The poll has closed, and there were no surprises.
I listed all 12 state House incumbents from districts touching Seattle, Democrats all, and asked which was most deserving of a serious challenger. Of course Speaker Frank Chopp came out way ahead with 28% of the vote (though being deserving of a challenge and being even the teeniest-tiniest bit vulnerable to one are two different things).
But of more interest was the trio of Sharon Tomiko Santos, Mary Lou Dickerson and Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, who finished well ahead of the rest of the pack in a near dead heat of 13% apiece. These are the three names I hear come up most often when the topic is raised amongst Seattle’s politiscenti, and these were the three names you voted for most. Again, no surprise there.
That said, a glance at the results does show an interesting pattern. Yeah, sure, after Chopp, the four highest vote-getters are women, with Rep. Eileen Cody scoring a distant fifth place behind our winning trio, but I don’t think gender is the major factor it at first appears. Rather, the five names at the top of the list also happen to be the Seattle incumbents who have served the longest in the House, accumulating an impressive 68 years of service between them, compared to only 27 years total for the other seven representatives.
Votes Pct. Years Frank Chopp 162 28% 15 Sharon Tomiko Santos 79 13% 11 Mary Lou Dickerson 75 13% 15 Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney 74 13% 12 Eileen Cody 44 8% 15 Jamie Pedersen 42 7% 3 Reuven Carlyle 39 7% 1 Scott White 19 3% 1 Eric Pettigrew 17 3% 7 Bob Hasegawa 14 2% 5 Zack Hudgins 11 2% 7 Sharon Nelson 10 2% 3
Perhaps Santos, Dickerson and Kenney’s position near the top of the list really is due to job performance. Or perhaps it merely reflects their years of incumbency, and a sense that Seattle Dems are growing impatient with legislators who after years of service have failed to deliver the progressive reforms we want and need.
But I’m not sure it matters.
Eliminating Chopp as an outlier, we’ll pit Santos, Dickerson and Kenney against each other in a general election of sorts later this week, to determine who is the best target for a serious challenge. But coming up first, we’ll do the same for the four Seattle state senators up for reelection in 2010.
Apparently, the poll didn’t close quite when I thought it closed, and the numbers have changed a touch since I wrote this post, but not enough to change the general results.