Plenty of surprises on election night

Democrat Jay Inslee celebrates with supporters at an election party in Seattle. Inslee maintained a 50,000 vote lead in the race for governer at press time. Photo courtesy of the Insee campaign.

Election night brought some surprising and some largely expected election results to our nation, state, and county.

Democrats in our community have strong hope for what America will be under the Obama administration yet again.

“This country’s going to come together even more than it has the last four years, behind the president, and send a message that we’re all one people and we all need to act as one people, under one president,” said Kathy Kravit-Smith, Pierce County parks department director, after hearing the projected results.

The prospects for our nation will depend on much more than just Obama and Biden, but also on congressional Republicans and their willingness to work and compromise said another Thurston County Democrat, Kozmo Bates.

Obama will continue to improve the social and political systems that are now currently in place by creating jobs, ending wars, bringing soldiers back, and funding schools, said local Noal Alsharbini.

A couple hundred Thurston County Democrats gathered at the Olympia Red Lion Hotel election night to watch the results. For Thurston County, tallies were predictably Democrat. But some had mixed feelings about certain measures.

Some said it was unfortunate that Initiative 1240 passed despite the data that charter schools are not doing well nationally.

“I don’t make million dollar gambles on our kids’ futures based on a hope,” said District 22 House Representative Chris Reykdal.

“I’m torn about charter schools. I don’t want disparity to come about. I’m African American and some think it may be headed back to segregated schools,” according to local Rosetta Jones.

“The school districts show strong opposition to it, so the question will be if these five or six really rich, white guys can put enough time and money into the project,” said Roger Erskine, who also voted against the measure. Erskine is the board president of the center for ethical leadership, and co-founder and leader of the league of education voters.

“It will turn things over a bit and bring new energy and ideas, let alone a lot of opportunity for students,” Bates said, who wanted charter schools in Thurston County.

Different forms of education will be beneficial to students and their parents said SPSCC student Charlie Richardson.

When it came to Initiative 8223, concerning investments by state universities, Richardson is relieved it was rejected, saying that it would have allowed schools to spend student tuition on Wall Street instead of locally on education and student organizations.

Concerning Referendum 74, Tyler Allan said he was really proud of our state being on the forefront of equality through voter approval.

“We want to make history,” he said.

“Me and my partner are expecting for 74 to pass. [We] expect to finally be given the privilege of marriage and being able to tell our daughter that she has two parents who love her and who are going to stay together and who are recognized by society,” said Kravit-Smith, talking about her own experience with the issue.

SPSCC student Luke Richmond didn’t vote to pass I-502. “[It is] a method of extortion by the government to control and tax another substance, as well as some serious restrictive regulations on the use and distribution of marijuana,” Richmond said.

According to Richardson, I-502 will benefit Washington State by removing mass amounts of money from Mexican drug cartels and will shrink the black market that often causes people to try harder drugs. It will also give tax revenue to public healthcare, education, and law enforcement, he said.

Kravit-Smith said she is looking forward to the new Washington measures and leadership, and that as governor, Jay Inslee will focus on employment, energy, and industry in Washington.