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Larry Seaquist/Doug Richards Race Mentioned in L.A. Times Story

September 30th, 2010 by Steven Gardner

The race for state legislative House District 26, Position 2, helped provide context for an L.A. Times story that highlights a trend from this election. First, here’s the entire selection dedicated to the Larry Seaquist-Doug Richards race:

In Washington, State Rep. Larry Seaquist hasn’t focused on a foreclosure suffered by his homebuilder opponent.

“I frankly don’t think there’s a lot of mileage to be gained in that,” Seaquist said Thursday.

The story generally focuses on how a candidate’s financial struggles are not necessarily hurting them in the 2010 election. In fact, in some cases it is a sign that the candidate can relate. Again from the story:

In some cases, adversaries point to these problems as examples of poor judgment and highlight perceived ethical lapses. But experts say they would be wise to tread carefully in a time of widespread pain, because voter sympathy may weigh into election day decisions.

First off, homebuilder is not Richards’ day job, but let’s not quibble. In July Chris Henry wrote the story about Richards facing foreclosure on an investment property. The comments on the story are interesting and to some degree do reflect the point of the L.A. Times story.

In the August primary Seaquist and Richards were the only names on the ballot for the race. Seaquist received 51.6 percent of the vote to Richards’ 48.4.

Looking further, I checked the numbers from the 2008 election to see if we could learn anything from it to suggest how things might go in November. Seaquist actually gained three percentage points in 2008 between the primary and the general election, but you could dismiss that as the difference between what was going on in August 2008 compared to November 2008. Democrats gained percentage points in five of the seven legislative races that year. And in the two races they did not the losses were slight.

Speaking more broadly, the general election played out exactly as the primary did when it comes to final results in 2008. Six Democrats and one Republican won. The margins in this year’s primary were much narrower than they were in 2008, so the six wins Democrats saw in the eight races are not as safe in terms of predicting what happens in November. But still, how big a win do you need?

Fred Finn, first-term incumbent Democrat representative in the 35th District received 46.6 percent against two candidates, one a Republican (Linda Simpson) and one who identified himself (Glenn Gaither) as an independent conservative. Democrat Kathy Haigh, representing the other 35th District House seat, had less than a percentage point margin over Republican Dan Griffey. In 2008 Haigh’s total went up more than five percentage points between the primary and the general election and won by 23 percentage points.

If Republicans hope to turn around the 8-1 margin against them in the Legislature, it would appear this would be the year. As mentioned earlier, the margins are closer. On the other hand, there is no solid evidence to wager your house on any change at all from the Kitsap delegation. As much ground as Republicans seem to have made, it may not be enough come November to close the Kitsap legislative gap. A half-point win results in the same thing as a 20-point margin. The winner goes to Olympia.

Feel free to weigh in on the poll on the right.

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11 Responses to “Larry Seaquist/Doug Richards Race Mentioned in L.A. Times Story”

  1. Colleen Smidt Says:

    In the 35th for Position 2, Linda Simpson received over 40% of the vote overall which was an excellent showing for a complete unknown. Glen has thrown his support behind Linda and she has real appeal to his supporters, so if she picks up at least 2/3 of those votes she is in an excellent position to overtake Fred Finn. It is even more amazing when you factor in Linda has run her entire campaign on $4000 (she is longer accepting contributions) and the last total I had from Fred’s campaign was somewhere in the $68,000 dollar range. I have been with Linda though the entire decision making process and the campaign. She will not take, waste or spend money she does not need. That means now during the campaign and later when she is in office battling legislation that wants to take hard earned money from taxpayers that it really does not need or will only waste.

    I wholeheartedly support Doug Richard is his race. The fact that he has faced financial challenges and appears to have learned from his mistakes makes him relatable to many voters. Larry just does not understand that he delivered a very large black eye to this state and his district voters with the shameful way he conducted himself during the NASCAR issue. It was not that he was against it, but the manner in which he went about showing his unprofessional, petty, discriminating displeasure for the sport, its people and the culture. And don’t get me started on his sponsored Muted Swan legislation….good grief.

    Dan Griffey is his own worst enemy right now and I see Kathy Haigh gaining traction. I support much of what Kathy has done with education. Others who think that simply showing up at forums hosted by groups that are involved in very specific issues and not having done any of your homework on those issues is ok, only makes you look really, really bad. Especially when you can only throw out generalized party statements and no specifics. Not knowing that what you are suggesting and proposing by way of solutions has already been accomplished by the legislature which included your opponent in the past couple of years is very telling. HB 2261 anyone?

    The point missed, is the fact that it is becoming less about the party number and more about who can satisfy the people when it comes to playing in the sandbox together effectively to move good or reforming legislation forward. A mixed group of republicans and democrats such as Kilmer, Angel, Richards, Simpson, Haigh, Rolfes and Sheldon could be very effective on key issues such as education. I have personally talked to or listened to responses at multiple forums from all of these individuals and they do have the common ground good in mind when it comes to serving this State and their constituents on several critical hot button issues.

  2. micksheldon Says:

    Holy analytical political comments.
    Both above comments were a quite informative and articulate .
    No one got slammed even .

  3. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Mick, it’s still early yet. Time will tell.

  4. Brad Nelson Says:

    There was a recent survey published by the State of Washington (using their figures) that said that 1/3 of the students in Washington State do not graduate and that 1/3 graduate with less than the skills required. I don’t know what “successes” Kathy Haigh has had regarding education, but I’d hate to run into one of her failures.

    The process we have right now is where Democrats tell us that all we need do to fulfill their dream of a perfect education for everyone is to throw more money at the problem. This clearly isn’t working. We need a new approach, one that is values- and common-sense-based, not money- or union-based.

    As I’ve gotten to know Dan Griffey personally, I’m impressed by his wisdom and especially with his experience of home schooling. A home schooler understands precisely where and why our public education system is failing. Home schoolers do on a dime what the public education system can’t do for ten dollars. There is a deep, systemic problem here, and Kathy Haigh is a part of that problem.

    They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Voting in this same crop of Democrats to “fix” education would be insane by any definition of the word.

  5. Pat Tarzwell Says:

    Brad, I would have to agree with your assessment. I would add one other thing I read from John Stosel, nation wide, (so I assume this would hold for WA.),the rate of growth of public school employee positions has grown 9 times faster than the student enrolement. Now this sounds great for public school employees, but my concern is for the students, and if the survey you site is correct, I would have to say 2/3 faliure is not acceptible. Regardless of the schools new math.

    Colleen says above “Not knowing that what you are suggesting and proposing by way of solutions has already been accomplished by the legislature which included your opponent in the past couple of years is very telling. HB 2261 anyone?” She,apparently, has not been listening to Dan or Kathy at these forums. I read this bill (67 pages of tripe),and all I see is, hire more, throw more money at this problem, spend, spend, spend, yeah, that’s going to work.

  6. Colleen Smidt Says:

    Oh. I have been listening more than you know. I was listening at certain group meetings back when Dan was still considering a run against Tim Sheldon before he switched to running against Haigh. I remember all the answers or lack thereof to the questions I had about education to Dan even then. I remember when speaking about bi-partisanship and my support of incumbent individuals from the Democratic Party and some of the issues I happened to agree with them on, the dismissive intolerance I received from certain Republicans for that. And I also very distinctly remember being told that because I agreed with or supported some Democrats on certain issues that I needed to get over my hatred of Republicans. Do you remember who said that to me Pat? I do.

    Evidently, as a conservative voter, I am just not allowed to have or to voice a differing opinion (from that of the Republican Party) in my support of individual candidates that goes beyond the issues to really look at their ability to be independent thinkers that would be able to break away from what their party wants when they need to best represent all of the constituents in their districts and the State of Washington as a whole.

    In regards to HB2261. I find you analysis very interesting considering that (14) Republicans voted in favor of the Bill including Jan Angel who I wholeheartedly support. By the same token Derrick Kilmer and local Democrat who also represents me and who I support voted against it. Derrick surprised me with this one, but I had the opportunity to discuss it in length with him when he showed up at my home one day while doorbelling. I may not agree with his final vote, but I very much appreciated the fact that he had clearly thought his decision through, broke from the majority of his party to vote no based on his independent position and could then turn around and explain and discuss it with me in-depth without a bunch of handfed generalized, partisan talking points. That is what I am looking for in an elected official that represents me.

    A negative, intolerent approach to differing ideas and opinions is why the Republican Party is currently in decline and why a massive amount of Conservative voters have sought out Tea Party and 9-12 Group alternatives with their participation and by way of the candidates they support.

  7. Registered Voter Says:

    Well done, Colleen…particularly regarding Kilmer and the self-destructive belief that crossing party lines (to vote for an effective, balanced and thoughtful leader) is an example of Republican hatred.

  8. Colleen Smidt Says:

    RV, Thank you. Very much appreciated.

  9. Brutally Honest Says:

    Voting for the “R” may not necessarily be in the best interest of Conservatives in some races. Voters (parties aside) should be educating themselves, paying close attention to issues and consistency, reading between the lines, talking to both the incumbent and opposing candidate and having an open mind.

    Do you really think that the “R” or “D” behind the name or the sales bio on the voter pamphlets are going to tell you what you really need to know in order to make an educated decision on people who people who will be making decisions that effect you and your family later?

    All spring and summer voters have had several opportunities to speak with the Incumbents and Candidates by going to forums, emailing them, calling them and attending events where they have spoken or held Q & A. These individuals are not untouchable or unreachable so long as the effort is put out on your end.

    Decisions based solely on party or voting only incumbents or NO incumbents are much of the reason our country is in the crisis it’s in. It is up to THE PEOPLE to elect the government that will make important decisions for them. If the people don’t know who or what they are voting into office they open themselves up to a whole list of potentially bad consequences. In some races, the best choice will be clear. In others, you will ultimately be voting for the lesser of two evils, again.

    “Vote Them Out” has been a popular slogan this year. It is one that I agreed with until I truly understood that that is simply not enough but it is what the Republican Party leadership is pushing behind the scenes. Voting them all out will not fix this and could easily make the problem worse.

    My advice, forget the parties. You don’t have to call yourself a Republican in order to vote Republican or Democrat to vote Democrat. There is no rule that it has to be one or the other. Vote for who would do the best job. Vote by your own principles and standards. If you are demonized by somebody (or a party) for your having your own opinion it is probably because they feel threatened and that is not your problem, it’s theirs.

  10. Brutally Honest Says:

    My opinions on the candidates are just that, MY opinions. You may or may not agree with me and that’s fine. I just hope that whether you agree or not you have good reasons for the conclusions you have come to on your own.

    I think Larry Seaquist is a man of good intention but is misguided. He also tends to take cheap personal shots at those who don’t agree with him (NASCAR, Doug Richards). Doug Richards hasn’t had a life without it’s struggles but who has?? He kept plugging along on the issues at hand without going on the defensive when Seaquist attacked, showing that he is above pettiness. Doug listens to people and works to educate himself in order to do the best job he can. He is also very considerate when you question where he stands on an issue and why.

  11. Brutally Honest Says:

    Since the Griffey vs Haigh race was mentioned I’ll chime in. I did support Dan Griffey when he first started running but have had to change my mind. I think that he started out running for the right reasons but that’s not always enough. Dan has attended many events with enthusiasm but he has shown no improvement and has no real answers to our problems. I think that the party could and would control him, use him, abuse him and spit him out. He is a good person but I don’t believe he is ready for office at this time. Just because he has tasted a few of the problems first hand does not mean he is capable of fixing them. He hasn’t brought anything new to the table and does not seem to be able to handle any sort of challenge from what I have seen. While I don’t expect all the Candidates to be fully educated on every issue, I do expect them to continue educating themselves and try to come up with at least a few specific ideas on how things could be fixed. I disagree with Kathy Haigh on some issues but not all. Her ideas on education are good and she can be talked to. She does not throw you off just because her own views are different, she will listen. Haigh is the better choice in this race, in my opinion.

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