I hadn’t read this New York Times piece on the GOP takeover of the Washington State Senate until today. It’s pretty much a standard recap, but I hadn’t heard Tim Sheldon’s view that Jay Inslee doesn’t represent the state.
“Seattle-centric,” said Senator Tim Sheldon, a two-decade veteran lawmaker and Democrat from a district west of Olympia, summing up the combination of forces that alienated him: safe seats in Seattle, campaign money raised in safe seats but spread around, and a caucus that rewards and reinforces the safe-seat equation with powerful leadership posts. “They’re not representative of the state,” he said.
The fact that Gov.-elect Jay Inslee, a former Democratic congressman, will take office in January having won majorities in only eight liberal counties* while losing in the other 31 only bolstered the case for change, said Mr. Sheldon, who said he voted for Mr. Inslee’s opponent, Rob McKenna, the state’s attorney general and a Republican.
He lost the counties 8 to 31, but we don’t vote by county. We have human beings vote. And the human beings pretty easily supported Inslee. To imply that Jay Inslee is less representative of Washington because he didn’t do as well in Adams or Mason counties is the height arrogance.
Those of us who live in Seattle, in addition to funding the schools in Tim Sheldon’s district, in addition to funding social services in his district, have the right to vote. If Tim Sheldon is out of step with the state as a whole when we vote for governor, well, maybe that’s because the state is more Seattle centric than he is.
* Is Jefferson County really a “liberal county” and for that matter is Snohomish? I mean obviously, the counties that voted for Inslee tended to be more liberal than the counties that voted for McKenna. That’s almost the definition of a Democrat who runs for any office where the geography covers more than one county.