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Lower bridge tolls in time for Election Day

The payoff of one of this year’s more entertaining election-year ploys happened this week when the price of driving a car across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge decreased by 75 cents. The reduction is the handiwork of Sen. Emily Randall, D-Bremerton, with a strong assist from Senate Transportation Chair Marko Liias and their colleagues in the Democratic majority. 

Randall’s 26th District on the Kitsap Peninsula is heavily dependent on the bridge that connects Gig Harbor to Tacoma. And while there’s no question that the tolls load a significant financial burden on everyday users, there’s also no question that reducing them is great politics. It’s like slipping every daily bridge commuter three crisp $50 bills a year.¹

Randall, as we note on the regular, is locked in a tough re-election battle with Rep. Jesse Young, R-Gig Harbor. The Gig Harbor end of the district is generally more conservative than Randall’s home turf in Bremerton. Here she is flexing about the tolls on her Instagram feed: 

The payoff of one of this year’s more entertaining election-year ploys happened this week when the price of driving a car across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge decreased by 75 cents. The reduction is the handiwork of Sen. Emily Randall, D-Bremerton, with a strong assist from Senate Transportation Chair Marko Liias and their colleagues in the Democratic majority. 

Randall’s 26th District on the Kitsap Peninsula is heavily dependent on the bridge that connects Gig Harbor to Tacoma. And while there’s no question that the tolls load a significant financial burden on everyday users, there’s also no question that reducing them is great politics. It’s like slipping every daily bridge commuter three crisp $50 bills a year.

Randall, as we note on the regular, is locked in a tough re-election battle with Rep. Jesse Young, R-Gig Harbor. The Gig Harbor end of the district is generally more conservative than Randall’s home turf in Bremerton. Here she is flexing about the tolls on her Instagram feed: 

The actual toll reduction was approved by the Washington State Transportation Commission in August, but they got pretty clear direction, not to mention a boatload of money, from the Legislature. For more on the interesting politics of bridge tolling, check out our deep dive from earlier in the year. 

In related political news, Young’s campaign recently got a $108,000 infusion of cash from the House Republican Organizational Committee, the hard-money PAC controlled by House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox. This is a textbook example of one of the biggest loopholes in Washington’s campaign finance laws.


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