Republicans have picked up 12 seats in the state House since 2008, when Democrats enjoyed a margin of 63-35 in the state House. Republican Teri Hickel’s victory over Democrat appointee Carol Gregory reduced the Democrats’ majority to 50-48, placing a GOP take over of the House well within grasp in 2016, if not sooner.
A recent article in the Everett Herald addresses the question of why Republican numbers have surged at the expense of Democrats. Ultimately, the answer is that Republican candidates better reflected the views of voters in their districts, while Democrat candidates have become increasingly out-of-touch as the party shifts further and further to the Left too accommodate its downtown Seattle special interest donors.
Frank Chopp has served as Speaker of the House for the past 13 years, and three years as co-speaker before that when the House was in a 49-49 partisan tie. Since 1999, a liberal Seattle career politician has held the House gavel. During his tenure, Chopp has managed to position himself as arguably the most powerful Democrat in our state.
How is Chopp’s tenure working out for Washington? Well, by every indication, it’s pushing the Democrat Party further to the left by recruiting candidates who identify with the “liberal theology of Seattle politics.”
Republicans’ smaller government and pro-small business agenda is what our state needs. It’s what voters are responding to. Yet, Democrats continue to push their big-government agenda—so much so that they willfully ignore voters’ wishes.
Now it will only take one Democrat member to restore some balance to the State House by joining with the Republicans to create a coalition caucus and force Chopp to share the gavel again. Of course, if two Democrats wanted to move the state away from Seattle’s liberal politics, they could put Chopp back in the minority for the first time since 1998.
Now that would be something to give thanks for.