Washington Legislative candidates still missing for two key districts

So far, no Republican has stepped forward for one race. And Democrats lack a challenger to Sen. Joe Fain.
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Sen. Rodney Tom

So far, no Republican has stepped forward for one race. And Democrats lack a challenger to Sen. Joe Fain.

The suspense ain't Hitchockian. But little in Olympia politics really is.

Who will the Republicans send against Rep Cyrus Habib, D-Kirkland, in the race for Rodney Tom's Senate seat? Will he or she surface Friday morning? Friday afternoon? At 4:59 p.m.just before the filing deadline arrives at 5 p.m.?

Ditto with whatever Democrat pops up to challenge incumbent Sen. Joe Fain, R- Auburn, in the 47th District.

We wait with baited breath, while wondering what the heck does "baited breath" actually mean.

The 48th District's Tom Is one of two Democrats who joined the Senate Republicans in late 2012 to put together what eventually became the 24-Republican-two-Democrat Majority Coalition Caucus that controls the Senate with 23 minority Democrats opposing it. With the minority Democrats needing to gain two seats to take over the Senate, the GOP cannot afford to forfeit Tom's seat to them. And ditto on Fain's seat. This is also considered a swing district with a Democrat forfeit hurting that party.

The Washington House races have lower profiles because the Republicans would need a huge run of luck to overcome their 55-43 deficit in the lower chamber. The filing deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. 

Here is a rundown of the more interesting of Thursday's Congressional and Washington Senate filings.

  • 42nd District, more or less Whatcom County: Democrat Seth Fleetwood of Bellingham filed Thursday against incumbent Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale. Democrats view this as a potential swing district in their quest to gain control of the Senate.
  • 37th District, southern Seattle: Sheley Secrest of Seattle filed Thursday, setting up at least a four-way Democratic race with John Stafford, Pramila Jayapal and Claude Burfect. The crowd is being drawn by the decision of Sen. Adam Kline not to seek re-election in the solidly Democratic district.
  • 32nd District, northern Seattle and Shoreline: Shoreline deputy mayor Chris Eggen filed Thursday against very liberal incumbent Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline. This sets up a Democrats-versus-Democrat race.
  • 31st District, northeastern Pierce County, southeastern King County: Incumbent Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, filed Thursday. Rep Cathy Dahlquist, R-Enumclaw, and Democrat Lane Walthers have already filed. This is a serious Republican-originated attempt to unseat the sometimes-controversial Roach.
  • 1st Congressional District: Republican Pedro Celis of Redmond — viewed as the leading Republican challenger to incumbent Democrat Suzan DelBene — officially filed Thursday, along with independent Richard Todd of Snoqualmie. DelBene, Republican Edwin Moats of Arlington and perennial candidate Mike the Mover have already filed. The party establishments are expecting a DelBene-Celis November ballot.
  • 4th Congressional District: The number of people wanting to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings is up to 10. Tony Sandoval, a Democrat from Yakima, and independent Richard Wright of Kennewick filed Thursday. They join seven Republicans and one other Democrat who have already filed.
  • 6th Congressional District: Democrat Don Rivers of Seattle filed Thursday against incumbent U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, turning this into a Democrat-versus-Democrat race, although Smith is expected to have little trouble. No Republican challenger has surfaced.

For exclusive coverage of the state government, check out Crosscut's Under the Dome page.


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About the Authors & Contributors

John Stang

John Stang

John Stang is a freelance writer who often covers state government and the environment. He can be reached on email at johnstang_8@hotmail.com and on Twitter at @johnstang_8