Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Democrats take complete control of Island County Board of Commissioners

One of the major progressive success stories in the 2008 elections that hasn't gotten much ink (or pixels) is the Democratic Party's historic and surprising takeover of the Island County Board of Commissioners.

For years, the Board has been under Republican control, with Democrats shut out or relegated to a minority voice.

But that all changed just a few weeks ago when voters on Whidbey Island decided to replace the Board's two Republican men with two Democratic women, Helen Price Johnson and Angie Homola, who will soon join Commissioner John Dean on an all-Democratic Board of Commissioners. (Dean represents Camano Island and the northern tip of Whidbey; his term expires in 2010).

Homola and Price Johnson's victories are historic not only because Democrats have never had a 3-0 majority, but because no woman has ever won election to Island County's Board of Commissioners before.

Both victories are upsets, but Homola's is really impressive, because she defeated an incumbent Republican in the county's most conservative district, which encompasses Republican-leaning Oak Harbor and Ault Field (the proper name for Naval Air Station Whidbey Island). A recently completed recount confirmed Homola's narrow victory, which ultimately was just sixty two votes.

The next time it's raining and you're contemplating not walking your precinct, remember that Angie Homola only won by sixty two votes. Remember that John Driscoll only won by seventy two votes. Remember that Chris Gregoire only won in 2004 by a hundred and thirty three votes.

Every vote counts.

Remarkably, Island County also voted for Barack Obama and Chris Gregoire, and sent Democrat Mary Margaret Haugen back to the State Senate for another four year term. Democrats Peter Goldmark and Jim McIntire (who ran for Lands Commissioner and Treasurer, respectively) lost the county, but not by too much.

Cheers to the Island County Democratic Party for their impressive victory, and good luck to Helen and Angie as they join John on the Board of Commissioners.


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