This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.
Puh-leeze, Washington Republicans. Don’t do it again.
Washington last elected a Republican governor 30 years ago and last elected a Republican U.S. senator 16 years ago. That’s not entirely the GOP’s fault; this state simply leans a little blue – though it wasn’t so long ago that the Republicans could snatch control of the Legislature from time to time.
But there are roughly as many independents in Washington as there are members of either party, and the independents decide statewide races. The GOP has been forfeiting the big statewide offices, election after election, by nominating ideologues who can’t connect with the suburbs and the political center.
This is the party whose past gubernatorial nominees include Ellen Craswell, a lawmaker so far to the right she later ditched the Republican Party itself, and John Carlson, a talk radio jock without a lick of experience in public office.
There was an exception: Dino Rossi. After seven successful years as a state senator, Rossi won the Republican nomination for governor in 2004 and battled Chris Gregoire to a statistical tie. (Gregoire won on the third recount by a legally sufficient but mathematically meaningless 129 votes.) He lost a rematch in 2008, but a lot of other strong Republicans also went down in that year’s Democratic tsunami.
This year, Rossi is out to unseat U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, the only viable Democratic option in the race. We endorse his candidacy, and hers, in the primary. But Rossi must shake off two other serious Republican candidates, Clint Didier and Paul Akers.
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