April 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM
A toss-up district: Welcome to the Eastside’s contested 45th legislative district
With Democrats on a downward trend in the 45th legislative district, it doesn’t help that redistricting has made it slightly more right-leaning, according to all the candidates currently running.
KIRKLAND — In 2010, incumbent Rep. Roger Goodman (D) narrowly won re-election in the 45th LD against Republican challenger Kevin Haistings with 2.65% of the vote, or only 1,511 votes. Goodman was slated to run for Congress in the 1st district, the seat Jay Inslee is vacating. But with such a crowded field, and challenges with fundraising, he is now seeking re-election for his post in the 45th LD.
This move prompted one Democrat vying for the vacated seat, Eric Laliberte, to drop out. However, another Democrat, Jacob Bond, is staying in the race and competing against the incumbent Goodman.
Goodman will also face a challenger from the right, Republican Joel Hussey.
Bond is running as a moderate Democrat who says he isn’t afraid to break party lines to achieve action.
“I’m not a party-line ‘puppet,’” Bond said. “I’m not a favorite for either side… I want to do what is right and what is best for the people of this district.”
Bond, an Iraq war veteran, says he’s different because of his experience in combat while simultaneously being opposed to the war and having first-hand experience with immigration issues; his wife is from Mexico. He says he has seen how others live in different countries and gleaned knowledge about different ways to solve issues. His biggest concerns are education, jobs, the state budget, and homelessness.
“The system is broken,” Bond said. “We expect different results from the same person, how do we know they aren’t contributing to the same broken system?”
Republican Hussey was quick to capitalize on his financial background in an election all about the economy. Hussey is the founder of Tailwind Capital, a Redmond-based aircraft leasing company, was president of another ship-leasing firm, and served as CFO at an another airplane-leasing company based in Bellevue.
“At some point good people need to step up,” Hussey said. “We are on the brink of financial ruin.”
Hussey is a Republican, but it was hard to tell from his website — “Republican,” “conservative,” and “GOP” aren’t mentioned in his description on the landing page. His logo features a small (R), but it was difficult to discern online. His endorsements, however, include Washington State Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur and King County Republican Party Chair Lori Sotelo.
Both challengers started campaigning in what Hussey calls, “the more balanced” 45th LD. The district picked up parts of the conservative suburb of Sammamish and lost Carnation, parts of Kirkland, and a broad swath of rural area to the East.
The Hussey team marched in the Woodinville parade on March 31, meanwhile Bond has been knocking on doors across the district.
“[The 45th is] dense and diverse, on paper it looks a little more Republican than Democratic,” Bond said. He thinks his independent streak will go a long way in this split district. “These aren’t black and white problems, there’s more than one correct answer.”
The 45th’s Sen. Andy Hill (R) demonstrated this district’s swing mentality by bucking his party and voting in favor of the same-sex marriage bill this last session. Hussey danced around the issue by siding with voters: “There will be an initiative process and I will respect the vote of the people on this issue.”
This race will be one to watch, particularly now that Goodman is back in the running.
Will voters choose the incumbent Democrat, the moderate challenger, or the Republican businessman?
With a Republican senator and a moderate Democrat in position 2, the race in the 45th is difficult to predict.
45th LD – old in red, new in blue | View in a larger map