Musical Chairs

Speaking of 2012, if you thought this year’s election was intriguing, just wait for the fun we have in store, when a depleted political bench vies for a smorgasbord of tantalizing open seats over the next few years.

Let’s start at the top, where every indication is that Gov. Chris Gregoire will most definitely not run for a third term, setting up the long anticipated showdown between Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee and Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna. Other incumbents considering abandoning their offices for a shot at the governor’s mansion include Democratic state Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, and nominally Democratic State Auditor Brian Sonntag, but Inslee and McKenna are just about sure things.

That of course leaves their seats open, which at this point has the AG’s race looking like a runoff between two King County Council members, Democrat Bob Ferguson and Republican Reagan Dunn, the winner of which leaves his seat open for the taking. As for Inslee’s 1st CD seat, depending on its boundaries after redistricting, that might be an attractive target for Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, and any number of legislative and council incumbents of both parties.

And speaking of congressional seats, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect at least one or two more to come open in 2012. No doubt 74-year-old Rep. Jim McDermott (WA-07) was rejuvenated by a stint in the majority these past four years, but nobody would be surprised to hear him announce his retirement… an announcement that itself could open up more than a few legislative seats amongst the horde of Congressional wannabes. Meanwhile, Rep. Dave Reichert very well may find his Auburn home outside the borders of a redrawn 8th CD, perhaps pulling Dunn from an AG run, and/or perhaps setting off further musical chairs down ticket. And don’t forget the newly created WA-10.

So in 2012 alone we could see competitive races for open seats for Governor, Attorney General, State Auditor, WA-01, WA-07, WA-08 and WA-10, not to mention a half dozen or so legislative seats opening up due to incumbents looking to advance. And this in turn will likely open up some council and/or executive seats for 2013. Throw US Sen. Maria Cantwell and President Barack Obama into the 2012 mix, and it’s gonna be a heck of a few years.


  1. 1

    sarge spews:

    I’ve heard Dow Constantine’s name mentioned a few times as a possible gubernatorial candidate as well.

    I think Inslee, a former WA-04 Congressman, would do much better than Constantine east of the Cascades.

  2. 2

    sarge spews:

    I’ve heard Dow Constantine’s name mentioned a few times as a possible gubernatorial candidate as well.

    I think Inslee, a former WA-04 Congressman, would do much better than Constantine east of the Cascades.

  3. 5

    Tyler spews:

    Now Democrats just need to settle on good messaging and not allow Republicans to take the high ground on issues like Social Security, Medicare, and generally not being ass-hats.

  4. 6

    Perfect Voter spews:

    Redistricting is a strictly partisan affair, divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans. Independents, good-government types, etc., all stand outside and look in.

    No way the GOP redistricters will abandon Dave Reichert; he will be taken care of, and even if his home ends up outside his district boundaries, that doesn’t matter for congressional candidates — they only have to be a resident of the state in which they are running.

  5. 7

    ratcityreprobate spews:

    Agree that Gregoire won’t run, but why is she holding fund raisers?
    Will Sontag come out of the closet and run as a Republican? Perhaps backed by Tea Party against Cantwell or for governor.
    Esser lends some discipline to the GOP, if he is kicked out of chairmanship the Republican scramble will be entertaining.

  6. 8

    Zotz sez: Klynical thinks Sarah Palin's smegma is yummy cream filling... spews:

    This post pretty much nails the landscape and sets the table — well done.

    Finding someone better to run against Sir(!?) Brad for Lt. Gov would be worth looking into… the guys in the leg who have to deal with his calls could use some help right now — don’t envy them given they have 2/3rds of their hands tied behind their backs.

  7. 9

    Zotz sez: Klynical thinks Sarah Palin's smegma is yummy cream filling... spews:

    Something educational on the merits of challenging 1053 would be welcome about now, Goldy.

  8. 10

    Doug spews:

    Today’s Olympian says that Brian Baird is moving to Edmonds, and is hinting that he may seek election to Congress there, in what would be a more comfortably Democratic district.

  9. 12

    Zotz sez: Klynical thinks Sarah Palin's smegma is yummy cream filling... spews:

    @11: That’s a great idea.

    I’m not sure you could overcome the outsider hurdle anywhere but King. So maybe replace McDermott (who’s got to be getting tired). I don’t know 7th politics well enough to know whose ox is gored if that happens. And then there’s Seattle “nice” to overcome. His straight talk is so refreshing and jarring (in a good way — but not “nice”). I’ll miss him but I bet he isn’t going fade into the woodwork.

    But still, I’d be proud to welcome Grayson as a neighbor and a Rep. Do you know of anything afoot?

  10. 13


    If I’m not mistaken, whichever redrawn Congressional District ends up containing Reichert’s address will be called WA-08. Our redistricting rules assure that two incumbents are never placed in the same district; that rule holds at both the Congressional and state legislative levels.

    The obvious exception, of course, would be if we ever end up losing a Congressional District, which has not yet happened to the state of Washington. The obvious corollary is that sometimes WA districts take on odd shapes so as to include the home of an incumbent.

  11. 14

    jesus spews:

    mckenna of 08 would be formidable. unfortunately, that brand of R was rare then, and is flat dead now…he has already moved hard right with his challenge to the HCA (over governor’s objection). I worked with Inslee. He is not particularly smart, and not particularly honest. Called everybody “guy.” “Hey…guy….how’s it goin’?” There has to be a better candidate.

  12. 15

    Perfect Voter spews:

    N @13, no there is no “rule” that redistricting never puts two incumbents into the same district. It happened in 1991 when two Democrats were put into the 37th Leg. District.

    You could say, however, that it’s an unwritten rule to avoid doing that except where caucus leaders want to take out an unpopular member, or population shifts make it unavoidable.

  13. 16

    sarge spews:

    @14) Inslee is very smart. He has a Clintonesque ability to talk in depth about almost anything.

    You should read his book. He wrote it himself.

  14. 17

    Bill spews:

    Sarge @ 1,

    No one will do well in E WA. Our job over there is to turn out our 40% of the vote so that our 70% in Seattle cancels them out.

    40/60 in the 4th plus 40/60 in the 5th plus 70/30 in the 7th makes it a tie ballgame, assuming turnout is equal (and it’s usually a little bit higher in the 7th).

    And Aaron Reardon would likely be as bad as Baird. I’d like to think that neither of them could win a primary in the 1st.

  15. 18

    seabos84 spews:

    so … what were the lessons of 2010?

    It looks like the lesson for 0-Zero and his merry band of right wing $ell out$ is that “I welcome their hatred” won’t allow enough selling out to the fascists.

    A ‘resurgance’ of the diaper shitting, cowering, pathetic DLC style Democrat? that has been working GREAT since 1988, hasn’t it?

    (pst! anyone notice that, despite Patty Pathetic’s dumping on ACORN, and kissing Pharma’s ass on drug reimportation, and kissing Wall Street’s ass on Bernake, the reich wing STILL attacked Patty Pathetic for wrecking the budget and running up the deficit and out sourcing jobs … ya know, all the accomplishments of the fascists over the last 30 years?
    I suppose most analytical tools don’t draw the connection between kissing right wing ass AND, being pathetic! )

    It will be interesting in 2012 …

    Will CantDoShit fillibuster the rich pig tax cuts that 0-Zer0 is folding on? Will CantDoShit fillibuster the Cat Food Commission?

    Will Dwight be focused on “we gotta save _________ cuz … otherwise … ummmm”


  16. 20

    Michael spews:



    Lisa Brown’s spent too much time sucking Avista’s cock to be governor. Any support she would have gotten before trying to gut the clean energy act and sicking the state patrol on the unions will now flow to Inslee.

  17. 21

    Curt spews:

    Aaron lives in North Everett not more than a mile or two from Rick Larsen. He would have to move to where ever the 1st is, even though there is no requirement for congressman to live in his district. It just looks better.

  18. 22

    Nindid spews:

    Goldy – Quick question. Why do you think Dunn will go for AG and not simply replace Reichert in the 8th?

  19. 23

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    One thing you’re overlooking, Goldy, is that 2012 may also be a year that produces a slew of unknowns hoping to capitalize on voter backlash against career politicians.

  20. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Me, I want professional politicians in those offices, because I want people who know how to be a politician representing me. Some hairdresser or truck driver or plumber who has strong opinions but doesn’t know a damn thing about budgets, programs, or policy? Nah, forget it! You wouldn’t hire cocktail waitress to fix your car, would you? Although I had a plumber friend who ran for a suburban city council seat and knocked off a 28-year incumbent by doorbelling almost every house in the city. He served four years, apparently did a creditable job, and chose not to run for re-election. He still had to make a living and it took too much of his time and energy.

  21. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    It cost him two hundred bucks in campaign expenses — and a new pair of shoes — to win his four-year term on the city council. His opponent spent thousands … and lost.

  22. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 Bingo. Propaganda is the only thing Republicans are good at. They can’t govern worth shit.

  23. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @6 Actually, Washington has a little different system for redistricting. It’s done by a commission appointed by the Legislature, not by the legislators. That, in theory, makes it less partisan. But as far as partisans taking care of Reichert goes, Washington’s redistricting will be done under a Democratic controlled legislature, so I don’t see how Hairspray Dave can expect to get any redistricting favors. A nonpartisan commission would be far friendlier to him than the Legislature we’re going to have next year.

  24. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @17 Washington will gain a seat from this census, and it will be in western Washington, diluting eastern Washington’s limited influence in Congress (two of nine seats, soon to be two of ten seats) even more.

  25. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    And why should eastern Washington have any influence? They have only a fifth of the state’s population.

  26. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    They have only a fifth of the state’s population, and a third of those are Democrats, so eastern Washington Republicans are only 13% of the state.

  27. 32


    Mayan calendar will solve all of this.

    The Dino disaster has made it harder for different Republicans from getting their names out there.
    Thanks Dino.

  28. 33

    Richard Pope spews:

    Bill @ 17

    A Democrat needs at least 80/20 in the 7th to win statewide. Carry the 7th by only 70/30, and the Republican will win.

  29. 34

    Richard Pope spews:

    Zeig Hans is up to a 28 vote lead again in the 25th LD, with 175 ballots supposedly left to count in Pierce County. I suspect most of the battle now is with signature rehabilitation.

    And Steve Litzow is still at a 299 vote lead in the 41st LD, which may prove insurmountable. (How are the signature rehabilitation efforts going in King County?) The 41st LD is almost close enough for a machine recount in any event.

    Kelli Linville is behind by only 177 votes in the 42nd LD. Machine recount territory obviously, and almost to the hand recount stage.

  30. 35

    proud leftist spews:

    Brian Baird can go fuck himself. His political career is over. As a psychologist, he has little insight into his own failings and shortcomings. Hope Edmonds treats you well, Baird, you sure as hell are not returning to DC.

  31. 38

    Zotz sez: Klynical thinks Sarah Palin's smegma is yummy cream filling... spews:

    @35: I’m right there with you. If he tries it, I’m actively working to defeat him.

  32. 39

    No Political dbag but spews:

    Why in the world would anyone, except those entrenched in party dogma, support any of the above?

    How about a fresh face….or at least someone that isn’t a career political hack?

    …just sayin….

  33. 40

    Michael spews:

    @35, 37

    He’s probably just trying to get out of Vantucky. People read too much into things. Unless it’s about politicos sucking the cocks of the rich and powerful 24/7/365, that stuff’s all true.

  34. 41

    Mary Plante spews:

    I think Reichert will retire before McDermott. John Ladenburg, former County Executive and former Prosecutor in Pierce County, has also been rumored to be considering a second run for AG.

    I suspect Baird will opt to move into Washington’s new Congressional District and run from there. Baird is independent and opinionated but I wouldn’t call him a “blue dog”.

  35. 42

    Michael spews:


    Hopefully, L-Burg will stay retired and golfing. He did good work for Tacoma and Pierce County, but it’s time for a new generation to take the reins.

  36. 44

    Richard Pope spews:

    @ 40

    Ladenburg isn’t a very strong AG candidate. McKenna beat him by 19 points in 2008, when Obama carried the state by 17 points. Also, Ladenburg lost Pierce County by 16 points, even though he had served 8 years there as county executive, and a zillion years previously as county prosecutor.

    Ferguson, on the other hand, would be a dynamic candidate and might actually win a race for an open seat.

  37. 45

    worf spews:

    Inslee may be the most responsive politician in America. I have called his offices on important issues, and have always been asked for contact info, even though I have begun each conversation by noting that I am in the 7th. When I have given contact info, there has always been follow up. This is about 300% more respect than I have ever received from McDermott’s staff, who almost uniformally disinterested. I can’t imagine anyone who I would enthusiastically support for Governor other than Inslee.

  38. 46

    proud leftist spews:

    Jay’s my Congressperson, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Whomever above said he’s not smart, doesn’t know the guy. I’ve had many conversations with him on the ferry and in other venues. He is far more engaged in policy than is the average politician. He digs policy and gives a shit about this country, not just his political future. A few years ago, I walked up to him on the ferry with my son, then 15 or so. Naturally, my kid is a bit interested in politics. There was no brush off, no “how are you doing, would you like my autograph?” that you usually get from Congress critters. Jay engaged my son in conversation and would have done so the whole ride. And, my dad in northern Idaho says Inslee on C-Span is one of his favorites. (He’s retired, doesn’t have much else to do.) If Jay runs, I’m there.

  39. 48

    Brenda Helverson spews:

    Jay Inslee is my Congressman. I have yet to see him be wrong on any issue that I cared about. If voting right = dumb, then give me more dumb.

  40. 50

    manoftruth spews:

    in all seriousnes, goldstein. do you really think that this country or this world is going to survive intact by 2012? at the very least we’ll have a greece like collapse, except in our case there isn’t an economic savioyr available. at worst, a hyperinflationary period and/or complete collapse. the fed just puored 900 billion into the economy. i reallky want to believe they didn’t to it to purposely destroy the dollar, but i can’t. george soros has about 5 billion (acknowledged), in gold. guess what happens when currencies are worthless? didnt he already collapse some european currency. it’s gonna suck real bad.

  41. 51

    Mr. Cynical spews:


    Here is one of the top ranked, senior Democrats fighting and making crazed emotional speeches dragging out the obvious. GUILTY!
    Maxine is next.
    How will this help the Democrats cause in 2012?
    I know, you will try to spin it that it was Democrats who held him accountable.
    Why did the Dems wait until after the election??

    We are in deep trouble with a KLOWN for a President that has made matters worse with his lack of understanding, his actions & policies and his inability to not STFU.
    2012 will come soon.
    The economy is now held together by Elmers Glue. We cannot spend or even inflate our way out of $125 TRILLION of National Debt/Unfunded Liabilities…and you KLOWNS cannot even see the depth and breadth of the problem.
    Pensions, SS and Medicare are the biggest issues.
    Pensions are tied to inflation.
    So are many other costs.
    It’s not complicated.
    Crushing the valuation of the dollar will destroy our economy and make us a 2nd world country. We need LEADERS who can stand up and explain the SS dilemma. Benefits must be cut now…or we are passing the problem to our kids & grandkids. Same with Medicare & Pensions.
    There is no other option.
    Saying we will raise the retirement age in 2075 to 69????????? WTF! What a joke. We’ll all be dead. It’s an offensive response to a severe crisis.

  42. 52

    John425 spews:

    We have learned from the Patty Murray race that smear tactics work. Can’t wait to get at Maria Cantwell’s record of playing with married men.

  43. 53

    manoftruth spews:

    We are in deep trouble with a KLOWN for a President that has made matters worse with his lack of understanding,

    cynical, i always agree with you, but, the above shows me you misunderstand, as do most americans, what is happening here. obama does not have a lack of understanding. on the contrary, everything he did was part of a well thought out plan to socialize most of our economy and burden the middle class so that they end up dependant on the government or too overwhelmed to be part of the process. his only “mistake” was in not hiding their true intentions better from the nov 2nd voters.

  44. 54

    Charlie Rangel spews:

    I would approve a new law that any politican, regardless of party, that is found to be crooked, faces the noose.

    The sooner we start hanging crooked politicians, the sooner we will have an honsest government.

    We are a nation of spineless pussies though. We refuse to get tough with murderers, child molestors, and rapists….so I doubt we will get tough with crooked politicians any time soon.

    Death sentance for all of the above crimes. ’nuff said.

  45. 55

    Steve spews:


    When we see you give a shit about Republicans, pedophilia, prostitutes and diapers, then we just might give a flying fuck about what you think of Rangel. Until then, you can go fuck a goat.

  46. 56

    Zotz sez: Klynical thinks Sarah Palin's smegma is yummy cream filling... spews:

    @54: It’s also important to point out that Rangel’s own guys (the Ds) held him accountable — unlike the Rs.


  47. 58

    michael spews:

    So, I’m trying to quit coffee and I’m seeing the results of my recent step-down in caffeine in my typing. First I stick my comment in the wrong thread, then I get the comma in the wrong place.

  48. 59

    Zotz sez: Klynical's favorite goat got pediculosis after Sarah Palin served up the "seafood platter"... spews:

    WARNING: not for the weak of heart: fucking a goat requires a strong will, sense of justice, and a raging alcohol problem. A step by step guide:

    Step 2: Shave the goat

    This step is crucial. When you’re balls deep in a goat’s ass, about to orgasm, and you move to gingerly kiss the nape of its neck, you won’t want to get a mouth full of shit covered got hair now would you?

  49. 60

    Zotz sez: Klynical's favorite goat got pediculosis after Sarah Palin served up the "seafood platter"... spews:

    @56: Norm is going to be around for a while yet as far as I can see.

    If Norm decides to retire, then Josh Brown (I hope). He was just re-elected as Kitsap Commissioner and it would be a freebie (no risk) and he’s very popular.

    We could get Tim Sheldon which would definitely suck.

    Then there’s redistricting to consider before we start figuring out replacements. Norm lives in the heart of the 6th so residency isn’t an issue. If the line shifts North (from Tacoma) then we’re fine. If it shifts East then it’s anybody’s guess and I submit a less D safe district. Where the Shipyard and Bremerton (part of the 1st?) ends up matters too.

  50. 61


    John425 can’t face reality@52:

    We have learned from the Patty Murray race that smear tactics work.

    Only in that they made the race about 10 points closer than it should have been.

    All those smears spewing from Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, the US Chamber of Commerce, and Dino himself — though his campaign was really a minor player in the race — did take in some gullible Washingtonians (look in the mirror, John425). Enough of us saw through their outright lies, however, that Patty was able to win again.

  51. 62

    michael spews:


    I’m sick of Dicks. It’s time for some new folks. Josh Brown, maybe Derek Kilmer, but Kilmer’s just too nice of a guy for DC. If Tacoma stays part of the 6th maybe Julie Anderson.

    I’m betting we see more purely urban districts out of the next redistricting.

  52. 63

    manoftruth spews:

    When we see you give a shit about Republicans, pedophilia, prostitutes and diapers, then we just might give a flying fuck about what you think of Rangel. Until then, you can go fuck a goat.

    steve, can i stop laughing now? prostitues? how about elliot spitzer, a jews jew, violating the mann act, among others, and only avoiding jail time because he’s jewish?
    how about barney frank, another jews jew, dating a prostitute and letting him use his condo for pimpiing? dont make me laugh mr yentil.

  53. 64

    Perfect Voter spews:

    Roger @27, the fact that the Legislature remains in Democratic hands has no meaning for redistricting. Voting commissioners are each appointed by the four caucus chairs, two Democrats and two Republicans. And it takes three votes to seal the deal.

    And deal they do, all behind closed doors, alas. Protect Dave Reichert and Adam Smith, and so forth…

  54. 67

    correctnotright spews:

    Here is what a total clown says:

    We are in deep trouble with a KLOWN for a President that has made matters worse with his lack of understanding, his actions & policies and his inability to not STFU.

    Yeah, we saw all the trouble GWB caused – an unecessary war, the largest deficit in history combined with the worst economic crisis since the great depression.

    Short, short attention span and memory – FOOL.

    Obama’s only problem is that he tried too much to reach out to the crazy rightwingers called republicans. Now the idiot republicans (who are already backtrackoing and can’t name a single budget cut) will hang themselves on their own sorry petards and guarantee his election and the democratic sweep in 2012.

    I saw Michelle (complete idiot) Bachmann interviewed the yesterday – she could not name a single budget cut and LIED about most everything. She said we shoud go back to 2008 spending levels – forgetting it was Bush who signed the TARP and failed to put the Iraq and Afghan wars even in the budget!

    Republicans are liars and fools.

  55. 68

    Kelly spews:

    A good analysis but let me comment. I don’t think you can say for absolute sure, that Gregoire won’t run again. Even if she does, that may not affect the rest of the playing field, as I expect Jay and others to challenge her even if she runs for a 3th term.

    The 1st CD is a bit of an enigma. When Jay was mentioned as a possible pick for the cabinet, there was some preliminary maneuvering. Travel writer Rick Steves expressed an interest and Edmonds City Councilman DJ Wilson was making calls. Other possibilities, like then County Councilman (and current Edmonds Mayor) Mike Cooper, said no thanks.

  56. 69

    Mr. Cynical spews:

    Gregoire will not run again.
    She has left the State in terrible condition for the next KLOWN by caving into the State Employee Unions giving them raises and not reducing benefits in a recession.
    You will not see Congress bail out Washington State again…no way.
    They shouldn’t have done it before.
    The Budget must be balanced by rolling back spending levels and focusing only on Constitutionally required minimums in the Budget process first like Public Safety & INfrastructure. Let’s stop there.
    And let’s have Government Employees pay the same 40% or so of Health Insurance that the private sector does.

  57. 70

    Dorothy spews:

    @14 I worked for Inslee and disagree with your assertion. He is very smart and an honest guy. He remembers all his staff, former staff, and many volunteers and supporters by name. Does he forget some names? Yup – who wouldn’t when they meet that many people.