By Evan Smith Herald Writer
Guy Palumbo, who lost in the August primary to incumbent Democratic 1st District State Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe and Republican challenger Dawn McCravey, suggests changes to encourage more moderate candidates.
Palumbo, who describes himself as a fiscal conservative and social liberal, first declared as an independent candidate before filing as a Democrat.
He says that partisan voters tend to dominate primary elections. He said that even with Washington’s open top-two primary system, partisan and single-issue voters dominate the primary.
He said that most voters whom he met during the campaign were more interested in discussing issues than his party preference.
So he said, one step toward a more moderate electorate is getting more people to vote in the primary.
Two other steps are public financing of campaigns and more competitive legislative and congressional districts.
Public financing of campaigns would mean that candidates would depend less on money from lobbyists and special-interest groups.
He said that Washington still needs more competitive districts even though it has given redistricting authority to a bi-partisan commission because the bi-partisan commission protects incumbents of both parties.
Palumbo finished third in the primary with 14 percent of the votes behind 44 percent for McAuliffe and 42 percent for McCravey,
The 1st Legislative District includes most of Mountlake Terrace, all of Brier and Bothell, part of Kirkland, unincorporated areas of King County between Bothell and Kirkland, and unincorporated areas of Snohomish County north and east of Bothell,
Evan Smith can be reached at email@example.com.