Daily Dispatches
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob McKenna addresses supporters Tuesday night.
Associated Press/Photo by Stephen Brashear
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rob McKenna addresses supporters Tuesday night.

Washington state Republicans predict victory in governor’s race

Politics

BELLEVUE, Wash.—Hundreds of Republicans turned out to hear Washington state gubernatorial hopeful Rob McKenna speak at a party near Seattle Tuesday night—and at least one of them wasn’t even human.

“It’s been a very close campaign,” said Shiao-Yen Wu, a real estate agent who lives in Seattle and who brought her Pomeranian named Zoro to the celebration. She voted early and said she and Zoro had attended many McKenna campaign events together.

Though the governor’s race likely will not be called for several days, McKenna predicted victory Tuesday night in front of a crowd of cheering, clapping supporters.

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“We vote by mail in our state, so it takes a little bit longer—but I’m confident,” he said. “When the last ballots are counted, it will be clear that voters wanted to send a clear message that it is time to move our state in a new direction.”

Tuesday night polling results gave the Democratic candidate, former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, a slim lead with 51 percent of the vote to McKenna’s 49 percent, with 60 percent of results reported. Kirby Wilbur, chairman of the Washington State Republican Party, said he’s not concerned about the race and believes McKenna will win.

“If on my tombstone it says, ‘the guy that helped bring Washington a Republican governor,’ I’d be happy with that,” he said.

If McKenna does win the governor’s race, he will be the first Republican to occupy the governor’s mansion since John Spellman won in 1980.

The summer’s smash YouTube dance hit—Korean rapper Psy’s “Gangnam style”—also received a brief mention at the party. A video of McKenna attempting the dance at a Korean Days celebration in early October has more than 27,000 YouTube views.

“We may be governing Gangnam style, we’ll see,” he said. “We’ll let you know.”

Though the gubernatorial race will likely stretch on through the week, by late Tuesday evening, Washington voters had decisively voted for a referendum to legalize and regulate the recreational use of marijuana. A referendum allowing same-sex “marriage” in the state was ahead with 52 percent of the votes. If the referendum ultimately passes, homosexual couples will be able to apply for marriage licenses starting in early December.

Ruth Moon
Ruth Moon

Ruth is a freelance writer and PhD student in the communication department at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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