[Updated Aug. 10]
OLYMPIA, Aug. 9.—State Sen. Craig Pridemore, D-Vancouver, formally conceded Wednesday evening in the race for state auditor – the fourth lawmaker to bid adieu to the statehouse this year as a result of Tuesday’s primary election.
Pridemore joins state Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup and state Reps. Glenn Anderson, R-Fall City and Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way – longtime lawmakers all, who reached for higher office this year and came up short. Some, like Pridemore, said their farewells on Facebook, where friends posted messages of regret.
For the others, election-night results were decisive, but in Pridemore’s case it took a day – on election night there still appeared a chance that King County election returns might boost him into second place. But Wednesday’s ballot count did nothing to change his standing. He finished third, behind Republican James Watkins, with 46 percent, and state Rep. Troy Kelley, D-Tacoma, who had 24. Pridemore’s score was 20.
“I do formally concede the state auditor’s primary to James Watkins and Troy Kelley,” Pridemore wrote. “They have my sincere best wishes in the days ahead.”
Said one well-wisher, “Good reason for a dislike button.”
Saying Goodbye the Modern Way
Pridemore, a two-term senator who formerly served as Clark County commissioner, racked up endorsements galore in his quest for the office, from labor and Democratic organizations, but was unable to compete when Kelley launched a last-minute cable-TV ad blitz using $240,000 of his own money.
In a posting Thursday, Pridemore said he was going to be deleting Facebook followers en masse, knowing that most of his 2,300 friends signed up because of the race — and he is now preparing for a life after politics. “I mean no affront to anybody and hope you all understand. I won’t be going back into politics and it’s past time for me to get back to ‘life as it is.’ I do wish you all the best in your journeys through life. Thank you all for the good times and for your kind wishes over the years. They’ve meant more to me than you’ll ever know.”
Miloscia, a seven-term House member, fell short in the same race. He won 10 percent of the vote.
On his Facebook page, Miloscia posted, “Results for state auditor didn’t go as hoped. I am very thankful for my family and friends for all their help and love and prayers. A new phase of my life is beginning. With God’s help, I will be able to continue to serve our neighbors in need and the common good in other ways!”
Anderson, a six-term House member, finished third in the race for lieutenant governor, garnering 18 percent of the vote against Democratic incumbent Brad Owen, who won 49 percent, and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Finkbeiner at 25 percent.
Anderson wrote, “While we came up short, 18% of the vote and one-third of the counties statewide; thank you to everybody who took the time to exercise their most basic civil right! 18% is a significant block of voters looking to move forward in our politics … stay engaged!!”
Kastama, meanwhile, made no public statements on his Facebook page or his official campaign website. The Puyallup lawmaker finished fourth in the race for secretary of state with 14 percent of the vote, a possible consequence of his vote for a Republican budget this year – a decision he called a matter of conscience. Kastama served two terms in the House before moving up to Senate in 2000. Thurston County Auditor Kim Wyman, a Republican, was top vote-getter in the race with 40 percent. Former state Sen. Kathleen Drew, campaigning with Democratic Party support, finished second with 21 percent. Also knocked out in the primary was former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, who had 16 percent.
Better Results for Others
There was a fifth lawmaker who failed to make the cut in this year’s primary. State Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, finished 5th in the crowded race for the 1st Congressional District seat that has been vacated by gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee. But because Hobbs wasn’t up for re-election this year, he retains his seat in the Senate.
Along with Kelley, lawmakers running for higher office who advanced to the general election were:
Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Maria Cantwell.
Rep. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, running for the Senate seat held by Democrat Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island.
Rep. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, running for the Senate seat being vacated by Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane.
Rep. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, running for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Debbie Regala.
Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, running for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Margarita Prentice.
Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, running for the 6th Congressional District seat being vacated by Democrat Norm Dicks.
Rep. Connie Ladenberg, D-Tacoma, running for Pierce County Council, District 4.
Rep. Jim McCune, R-Graham, running for Pierce County Council, District 3. McCune faces former state Sen. Marilyn Rasmussen, Democrat of Eatonville.
Rep. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, running for the Senate seat being vacated by Val Stevens, R-Arlington.
Rep. Tim Probst, D-Vancouver, running for the Senate seat held by Republican Don Benton, R-Vancouver.
Rep. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, running for the Senate seat being vacated by Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield.