Let’s be honest: most editorial boards mostly endorse incumbents, and the same is as true of the pot-addled Stranger as it is of the Blethen-addled Seattle Times. Hell, even I mostly endorsed incumbents in my caveat-asterisked endorsement post. So if you’re going to measure the influence of an editorial board, it is best to do it in open (or otherwise competitive) races, as well as those in which the editors stuck their neck out to endorse the challenger.
So by this metric, how many elections did the editors at our state’s paper of record sway? Not many:
Prop. 1, Seattle’s Park District measure
The same city government that neglected parks for years now wants voters to approve a new tax that gives them twice as much money and the power to raise rates without voter approval. Voters should reject Proposition 1, a measure to create the new Seattle Park District. Vote against the formation of a metropolitan park district.
With about 60 percent of ballots counted, Prop 1 appears to have won. Seattle Times: 0, Voters: 1.
Legislative District No. 1, Representative Position No. 2
Edward Barton, Republican
Edward Barton, first-time candidate for office, displays the intellect and moderation to be a strong lawmaker from the 1st Legislative District, which straddles the King-Snohomish line. He is the better option for voters over the incumbent, state Rep. Luis Moscoso, D-Mountlake Terrace.
Incumbent Democratic Rep. Luis Moscoso is leading Barton 44 percent to 43 percent, but fellow Democrat Dave Griffin has another 14 percent of the vote, so Moscoso looks good for November. Seattle Times: 0, Voters: 2.
Legislative District No. 21, Representative Position No. 1
Scott Whelpley, Democrat
Scott Whelpley is a former Navy aviator who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq and was awarded a Bronze Star. The Mukilteo Democrat who holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington would be learning on the job. But he holds the clear potential for independence from powerful interest groups and his Democratic caucus.
Whelpley has come in third behind Republican Allen McPheeters and Democrat Strom Peterson, so he won’t even make it past the top-two primary and into November. Seattle Times: 0; Voters: 3.
Legislative District No. 31, State Senator
Cathy Dahlquist, Republican
State Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, the longtime lawmaker best known for her fiery temper, faces a sharp and seasoned opponent this year from within her own party. State Rep. Cathy Dahlquist is the easy choice for the 31st District Senate seat.
Can’t really blame the editors for endorsing challenger Cathy Dahlquist over crazy, crazy Pam Roach, yet as of last night, Roach holds a slight 0.9 percent lead. If I were charitable, I’d call this a tie. But I’m not charitable. Seattle Times: 0; Voters: 4.
Legislative District No.31, Representative Position No. 1
Drew Stokesbary, Republican
For the open state House seat in the 31st District, Republican Drew Stokesbary of Auburn is the candidate most likely to be a voice for fiscal responsibility. The incumbent, Cathy Dahlquist, is vacating the seat to run for state Senate.
Stokesbary is a total douchebag. But he is winning over 51 percent of the vote for this open seat. Score one for Team Blethen. Seattle Times: 1; Voters: 4.
Legislative District No. 32, State Senator
Chris Eggen, Democrat
Shoreline Deputy Mayor Chris Eggen, a Democrat, is the better choice over the incumbent, state Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, who is seeking a second term. Challenger Eggen is rated “very good” by The Municipal League of King County, compared to Chase’s “good” rating. Eggen knows what is ahead, especially with education.
Democratic incumbent Senator Marilyn Chase has over 51 percent of the vote, and if last night’s results hold up, third-place Eggen won’t even make it out of the primary and into November. Seattle Times: 1; Voters 5.
Legislative District No. 37, State Senator
Pramila Jayapal, Democrat
In a crowded contest for Seattle’s 37th Legislative District state Senate seat, Pramila Jayapal stands out for the breadth and depth of her civic involvement. The Democrat is a passionate and effective social-justice activist, armed with an MBA and experience in the private financial sector. That said, her election would test her ability to balance a progressive streak with pragmatism and the ability to reach across the aisle to find compromise.
Not sure how to score this one. It was technically an open seat, sure. But Jayapal was a shoo-in. Nearly everybody endorsed her. Hard to divine any influence out of this race. So I’m arbitrarily awarding a point to each side. Seattle Times: 2; Voters: 6.
Legislative District No. 37, Representative Position No. 1
Daniel Bretzke, Republican
The 37th Legislative District’s Position 1 needs a legislator willing to compromise and represent the best interests of a diverse district where many schools are struggling and persistent achievement gaps threaten to leave students behind. That means turning out the incumbent, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, in favor of the promising political newcomer, Daniel Bretzke of Seattle.
Bretzke barely got 9 percent of the vote, pathetic even for a Seattle Republican. Seattle Times: 2; Voters 7.
So there you have it: another spectacularly unimpressive demonstration of influence meddling on the part of the Seattle Times editorial board!