Representative Carol Gregory speaking
Representative Carol Gregory speaking

In the 30th Leg­isla­tive Dis­tric­t’s $2 mil­lion con­test for State House, Demo­c­ra­t­ic incum­bent Car­ol Gre­go­ry is trail­ing first time Repub­li­can can­di­date Teri Hick­el by 1,035 votes, 53.92% to 46.08%. Gre­go­ry was appoint­ed to the seat fol­low­ing the death of State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Roger Free­man in 2014. Ear­ly results may be mis­lead­ing, as Gre­go­ry faced a sim­i­lar deficit on elec­tion night in 2010, but even­tu­al­ly came with­in 300 votes of Repub­li­can vic­tor Kat­ri­na Asay.

The mood was somber when the first results dropped at Car­ol Gre­go­ry’s cam­paign head­quar­ters in Fed­er­al Way, where local Democ­rats had gathered.

Gre­go­ry gave a brief state­ment, thank­ing the many vol­un­teers who came from all over the state to help the impor­tant cam­paign. “We’re all sur­prised,” she said. “We did every­thing we could besides going neg­a­tive,” not­ing that rejec­tion of attack ads was a pol­i­cy she and her team adopt­ed ear­ly on.

The cam­paign got a late start due to the three spe­cial ses­sions called to resolve the state bud­get deal. Reg­u­la­tions bar sit­ting leg­is­la­tors from cam­paign­ing or rais­ing funds while the leg­is­la­ture is in session.

Still, Gre­go­ry raised $395,053.60 to Hick­el’s $378,272.90.

Out­side spend­ing also played a major role in this race as PDC reports show $471,721.76 in inde­pen­dent expen­di­tures oppos­ing Gre­go­ry, com­pared to less than half that amount oppos­ing Hickel.

The 30th is a per­fect exam­ple of a sub­ur­ban swing dis­trict, but is fac­ing the prospect of an all-Repub­li­can leg­isla­tive del­e­ga­tion for the first time in decades. 2015 being an odd-num­bered year, the Gre­go­ry cam­paign’s pri­ma­ry strat­e­gy was to sim­ply get out the vote, as high vot­er turn-out favors Demo­c­ra­t­ic candidates.

Only about 20% of reg­is­tered vot­ers’ bal­lots had been count­ed as of Novem­ber 3. Watch incom­ing results from both King and Pierce coun­ties close­ly in the com­ing days, as Democ­rats have the poten­tial to pull off a come-from-behind win.

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4 replies on “Democrat Carol Gregory trailing Republican Teri Hickel in hotly contested 30th LD race”

  1. Get real, Car­ol went neg­a­tive right after the pri­ma­ry and her han­dlers spent half a mil­lion in neg­a­tive ads. You were beat­en. Badly.

    Edi­tor’s Note: Kevin Carns is the Polit­i­cal Direc­tor at Wash­ing­ton State’s House Repub­li­can Orga­ni­za­tion­al Committee. 

  2. @1 yes, Hick­el must run again next year. Remem­ber that near­ly 60% of the 30th LD vot­ers went for Oba­ma in 2012. Repub­li­cans only hold this dis­trict because of the low turnout that has plagued Democ­rats across Amer­i­ca — a prob­lem Democ­rats here in WA need to urgent­ly solve.

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