Trump Isn't The Only Scary Thing On The Ballot

Friday, June 10, 2016

Unless you've been hiding under a rock lately, it seems like everyone is talking about the 2016 election. Not a day goes by without Donald Trump's angry face plastered across the media, and the Facebook feelings about Hillary Clinton's recent nomination have likely overwhelmed your news feed.

It's no surprise voters are fired up about the presidential race. There's so much at stake. Three potential Supreme Court picks hang in the balance; the court will make resounding decisions on abortion, immigration, and voting rights in the coming years. Plus, President Obama's legacy moving forward LGBT freedom, health care reform, and some climate change policies could be shattered by a Trump presidency. While cable news gives wall-to-wall coverage of Trump's latest tweet, there is actually a political battle going on here in Washington state that could be nearly as scary as a Donald Trump presidency.

How is that possible, you ask? Trump is a racist, sexist demagogue high on his own ego--could Washington really face anything as scary?

Yes, in fact, we could. Washington state is currently one seat away from a full Republican takeover of our House and our Senate. One. Single. Seat. And Independent Democrat Chris Hurst is retiring from his House seat in a very conservative district, leaving progressives in a pinch to ensure they flip at least two Republican seats to Democrats this fall.

Just as we've seen in Congress, a Republican takeover would be a recipe for gridlock and undermining the progress we've worked so hard to achieve. If people who don't believe in government are elected to run our government, they make decisions that hurt our schools, health care, and infrastructure. The fight for greater equality--equal pay for equal work, renaming racist places in our state, and protecting freedom for transgender people--also dies. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell admitted that his top legislative priority was attacking Obama, and local conservatives have been using the same playbook.

Mitch McConnell

If you don't believe it could be this bad, we've already seen it happen. Republicans have controlled our state Senate for the last four years and it's been one extreme, partisan bill after another. Here's a short list of legislation Republicans have introduced in the last few years, and progressive bills they have prevented from moving forward:

And the list goes on. The Party of No has blocked most of the good ideas coming out of Olympia in the last four years. Giving them total control of both our House and Senate would set us up for disasters like we've seen in Congress recently, where the only new idea the GOP seems to have is to try to repeal Obamacare for the 60th time.

Thankfully, there are a number of key races around the state with progressives running who are worth supporting. From Lynnette Vehrs in Spokane to Lisa Wellman on Mercer Island to Marisa Peloquin in the University Place/Lakewood area, good candidates abound who will stand up for working people, the less fortunate, and our underfunded schools. They may not be on the top of your mind right now like Secretary Hillary Clinton, but their races are no less important. Wins there will usher in a new era for building a more progressive Washington, benefiting everything from our schools to our climate.

If you want to learn more about how to ensure progressives win in our statewide races this year, contact Morgan at Get involved today, because it's up to us to and make sure we don't become the reddest state on the West Coast.

- Sara Kiesler is the Research and Digital Media Manager at Fuse Washington