Sound Transit bashing was a bipartisan thing in the past two legislative sessions. But the November 26 election results are likely to reduce the shrillness a few notches.

Seven legislative incumbents lost in districts partially or wholly in the Sound Transit taxing district including:

  • Sen. Maralyn Chase (D – Edmonds, 21st District), who lost over 2-1 to Shoreline Deputy Mayor Jesse Salomon (D). Chase campaigned against ST3. Salomon made his support for light rail one of the talking points. Salomon was endorsed by STB.
  • Sen. Mark Miloscia (R – Federal Way, 30th District), who has for many years complained about Sound Transit not getting light rail to downtown Federal Way faster, while opposing the funding to get light rail to downtown Federal Way. STB endorsed his opponent, Federal Way Schools Board President Claire Wilson (D).
  • Sen. Joe Fain (R – Auburn, 47th District) who was actually one of the more left-of-moderate Republicans, and somewhat a fan of light rail, if not car tabs. Other unrelated accusations ($) probably had a larger impact on the outcome. Fain lost to Mona Das (D – Covington).
  • Rep. Paul Graves ( R – Fall City, 5th District), a supporter of Sound Transit generally, but also non-shrill supporter of car tab changes. Graves lost to Lisa Callan (D – Issaquah Highlands).
  • Rep. Dick Muri (R – Steilacoom, 28th District), who pushed a slew of bills designed to significantly reduce Sound Transit revenue, similar to the ones sponsored by his State Senator, Steve O’Ban (R – Tacoma). Muri lost to Mari Leavitt (D – University Place).
  • Rep. Mark Harmsworth (R – Mill Creak, 44th District), Ranking Minority Member of the House Transportation Committee, was one of the most vocal critics of ST and car tabs. He lost to Jared Mead (D – Mill Creek).
  • Rep. Mark Hargrove (R – Covington , 47th District), Assistant Ranking Minority Member on the House Transportation Committee, has been a rather snarky critic of Sound Transit. Hargrove lost to Debra Entenman (D – Kent). The defeat of the two Republican Transportation leaders gives the caucus a chance to modernize their thinking on transportation issues.

Also within the Sound Transit district:

  • STB-endorsed Joe Nguyen (D – Seattle) defeated Shannon Braddock (D – Seattle) handily for the open 34th District Senate seat vacated by Sen. Sharon Nelson (D – Maury Island).
  • STB-endorsed Issaquah City Councilmember Bill Ramos (D – 5th District) defeated Chad Magendanz (R – Mirrormont) for the seat vacated by Rep. Jay Rodne (R – Snoqualmie).
  • STB-endorsed Jamie Smith (D – Puyallup, 25th District) lost to Kelly Chambers (R – Puyallup) for the open seat vacated by Rep. Melanie Stambaugh (R – Puyallup). Smith was the only STB-endorsed candidate who lost in this election, pending the recount in the 42nd (see below).

STB also endorsed in three races outside of the ST district.

STB endorsed Bellingham City Councilmember Pinky Vargas (D), who lost by 45 votes to Sen. Doug Ericksen (R – Ferndale) but is headed for a recount.

STB endorsed Sharon Shewmake (D – Bellingham, 42nd District), who defeated Rep. Vincent Buys (R – Lynden).

Rounding out STB’s endorsees was Dave Paul (D – Oak Harbor, 10th District) who narrowly defeated Rep. Dave Hayes (R – Camano Island).

The Democrats picked up four House seats and two Senate seats in the ST District, plus on Senate and two House seats outside the District. Two recounts could add or subtract one from the non-ST Senate total. Combine that with the swap of Salomon for Chase, and Sound Transit should have a friendlier audience in Olympia next year.

6 Replies to “Several ST Critics, from Both Parties, Defeated”

  1. Hi, just correcting that Democratic picked up 7 seats total in the state house, 5 inside the ST district (2 in the 5th LD, 1 each in the 44th, 47th, and 28th LDs) and 2 outside (10th and 42nd LDs).

  2. Although STB-endorsed Jamie Smith lost her race, she did better than any Democrat has in this district since Dawn Morrell was reelected in 2012. Also, her improvement over 2016 outpaced the overall Democratic legislative percentage gains across the state.

  3. I sincerely hope the Republican Party of Washington State will not just “moderate their thinking” but do everything possible to accelerate the people’s will on completing Sound Transit projects. Elect the Sound Transit Board or not is one thing – and not a trivial matter; but at the very least I would hope they’d support reducing the process and protect the funding voters approved from further attack. I also believe it’s important to hold Sound Transit accountable. I will stop there.

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