Intraparty challenge

It’s been pointed out that I’ve been imprecise in my use of the term “primary challenge.”

Of course, that’s old language, that doesn’t really fit Washington’s ridiculous top-two primary reality, especially not in districts like those here in Seattle, where one party or the other is impossibly uncompetitive.  Challenge a Seattle incumbent in the August primary and it’s really just an exhibition game, that at most suggests a likely outcome for the November general election.

So I guess what we’re really talking about here is an intraparty challenge, in which a Democratic incumbent is challenged by a fellow Democrat. Same idea, different words.

Speaking of which, the results of the House intraparty challenge elimination round poll have so far been unsurprising.  Of course, the overwhelming winner (loser?) thus far is Frank Chopp, though as speaker, he’s not exactly a ripe target for a serious challenge. But the next three highest vote getters are also the three names I’ve heard mentioned most often as being in need of an early retirement.

We’ll see if that holds up once all the votes are tallied.


  1. 1

    Jeff spews:

    Why the hate on Mary Lou Dickerson in the poll? She has the third most votes, after Chopp and Tomiko-Santos.

    Mary Lou almost single-handedly saved the GAU program (state benefit for the disabled) this year, after the governor and many in the legislature wanted to decimate it. She said she would commit suicide in her office before she would let GAU be scrapped, and she won.

    Also, while most of the legislature was content with an all-cuts budget, Mary Lou and Eric Pettigrew sponsored a temporary sales tax increase to fund health care. It included rebates for low-income people so it wouldn’t be too regressive.

    My biggest fear this year was cuts to social services which would pull the rug out from our most vulnerable citizens. Mary Lou fought tooth and nail to minimize this impact.

    So I don’t get the hate in the poll. Can someone tell me why Mary Lou should be primaried? Just because someone has been in Olympia for awhile doesn’t mean they’re not bold or progressive.

  2. 2

    Lynn spews:

    My impression of Mary Lou has improved with time as I’ve seen her fierce concern for social services and her ability to make things happen in this realm.

    She does not present as a leader in the same way that our other two excellent 36th legislators – Jeannie Kohl-Welles and Reuven Carlyle do.

    I think she’s somewhat like tofu or pears in cooking – she takes on the flavor of the other ingredients – or in this case, legislators. So, I see no reason to primary her.

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It’s very simple. We can’t sustain public services by continually raising regressive taxes on those least able to pay. That doesn’t work anymore, and from now on, nothing will be possible in this state without tax reform. Tax reform is the necessary prequisite to everything else that liberals and progressives believe is necessary or desireable. But despite having Democratic control of the governor’s mansion for 24 consecutive years and, now, Democratic supermajorities in both houses of the Legislature, we can’t get tax reform. The Democrats standing in the way of tax reform have to go. They have to get out of the way. We have to elect Democrats who support tax reform. We need a new Democratic governor, we need new Democratic legislators, because the current crop of Democrats aren’t getting the job done, and never will if they stay in office. It’s time for new blood. If we have to do a clean sweep and boot them all out, then let’s do it.

  4. 4

    Libertarian Guy spews:

    So what do you suggest Rabbit and income tax so that we can have the excellent government California has? The old three legged stool discussion again?

    Any how we should do away with the primary and go to Instant Runoff Voting. Save those tax dollars!

  5. 5

    seabos84 spews:

    @3. right on. period. I’m sick of listening to my 36th district reps whine and snivel how liars and thieves can’t be beat.

    HOW is it possible that
    after 30 years of giving the too powerful a BIGGER cut of the pie than they’ve already stolen,
    in the fucking assine belief that they’d invest that bigger cut to grow the pie faster,
    instead of blowing their bigger piece on baubles and bubbles,

    our ‘leaders’ can only come up with raygun-esque justifications for NOT getting back those stolen pieces of the pie?

    @4 IRV sounds great to me.
    it surely has problems – I’m 49, I do NOT give a fuck what problems it creates. ANY changes would be fine with me.

    today’s system could be replaced with a multi seat dunk tank with enough seats to hold ALL of an office’s candidates. Pick 7 year olds at random to throw the baseballs at the dunk tank target, and whoever doesn’t get dunked wins.

    Anyone thinks my system would be worse than what we have? well, go break your ass for to help dwight pelz re-elect more sell outs like murray, cantwell, and gregroire.