones for the Republican Party. Initiative 1185, the Tim Eyman measure that would require the Washington State Legislature to win a two-thirds vote before raising any new taxes was projected to pass by a large margin, buoying the spirits of the many who attended wearing clothing supporting the two-thirds measure. Initiative 1240, which would authorize public charter schools, also held a narrow lead.
By the last results report by the Secretary of State’s office at 6:30 p.m., on Nov. 7, several of the democratic leads widened, while others narrowed. In the Governor’s Race, Jay Inslee (D) currently leads Rob McKenna (R) 51.3–48.7%. For Lieutenant Governor, Brad Owen (D) currently leads Bill Finkbeiner (R) 53.8–46.2%.
Democratic Treasurer Candidate Jim McIntire currently leads Sharon Hanek 58.1–41.9%. For Attorney General, Bob Ferguson (D) currently leads Reagan Dunn (R) 52.3–47%.
There are still approximately 755,000 ballots — roughly a quarter of all ballots — left to be counted. The bulk of these votes are from Benton, Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Whatcom, and Yakima counties.
“We are confident … that when the last ballots are counted, the voters will have sent a clear message that it is time to move our state in a new direction,” McKenna said. “Our work is just beginning. In the coming days, the ballots will be tallied and thanks to you, we will be victorious when they are counted. And when we win, we will be ready to bring the real reform the Washington’s people support in voting in this election because, make no mistake about it, real reform is coming to Washington state.” (end)
Charles Lam can be reached at email@example.com.