2009 Election Update

While all of the ballots have been cast, most likely less than half have been counted. Washington’s vote-by-mail system significantly prolongs elections on the beginning and end of Election Day. In fact, Election Day has truly just become “Organize the ballots and count a few day.”

Nevertheless, some elections are clear enough to be called. To learn more about the Washington State General Election Results visit the Secretary of State at: http://www.secstate.wa.gov/.

Republicans Sweep Legislative Races

There were three legislative races held this year (all special elections) in the 9th 15th and 16th Districts.

The 9th District had two Republicans face-off in a “top two” election. Businesswoman Susan Fagan won that election. Notably, she is employed at Schweitzer Engineering and has links to the design profession.

In the 5th District, appointed incumbent, David Taylor, was easily re-elected. Of course, it didn’t hurt that his Democratic opponent dropped out of the race, endorsed him, and then moved to California.

The only seat to switch parties was the 16th District; where appointed incumbent Laura Grant (D) lost to Terry Nealy (R), who has roughly 58 percent of the vote.

This is the second consecutive election where the Washington House Republicans have gained a seat.
Architects Get Mixed Results in their Elections

There were several races with AIA members or other architects on the ballot.

The most notable race is for Tacoma Mayor; where Jim Merritt, FAIA, is locked in a tight battle. He trails by less than one percentage point, 117 votes. There are too many ballots that remain uncounted to determine the outcome of the Tacoma Mayoral race. It could take days, or even more than a week, for this race to be decided.

David Cooper, AIA, is winning re-election to be Mayor of Yarrow Point with about 66 percent of the vote.

Cynthia Richardson, AIA, was unopposed for her reelection to the Anacortes City Council.

John Cheney, AIA, is losing his reelection bid for Mount Vernon City Council. He has served on the council since 1985.

In the general election the final Washington architect of note, but non-AIA member, is Patsy Bonincontri. Bonincontri is running for Bellevue City Council. She was appointed to the position and is trailing at 48 percent. However, there is still a large number of ballots to be counted.
Ballot Measures

There were two, high-profile, statewide, ballot measures and a few local measures that the AIAWA tracked.

Initiative 1033 would have limited tax increases and required voters to approve new taxes. It is garnering only 44 percent of the vote and is expected to fail.

Referendum 71, “concerning rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners” is narrowly passing with 51 percent of the vote. The election is very close and it is difficult to know the fate of this measure until more votes are counted.

In Spokane, three measures creating a “community bill of rights” are failing badly. This package of measures included many anti-business and anti-development provisions. Proposition 4, the main measure, was losing with over 75 percent of voters rejecting it.

In Seattle, the AIA Seattle supported, Proposition 1 is passing with 64 percent. The proposition creates a seven year property tax increase to “fund affordable housing and other housing needs of low-income households.”
National Results

Nationally, the Republicans won three key elections: the Virginia Governor, the New Jersey Governor and the New York City Mayor. These elections are seen as pivotal due to historical data. These elections often signal changes in party leadership.

Four years ago several Democrat wins in Virginia and New Jersey were seen as a repudiation of President George W Bush’s politics. The following year, Democrats had gains in the US House and Senate.

In 1993, Republican victories in these races were a harbinger of a Republican landslide in the 1994 midterm election. The midterm election, held during President Bill Clinton’s first term, led to more than a decade of GOP Control in the Congress. This year’s election results could be a cautionary flag to the Democrats and President Obama.
Don’t Forget to Support the Architects PAC for Washington

While the 2009 election season is rapidly receding, the AIAWA and the Architects PAC are preparing for 2010. In 2010, the entire Washington House and half of the Senate will be up for election. These races are getting more expensive every year. If AIAWA is to continue to have legislative success, then we must prepare for electoral success with the right candidates.

Your financial contribution to APAC helps us to project a strong image of the AIA to legislators and candidates. Previous success in electing architect-friendly lawmakers has resulted in legislative success. You can support APAC online at http://www.aiawa.org/apac.html.

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