Primary loser now on state Senate candidate back-me list

  • Wed Sep 19th, 2012 10:07pm
  • News

By Jerry Cornfield Herald Columnist

For a loser, Guy Palumbo of Maltby is a pretty popular guy.

He ran for state Senate in the 1st Legislative District, finishing third in the primary behind Republican Dawn McCravey and incumbent Democrat Rosemary McAuliffe.

Now those two Bothell women and leaders of their political parties are courting Palumbo for an endorsement.

The first call — he won’t say from whom — came minutes after results were released the night of Aug. 7. He’s been contacted almost daily since a candidate’s forum Tuesday night.

Palumbo, who ran as a moderate Democrat, received 13.5 percent of the vote. He focused most of his attention on the veteran McAuliffe, criticizing her views on education and calling for a change in leadership for the district.

Now, with the election over and aspirations of running for office again, he’s under pressure to be a good Democrat and back McAuliffe. He insists he’s weighing the merits of the two candidates and the value of endorsing one or staying out of the fray completely.

“I’m still trying to figure out who I’m going to vote for,” he said.

If he makes his decision public he can count on becoming a little less popular.

Gubernatorial campaigns to top $8M

Washington’s open seat for governor is one of the top prizes this election.

So it should come as no shock to hear the Democratic and Republican governor organizations are spending more in this state to win it than they ever have.

As of Wednesday, the Republican Governors Association had committed $5.5 million to help elect Republican Rob McKenna mostly by running television ads attacking his Democratic rival Jay Inslee.

That amount is equal to what the GOP group spent in support of Dino Rossi’s bid for governor in 2008, according to a review of records filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission.

The Democratic Governors Association has put up roughly $3.4 million to assist Inslee mostly by trying to kneecap McKenna over the airwaves. That sum is about a half-million dollars more than the association invested in getting Gov. Chris Gregoire re-elected in 2008.

Don’t expect either group to turn off the spigot of money. It’s too big a prize and there are plenty of commercial breaks to be filled during the last days of the campaign.

Koster polls ahead of DelBene

Republican John Koster got some good news this week in his bid for Congress.

Then he got slammed in a new television ad by those who don’t want to see him get there.

Koster led Democrat Suzan DelBene by a narrow margin in the 1st Congressional District race, according to results of a poll conducted by Survey USA for KING 5.

In a telephone survey of 593 likely voters, Koster received 46 percent to DelBene’s 42 percent. The poll was conducted between Sept. 13 and 15 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percent.

This poll found men strongly favored the GOP candidate while, surprisingly, women were evenly split between him and his Democratic rival.

Meanwhile, a Washington, D.C.-based political committee launched the first attack ad of the fall campaign and it’s aimed at peeling women voters off the Koster bandwagon.

The 30-second spot funded by the House Majority PAC hits Koster for opposing most legal abortions and wanting to block insurers from covering birth control services.

This strategy should seem familiar. Democrat U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen used it against Koster when they dueled in 2000 and 2010. DelBene is hoping the strategy will pay off for her in the same way.

Political reporter Jerry Cornfield’s blog, The Petri Dish, is at Contact him at 360-352-8623 or