Opinion

Dems duke it out for Asay’s seat in Olympia | Bob Roegner

The race for House position two has a clear front-runner in incumbent Republican State Rep. Katrina Asay. But the Democratic battle to oppose her is fascinating.

Rick Hoffman had been planning to run for position one, which is an open seat due to Rep. Mark Miloscia’s decision to run for state auditor. However, he decided to defer to fellow Democrat Roger Flygare in that race and filed against Asay. Beating Asay would be an uphill battle under the best of circumstances. Things got a little more complicated when Democratic House Speaker Frank Chopp recruited Federal Way City Councilman Roger Freeman to join the race.

Chopp would like to protect his majority in the House and may have felt Freeman gave him a better chance of unseating Asay. At a minimum, he forces the Republicans to spend money defending Asay that could have gone into the race for position one.

Hoffman got caught in the middle of a much bigger picture: control of the State House of Representatives. This is Hoffman’s first run for public office. He brings a passion for his beliefs that is candid and clear. He is well-read on economic issues, and through his union activities brings an understanding of Olympia and the political process.

That background also makes Hoffman committed to securing living wage jobs. He supports gay marriage, legalization of marijuana, is opposed to charter schools, and is pro-choice. He wants tax breaks to sunset and would support an income tax. But while he feels passionate about his views, he feels Olympia has become too polarized by ideology. He includes his own party in this and seems to be running as much against Speaker Chopp as he is against the Republicans. He believes the local voters should make the decision on who wins the primary and not have it decided by support and contributions from Olympia. He received a “good” rating from the Municipal League.

Roger Freeman has been on the city council for two years. He is a lawyer who works with parents involved with Child Protective Services. In his council service, he has been active in the MLK Celebration and local street problems, and wants to find a way to help ensure light rail gets to Tacoma through Federal Way. He had previously run for the council unsuccessfully. His two races and incumbency provide higher name familiarity to casual voters.

While Freeman is a Democrat, his social views are mixed. He opposes discrimination, but also opposes gay marriage, is pro-life, favors decriminalization of marijuana and opposes charter schools. He would like to shift money from DSHS to education.

Freeman is a good public speaker and has been envisioned as a potential candidate for higher office since he was elected to the city council. He received a “good” rating from the Municipal League.

Katrina Asay is finishing her first term and is seen by some as having the ability for higher office. She is opposed to gay marriage, is pro-life, believes marijuana should be a low emphasis crime, and supports charter schools. She believes education is a high priority and was appointed to the legislative committee on higher education. She received the only “outstanding” rating of all the candidates in the district.

Asay will move on to the general election and will likely face Freeman.

In other primary predictions (or best guesses):

• Governor: Jay Inslee (D) vs. Rob McKenna (R)

• Lt. Governor: Brad Owen (D) vs. Bill Finkbiner (R)

• Secretary of State: Kathleen Drew (D) vs. Kim Wyman (R)

• State Auditor: Craig Pridmore (D) vs. James Watkins (R). Watch this one. Troy Kelly has been making a move and could pass up Pridemore and make the general.

• Attorney General: Bob Ferguson (D) vs. Reagan Dunn (R)

• Commissioner of Public Lands: Peter Goldmark (D) vs. Clint Didier (R)

• Insurance Commissioner: Mike Kridler (D) vs. John Adams (R).

• Congressional (new) District 10: Denny Heck (D) vs. Dick Muri (R)

• Congressional District 9, Adam Smith (D) vs. Jim Postma (R)

• Congressional District 8, Dave Reichert (R) vs. Karen Porterfield (D)

• Congressional District 6, Derek Kilmer (D) vs. Bill Driscoll (R)

• U.S. Senate: Maria Cantwell (D) vs. Michael Baumgartner(R)

• 30th Legislative District, position 1: Tony Moore (R) vs. Roger Flygare (D). However, if either Thom Macfarlane (D) or Linda Kochmar (R) edge out Moore or Flygare, which could happen, this race will provide some extra twists in November.

• King County Prop. 1: This capital levy for children and family services is a small enough tax that it should pass, but the political environment isn’t favorable.

• South King Fire and Rescue levy: Seems likely to pass after two previous tries.

 

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