Statewide Election Recap: Silver Lining?

Last Tuesday the nation experienced a blue wave that carried Democrats to the White House and to ever-larger margins in the U.S. House and Senate. But that wave seemed to ebb a bit as it reached Washington State.

Despite big gains for Democrats nationally Republicans may end up picking up a seat in both the State House and Senate says AGCs Director of Government Affairs Rick Slunaker. The caveat is that some races are still too close to call but if current trends hold Republicans will pick up a seat in both chambers. Maybe the election did not entail as strong a mandate as a first glance would indicate. A net gain of one for Republicans would mean their deficit would shrink to 63 to 35 in the State House and 31-18 in the State Senate.

Gov. Christine Gregoire won her bid for re-election by a margin that surprised many as the race had been deemed a toss-up. The Associated General Contractors and its members stand ready to work with you as we have before to address the many problems confronting our State and its communities AGC President Steve Barger (Northwest Cascade Inc.) and Government Affairs Chair Gene Colin (Ferguson Construction Inc.) told Gregoire in a congratulatory letter. In your remarks to the media last Wednesday you mentioned development of a state stimulus legislative proposal to address infrastructure needs facing our state and its communities. Addressing the need for these facilities is no less significant than the need to find workable solutions to finance their achievement. The benefits of providing clean drinking water safe and adequate storm and sanitary sewage systems are undeniable and are fundamental for sound economic and population growth. Working together to develop effective delivery and financing mechanisms for these investments has never been more important. AGC wants to work with you the Legislature the broader business labor and environmental communities to develop workable solutions which the public will understand and support.

BUILD PAC the commercial construction industrys political action committee had an impressive rate of success. Of the 69 legislative candidates supported by BUILD PAC 93 percent will win their elections if current trends hold in the races for which votes are still being counted. We had more full-scale involvement with candidates this year including independent expenditures for many of them said Slunaker. Credit goes to those members of the industry who made financial commitments to the industrys PAC.

In other statewide races BUILD PAC-supported winners included Lt. Gov. Brad Owen Attorney General Rob McKenna and Secretary of State Sam Reed. State Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland and State Treasurer candidate Jim McIntire both supported by BUILD PAC were in too-close-to-call races as of press time.

The only ballot initiative for which AGC made an endorsement was in King County. AGC supported the charter amendment to make County Council County Executive and County Assessor offices non-partisan. The measure passed handily.

The Legislature convenes January 12. AGCs Government Affairs Council will be meeting Nov. 11 to set legislative priorities for the upcoming session. For additional information contact Rick Slunaker.