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Election results present a mixed bag for retailers

Democrats control both Legislature houses

By Mark Johnson, Senior VP of Public Policy

Tuesday’s record voter turnout produced interesting election results.  Please keep in mind that Washington State is an entirely vote-by-mail system.  Final results will not be available for some time until all the ballots are counted and the election certified.

Starting with the initiatives that WRA was involved in:

  • Yes! To Affordable Groceries – Initiative 1634 easily passed and will now prevent local governments from placing a tax on our food and beverages.  WRA supported the initiative and was part of the Yes! coalition.
  • Initiative 1631 – Placing a carbon tax on our energy was soundly defeated.  This ill-advised measure would have increased costs for all of our energy from gas to electricity – costing consumers and businesses billions of dollars.  WRA opposed this initiative and was part of the no campaign.

The congressional races that WRA played in had mixed results:

  • In District 8, Dino Rossi was edged out by Kim Shrier.
  • Happily, WRA backed candidates Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rogers 5th District and Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler both appear to have won.

On the state legislative level, pro-retail candidates took a beating.  As of this morning, two WRA-backed Senate candidates are trailing – candidate Marty McClendon in the 26th and incumbent Senator Mark Miloscia in the 30th.  Two other WRA Senate endorsed candidates are very close with Senator Doug Ericksen, 42nd District, at 50.37% and Senator Joe Fain, 47th District, at  50.34%.

The current split in the State Senate is 26 Democrats and 23 Republicans.

In the State House, pro-retail candidates fared worse.  At least seven candidates appear headed for defeat.  The current party split in the House is 50 Democrats, 48 Republicans.

In the 5thDistrict both incumbent Paul Graves and returning candidate Chad Magendanz are trailing.  In the 10th, WRA backed incumbent Dave Hayes is narrowly losing with 49.76%.  In the 28th District, incumbent Dick Muri is behind at 48.55%.  Rep. Vincent Buys in the 42nd is trailing narrowly at 49.89%.  Retail-friendly candidates Representatives Mark Harmsworth, 44th District, and Mark Hargrove, 47th District, both are down several points.

WRA congratulates all of the apparent winners and looks forward to working with both our federal delegation and state legislature to maintain and improve the retail industry’s business climate.

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