POLL: Deep Blue: Will a Republican Ever Represent Shoreline and Lake Forest Park?

Shoreline and Lake Forest Park haven't been represented by a republican in 24 years and it's unlikely much will change this November

This story was corrected in regard to Cindy Ryu, Maralyn Chase and Darlene Fairley's service.

Do you recall the last time a republican represented Shoreline and Lake Forest Park in the state Legislature?

If history is the guide, any republican candidate here faces an uphill battle.

Reps. Cindy Ryu and Ruth Kagi in the 32nd District seem assured of victory in November after easy primary wins. Republican Randy Hayden who is facing Ryu and Robert Reedy who is facing Kagi in November are the latest in a long line of republicans to face a huge challenge in fundraising, name recognition and support.

Both races for Legislative state rep. in the 46th District, which represents Lake Forest Park now, are democrat versus democrat: Rep. Gerry Pollet versus challenger Sylvester Cann for Pos. 1; and Jessyn Farrell and Sarajane Siegfriedt for Pos. 2. Republican Scott Hodges only could muster 18 percent of the vote in the Position 2 race even though the democratic vote was split between four candidates. No republican even bothered to run against incumbent State Sen. David Frockt in the 46th and he will be automatically reelected.

According to local pundit Evan Smith who writes for Patch, the last republican to win here won during the Reagan years.

Republican Bill Kiskadden beat incumbent democratic State Sen. Donn Charnley in 1984, when Shoreline and LFP were in the 1st Legislative District. Bill Kiskadden was a one-term senator. He lost to democrat Patty Murray, then a Shoreline School Board member and the famous, "mom in tennis shoes." Murray is now serving her fourth term in the U.S. Senate after winning her first U.S. Senate seat in November 1992.

In 1992, redistricting moved Shoreline from the 1st District to the 32nd District, according to Smith. In 1994, the recently retired Darlene Fairley was elected as a state senator for the new district. Her seat is now filled by Maralyn Chase. Ryu won Chase's state representative seat.

Other local races such as City Council are non-partisan but even there you'd be hard-pressed these days to find someone who is not a democrat although some might be considered more conservative than others.

It's tough road for republicans in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park to gain traction when they outnumbered nearly 2-to-1. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Art Coday, a Shoreline resident, was well short of the votes needed to get to the general election against Sen. Maria Cantwell. State Senator Michael Baumgartner from the Spokane area, a traditional republican stronghold will get a shot at Cantwell, although he faces a monmunental task to unseat the two-term U.S. Senator.

Still, in the bluest of blue districts is it possible for a republican to win at all? Who and what type of candidate would that person be? Could a moderate republican win here? Respond in the comments.

Janet Way August 16, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Tony, I'd like you to recheck your dates and facts on Darlene Fairley. I believe she was directly elected to the Senate (after serving on LFP City Council) and not as a Rep. Cindy was elected to fill in Maralyn Chase's seat. Maralyn was appointed and elected to fill Carolyn Edmunds' seat. Carolyn was elected to fill Nancy Rust's seat. I think that's how it went.
Tony Dondero August 16, 2012 at 05:48 PM
You are right Janet. Maralyn was Rep. and filled Fairley's seat and Cindy filled Maralyn's seat.
FF2 August 17, 2012 at 05:00 AM
I believe that a proper, charter school or private school education will eventually result in more Republican voters as well as more intelligent Republican leaders.
one opinion August 18, 2012 at 02:08 AM
I doubt a Republican will ever win a state legislative seat in Shoreline/LFP unless the incumbent (Democrat) has some sort of well-publicized scandal within a few weeks of the election (voters tend to have short memories). Mr. Smith once wrote an article belaboring why the Rs didn't field candidates, but why bother when the odds are so stacked against them? But then, look at all of the folks who put their names up for Governor, Lt. Governor, etc., and have no chance, and we all know who they are. The shame is that our election system doesn't elect someone getting 50.1% or more in the primary, as is done in the judicial races, or even 60%, as is the case for some issues. I disagree about the comment re: the composition of local city councils, especially in Shoreline: former Mayor and Councilmembers Connie King, Bob Ransom, and Ron Hansen were/are Republicans. Former Councilmembers Linda Montgomery, Rich Gustafson, and even Larry Bingham (I think) were/are Republicans. I'd grant you that those are all "former" councilmembers. In LFP, they've had more Ds over the recent years, but former Councilmember Ed Sterner is a Republican, and I think one other former or current LFP Councilmember was/is one.


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