Tim Eyman declares victory with his daughter Riley Eyman (left) Tuesday evening at Hyatt Regency in Bellevue. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Tim Eyman declares victory with his daughter Riley Eyman (left) Tuesday evening at Hyatt Regency in Bellevue. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Voters deliver a win for Eyman and concerns for Democrats

A conservative electorate, a tug of war in Mukilteo and other takeaways from Election Night

OLYMPIA — Voters across the state had their say Tuesday night on the cost of car tabs and the resurrection of affirmative action. In Snohomish County, they also weighed in on who should lead their cities and protect their safety.

Here are five takeaways from the first night of ballot counting.

Tim Eyman is less unpopular than car tabs and Sound Transit

It’s no secret Tim Eyman has bent or broken most every rule in the state’s election conduct rule book. Polls show he’s no longer held in high esteem by most who know of him. But when Eyman gives voters a chance to lower the cost of car tabs — as he did with Initiative 976 — they overlook his unscrupulous behavior to secure the savings. I-976 was passing in 35 of the state’s 39 counties Tuesday night, though it was pretty even in Island and Thurston counties. Close to two-thirds of voters in Snohomish and Pierce counties backed it. A lot of them likely suffered sticker shock following passage of Sound Transit 3 and counted on getting some relief. It didn’t happen.

Tuesday they exacted their revenge though Sound Transit lawyers will be busy trying to minimize the damage.

Campaign leader Linda Yates celebrates an early lead in the polls alongside KVI morning talk show host John Carlson during the anti-affirmative action group Reject Referendum 88 campaign’s election-watching event at 13 Coins in Bellevue on Tuesday. (Andy Bao/The Seattle Times via AP)

Campaign leader Linda Yates celebrates an early lead in the polls alongside KVI morning talk show host John Carlson during the anti-affirmative action group Reject Referendum 88 campaign’s election-watching event at 13 Coins in Bellevue on Tuesday. (Andy Bao/The Seattle Times via AP)

Affirmative action is still a bad idea to many

A generation ago, Washington voters barred the state from using affirmative action in deciding who to hire, admit to public colleges and award contracts. On Tuesday, nearly 52 percent cast ballots to keep the prohibition in place. Voters in 35 counties — the same ones backing I-976 — were rejecting Referendum 88, and by extension Initiative 1000 which seeks to remove the prohibition. Backers of affirmative action aren’t throwing in the towel. Referendum 88’s fortunes hinge on King County, where it enjoys great support and where the largest pile of ballots are left to be counted. But if they come up short, there are rumblings of trying again in 2020.

Where did all those conservatives come from?

Adam Fortney

Adam Fortney

Democrats in Snohomish County should be mildly concerned by what transpired Tuesday night. Majorities in the county backed lower car tabs and opposed affirmative action — the exact opposite positions of the Democratic Party.

Sheriff Ty Trenary, who was embraced by the party’s biggest names for pushing a mindset of compassion before corporal punishment of wrongdoers, is out. Brian Sullivan, a Democratic county councilman and political mainstay this century, trailed in his bid for county treasurer. And though Megan Dunn is winning a county council seat, her 52 percent in a district that’s always elected Democrats makes for a closer result than some anticipated. For Democrats, there’s much to review about their party’s performance. Less so for Republicans. They won a few city council and mayoral races and their party leaders appear to be cranking up the machinery for 2020.

This seat of power isn’t getting surplussed

Richard Emery

Richard Emery

A protracted tug-of-war for power between Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson and her detractors on the City Council ended Tuesday. Voters overwhelmingly rejected a measure to get rid of the strong-mayor form of government in favor of one in which the council hires a manager for the city. And the electorate booted Councilman Scott Whelpley, an architect of the failed measure and vocal critic of Gregerson, from office. He is losing his re-election bid to a fellow councilman, Richard Emery.

A kibosh on kabooms is a good thing

Finally, fireworks may soon be out as a potential entertainment option in neighborhoods of Arlington and unincorporated urban areas of Snohomish County. Leaders of the city and the county wanted voters’ advice on whether to ban them. The answer they got was a resounding yes. Voters need to be vigilant. Politicians, as Eyman will tell you, don’t always do what the electorate wants.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.

Talk to us

More in Local News

CORRECTS NAME OF CANDIDATE AT LEFT TO MAIA ESPINOZA INSTEAD OF OF MONICA MARCHETTI - Maia Espinoza, a candidate for Washington state superintendent of public instruction, is shown at left in an undated photo taken by Monica Marchetti and provided by her campaign. Espinoza is challenging incumbent state superintendent Chris Reykdal, right, shown in an AP photo taken Oct. 2, 2020, in Olympia, Wash., in the upcoming November election. (AP Photo)
COVID and sex education frame the state superintendent race

Maia Espinoza, 31, is challenging incumbent Chris Reykdal, 48. They are both parents — with divergent views.

People in dinosaur costumes greet each other during Downtown Trick-or-Treating on Oct. 31, 2019 in Everett, Wash. Health officials have discouraged trick-or-treating this year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Halloween cloaked in caution, trick-or-treating discouraged

As Snohomish Health District offers tips for safer fun, some still plan to hand out candy to kids.

Firefighters rescued Bennett the cat from a chimney Sunday night. The cat was missing a week before someone heard him calling for help. Firefighters worked him out of the flue by hand. (Marysville Fire District)
Marysville firefighters rescue wayward cat from chimney

Bennett had been missing a week before a neighbor heard his meows coming from the fireplace.

The Arlington City Council will discuss asking voters to consider annexing its fire department to North County Fire & EMS. (North County Fire)
Arlington and North County Fire to consider annexation

If the Arlington City Council decides to move forward, voters would make the final decision.

Man shot while pumping gas in Everett

A man in his mid-40s refused another’s demand for his wallet. The victim was hospitalized.

Everett man arrested in Las Vegas for 2019 shooting

After the killing on Aurora Ave. in Seattle, the suspect relocated to several different states.

Rescuers find lost Marysville hunter near Leavenworth

They reached him over the radio, so they asked him to fire a round of his rifle to help locate him.

Brett Gailey
Lake Stevens’ first full-time mayor will make $80,000 a year

The city council voted in September to convert the mayoral position from part time to full time.

Cassandra Lopez-Shaw (left) and Robert Grant.
Lone local judge race: Defense attorney vs. deputy prosecutor

Cassandra Lopez-Shaw would be the county’s first Latina judge. Robert Grant is endorsed by retiring judge Eric Lucas.

Most Read