Inch by inch…
…ballot by ballot, we're starting to get a pretty clear picture of the election outcome in the upper left. Patty Murray has extended her lead, holding nearly 51% and expected to increase that lead a couple points as King County ballots continue to be counted. My own personal Congressman will continue to be my own personal Congressman, with over 80% against his "prefers independent" opponent.
I'm not happy to see Denny Heck go down in the third. I'm not sure whether he would have ended up being Jay Inslee or Adam Smith once in office, but my bet is on the Inslee side of the progressive divide. Either would have been an improvement over the relatively renegade Democrat Brian Baird. Republican Jaime Herrera is, of course, the worst alternative of all. Third District Democrats need to get to work on preventing Herrera get entrenched in '12.
Inlsee, Smith and Norm Dicks will be returning to D.C. with Jim McDermott, but there's still a question mark in the 2nd District, where Democrat Rick Larsen has taken a 507 vote lead after trailing in election night returns. This one could take a while.
Locally, Democrats swept the legislative seats in the 32nd District, averaging about 60% of the vote. I've always said that if everybody does what they're supposed to do, this is a 60% D district, so apparently everbody did. Congratulations, then, to everybody, and in particular to Senator Maralyn Chase and Representatives Cindy Ryu and Ruth Kagi.
Not every legislative district produced such a definitive result, but despite some too-close-to-call races and our snails pace ballot counts, it looks like Democrats will continue to hold both legislative bodies. Given the challenges bound to be produced by some of the ballot measure outcomes, that's a mixed blessing. They seem fated to spend the next session apportioning misery. Still, though I'm glad there will be Democrats in charge of the painful process.
More on those ballot measures later...