With ballots having been mailed out to Washington’s more than three and a half million registered voters this past week, today and tomorrow are the first of many GOTV (get out the vote) weekends for this year’s candidates and campaigns.
Few races in the state are more fiercely contested than the showdown in the 30th Legislative District between Democratic State Representative Carol Gregory and her Republican opponent, Teri Hickel. Gregory is trying to defend the seat posthumously won by Roger Freeman in last year’s midterm elections.
The Republicans badly want the seat, because they feel it would give them momentum going into next year’s legislative elections, not to mention reduce the House Democratic majority to a wafer-thin one vote margin.
Democrats are equally determined to keep it. That’s why they organized a big get out the vote campaign rally this morning at Gregory campaign headquarters, headlined by Washington Governor Jay Inslee, State Representative Joe Fitzgibbon, and King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove.
Inslee, who was himself victorious in a tough campaign against Rob McKenna three years ago, spoke enthusiastically and passionately about the importance of retaining Carol in the House. A transcript of his remarks follows.
Good morning! Good morning! This is a great morning. I just came here to say I believe in three things. I believe three things are going to happen today. One, the Huskies are going to beat the Ducks. Two, the Cougars are going to beat the Beavers. And [three], we are going to beat on those doors and get the votes we need so Carol can come back to the Washington State Legislature.
And I believe… I believe we’re gonna do that because we got a great team here. You look at… this is a great looking team. We got Jonathan Knapp, who, [with the] Seattle teachers, struck a blow for educational liberty big time this year. Congratulations to the Seattle teachers!
This was… And that’s an important point, ’cause Carol’s a teacher, and I don’t think this is something we oughta [have] left unsaid at these doors today. Look at what these Seattle teachers did.
They — educators, thank you very much, I’m learning — these educators, this year in Seattle, created a whole new contract where we can get equity teams to reduce the disparity in discipline.
They came up with a new rule that kids can get, you know, recess, so they can be physically active. This is what educators can do when we put ’em in leadership positions. And that’s why we’ve got to make sure people — everybody knows in Federal Way — that we’ve got an educator that can serve in the Legislature.
Now, look, when you want a quarterback, you get Russell Wilson. When you want a legislator who understands how to be an educator, you get Carol Gregory. Now that’s a pretty good deal.
I looked today at the motto of Federal Way… How many people know what the motto of Federal Way is, okay? The motto of Federal Way is that, it’s all within reach. And I think that is true in what we’re doing today. Having a new minimum wage that’s adequate to end income inequality is within reach with Carol Gregory, okay. Having sick leave, so that you don’t have to make a choice [between] taking care of yourself or going to work is within reach. Having pay equity is within reach. All of this is within reach when we get Carol Gregory back.
And I’m just so pleased… I think she’s the perfect person in the perfect place at the perfect moment for the State of Washington.
So I don’t want to talk too long. We want to get out there on those doors. And the one thing I’ll just leave with you is, you’re going to say [to yourself] sometime today, you’re going to be a little tired, your feet are going to be a little sore, you’re going to look up at that hill, and there’ll be a house, up in this… about two hundred feet up a long driveway, and there’ll be some mean looking dogs there… and it’ll be maybe the last door… and you’ve got [a choice to make, and you go], Eh, should I go home and put my feet up, or knock on that last door?
We’ve got to knock on that last door today for Carol.
And… when we do that… I know how important this is, because I’ve knocked on 25,000 doors myself. So when you get to the last door, I will be with you in spirit at least, and I’ll know we will do what good Democrats do: Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell, and organize.
Let’s go win this seat! Thanks a lot, guys.
Following the rally, dozens upon dozens of doorbelling groups headed out to canvass for Carol in the neighborhoods of Federal Way and beyond, armed with clipboards and walk lists. Among them were several of Carol’s Democratic colleagues in the House, cheerfully donating their time to Carol’s campaign.
Gregory and her campaign staff, sporting t‑shirts with the tagline No Nonsense, are doing their best to run a tight ship. The campaign’s headquarters is surprisingly tidy despite being a hub of activity. Campaign manager Hope Bixby says that keeping the office well-organized keeps the campaign well-organized.
Gregory says she is gratified to have the support of the Federal Way Mirror, the 30th Legislative District’s hometown paper, which endorsed her just as ballots arrived in voters’ mailboxes on Thursday. Ballots must be returned by November 3rd at 8 PM; the first results will be released shortly thereafter.