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Statewide Election Recap: Silver Lining?

AGC Legislative Counsel Van Collins with Rep. Judy Warnick (R-13) and Rep.-Elect Bruce Dammeier (R-25) at BUILD PACs Nov. 10 Candidates Breakfast. Warnick and Dammeier won their races with the support of BUILD PAC.

On Nov. 4 the nation experienced a blue tide that carried Democrats to the White House and to ever-larger margins in the U.S. House and Senate. But that tide 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 Treasurer candidate Jim McIntire appears likely to win as votes continue to be counted.

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 is finalizing its list of legislative priorities for 2009 and will present these to the AGC Board on Dec. 8. For additional information contact Rick Slunaker.

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