Voters on Tuesday put Kirkland’s two Democratic incumbent state legislators on the path to reelection with surprisingly similar vote counts despite markedly different races.
In early returns, longtime State Rep. Roger Goodman polled a handy 56.1 percent of the vote against newcomer Joel Hussey, a Redmond Republican, despite a contentious battle involving “robocalls” and negative national GOP PAC-financed television ads.
And Goodman’s fellow 45th Legislative District legislator Rep. Larry Springer captured 57.1 percent of the early returns in his race against Redmond Republican Jim Thatcher -- yet both of them waged above-board campaigns that focused on jobs and education, with virtually no negativity.
“The campaign between my opponent and I, unlike Roger with Joel Hussey, was not negative,” said Springer. “We did not go after each other. Unfortunately, in Roger’s campaign it got very negative and nasty. It wasn’t tactful. So hat’s off to (Thatcher).”
Thatcher agreed, called Springer Wednesday morning to congratulate him and asked to keep in touch as the Legislature convenes its next session. Thatcher also said he was pleased with the campaign in his first run at office and indicated it would not be his last.
“I’m proud of how we focused on the issues,” he said. “We disagree on many policy issues, but there’s an awful we agree on. We both want the same thing. We want the economy to improve and we want funding for education. I’d love to serve as a liaison to him with the Republican constituents of the 45th District.”
Springer said his first order of business would be “to fully fund K-12 and higher education. Job No. 2 is building a positive business environment to get people back to work. I heard two things at the doorbell and they were invariably about jobs and education.”
For his part, Hussey was not ready to concede, but said his results were similar to other Republican candidates in King County. “We’re very happy with the campaign we ran,” he said. “The primary issues were jobs and education. Obviously we would have liked to have seen better results, closers results.”
Hussey acknowledged the race turned nasty on both sides. “I was a bit disappointed by some of the negativity, and I think he (Goodman) would say the same thing,” Hussey said. “He is an experienced candidate and used the tools he thought he needed to win.”
Kirkland Patch was unable to reach Goodman Wednesday. But at a campaign event Tuesday night at Kirkland’s Wilde Rover restaurant he gave a jubilant victory speech, also decrying the tactics used by Hussey and his Republican supporters, which included the PAC attack and a complaint by state House Republicans about donations to the Goodman campaign by the 45th District Democrats group.