Posts tagged: John Driscoll
Republican challenger and former state Rep. John Ahern is comfortably ahead of incumbent Democrat in the 6th District House race. As this computer mapping of their vote totals shows, Ahern has large vote margins on the edges of the City of Spokane and beyond, while Driscoll’s strength is inside the city limits, particularly on the lower South Hill.
Tonight’s annual televised Chase Youth Commission debate will have a noticeably absent candidate: John Ahern.
While Ahern has appeared with his opponent, incumbent Democratic State Rep. John Driscoll, at several other forums, Ahern also missed last month’s debate sponsored by the League of Woman Voters of the Spokane Area. That event was the only other televised forum that would have featured the two side-by-side.
Click on the image to get to the PDC’s interactive map on legislative campaign spending.
A Spokane legislative district is tops in the state for money raised by candidates, and near the top for spending that money before the August primary.
The 6th Legislative District – which curves around central Spokane’s core from the Whitworth and 5 Mile arreas to the South Hill – is often a pricey political battleground. Its last three state Senate races have been the three most expensive Senate races in state history, with the 2008 contest between Democrat Chris Marr and Republican Sen. Brad Benson at the very top of the list with nearly $818,000 spent for a seat that pays just over $42,000 per year.
This year is likely to follow that trend …click to go inside the blog and read the rest of this story or leave a comment.
Shelly O’Quinn’s legislative race, like nearly every political race worth a darn, may be leaving some supporters with hard feelings, nagging questions and what ifs.
Wednesday’s ballot count showed O’Quinn has no real hope of moving out of third place, which is no doubt vexing to supporters who believed she was a candidate with great potential to be a rising GOP star. While they try to figure out why she lost, some apparently have come up with a theory that it was Democratic perfidity that helped do her in.
The theory, recounted by one supporter, is that Democrats were afraid that freshman incumbent John Driscoll would have a much harder time in the general against O’Quinn than John Ahern. There’s some logic to that speculation:
Driscoll beat Ahern, a well-entrenched encumbent, two years ago, so history is on their side.
Ahern outpolled O’Quinn, but she outspent him.
The Gallatin Group, a regional public affairs organization that has people who follow politics the way others follow Gonzaga basketball, opined as such in an election eve epistle titled “Pondering Politics in the Inland Northwest”: Here’s our prediction. In an Ahern vs. Driscoll match-up, Driscoll wins. However, the Gallatin office is split in our prediction that if O’Quinn manages a win tomorrow the seat will return back to its Republican roots with an O’Quinn victory in November against Driscoll.
So wily Democrats could try to sway the outcome of the primary by voting for Ahern now, then switching to Driscoll in November. Or so the speculation goes.
Speculation is one thing. Facts are something else.
One, it assumes Democrats are organized enough to hatch the plan, and execute it by having willing Driscoll voters cast ballots for Ahern. Democrats have shown themselves to be anything but organized this year. Were they that organized, they’d have fielded candidates in the 4th, and recruited a congressional hopeful who could win at least one county in the 5th District.
B, it ignores the fact that Washington voters love to split tickets on their own.
Lastly, if there was some kind of plot that could overcome the ticket-splitting tendencies of the electorate, it would show up in the vote totals when comparing the votes for the House race with those in the 6th District Senate race. Democrat Sen. Chris Marr pulled down about 2,000 more votes than fellow Democrat Driscoll, while Ahern and Quinn combined for about 4,000 more votes than Republican Senate hopeful Mike Baumgartner. Considering that Marr and Driscoll have similar voting histories that would attract the same partisan support, if something fishy is going on, a pattern would likely emerge. Ahern would consistently do much better in precincts that Marr won handily as Democrats crossed over to vote for him to help Driscoll down the road; O’Quinn would consistenty run stronger in precincts where Baumgartner ran far ahead of Marr.
As the maps below show, that ain’t what happened. At least not consistently.
Setting aside the fact that there were much bigger swings in the Marr-Baumgartner race, which is common in a two-person contest, what happened was this: Ahern did very well in some of the precincts where Baumgartner did very well, but O’Quinn also ran strong in some strong Baumgartner precincts. And both had successes and failures in precincts that Marr won handily.
What the maps show more conclusively is that Ahern won because he won more of those same Republican-leaning precincts that Baumgartner won, and by bigger margins. It’s a pretty simple equation. Win more votes in more places, and you win the election.
After last night, it looks like it will be round two for John Driscoll and John Ahern as they appear likely to advance to the November election.
At the Democratic Party celebration last night, Driscoll said he would start today reaching out to supporters of the third place finisher, Republican Shelly O’Quinn. Driscoll took the seat from Ahern two years ago in a vote so close it had to be recounted.
Driscoll, who won 41 percent of the vote, told the crowd that he’ll need to gain 9 percentage points to win in November.
“We’ve got to take those from Shelly O’Quinn followers, and we’re going to start tomorrow,” Driscoll said as he addressed the crowd at the Democratic celebration at Hamilton Studios.
At an election party last night for O’Quinn and candidates for county office, Chris Bugbee and Steve Salvatori, O’Quinn wasn’t conceding.
“Obviously, I was disappointed. It still can go either way,” she said.
O’Quinn was reluctant to say who she will back for November if her third-place finish doesn’t change.
“I’m willing to support the candidate who will put Washington on the right track,” O’Quinn said.
Reporter Tom Clouse contributed to this report.
A fourth in a series of videos of Rep. John Driscoll and former Rep. John Ahern giving their thoughts on election issues is now available at spokesman.com.
The two are campaigning for a House seat in the highly competitive 6th Legislative District. Driscoll, a Democrat, won the seat against Ahern, a Republican, two years ago in a close battle.
A third candidate, Republican Shelly O’Quinn, declined to be filmed when she was interviewed by The Spokesman-Review.
It’s the case of the unknown videographer, and it highlights the tension between the campaigns of John Ahern and Shelly O’Quinn.
A low-tech video of O’Quinn speaking to the Friday Morning Republican Breakfast Club was posted on YouTube on May 4. O’Quinn said she was unaware she was being filmed.
O’Quinn and Ahern are competing against incumbent Democrat John Driscoll in next month’s primary for a state House seat representing the 6th Legislative District.
“It’s not the content that bothers me,” O’Quinn said in an interview earlier this month. “It’s the fact that it was taken under the table.”
The clip shows O’Quinn standing before the group and giving some of her opinions on the environment and abortion.
But when the video was first posted, it included a picture of O’Quinn’s campaign logo with a President Obama logo superimposed on it, O’Quinn said. She called Ahern and told him that the video violated election rules.
“The whole point of the video was to say I was not Republican enough,” she said. “I have chosen to run a positive campaign in spite of the way they chose to run their campaign.”
Ahern said the video was not from his campaign.
“She threatened me with (Public Disclosure Commission) violations,” Ahern said. “I don’t respond very well to threats.”
Ahern said he agreed, however, to make some inquiries and he asked some people he knew to take down the video if they were responsible. The video was taken off of YouTube soon after. But it soon was reposted without O’Quinn’s or Obama’s logos.
Ahern said he suspects he knows who posted it, but he declined to name him or her and said people have a free speech right to post candidate comments. He also questioned why O’Quinn remains concerned that the video remains on YouTube.
“She shouldn’t be concerned about it. It’s her own voice,” he said. “She could pick up some votes from that I would think. Then again, she could lose some, too.”
There have been no debates for one of the most contested primaries in Eastern Washington, the race for a state House seat representing the 6th District.
The one debate that was scheduled for incumbent Democrat John Driscoll and Republicans Shelly O’Quinn and John Ahern was cancelled after Driscoll and Ahern decided not to participate.
O’Quinn sent a news release criticizing both her opponents for not appearing at The League of Women Voters of the Spokane Area forum on July 13.
“While their reluctance is a testament to the momentum that this campaign has developed, it is unfortunate that the voters will not have the opportunity to see the candidates next to one another talking about the issues,” she said in her news release.
Ahern said he decided not to show up after he got word that Driscoll wasn’t going to be there. He said he questioned if O’Quinn would participate because O’Quinn earlier declined to participate in video interviews with The Spokesman-Review.
“She might just get scared and not even show up for the forum,” Ahern said. ”That definitely went through my head.”
He said he attended a campaign event in Spokane Valley instead.
“There was uncertainty whether she would show up or not,” Ahern said. ”I decided I got better things to do.”
OLYMPIA — Getting $35 million for the North Spokane corridor was a big deal, even over on the other side of the state.
Gov. Chris Gregoire, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown and Sen. Chris Marr all made the trip over for the ceremony. Rep. John Driscoll, who has a chunk of the road in his 6th Legislative District was interested in coming along, but the governor’s staff said the plane was already full.
Driscoll booked a commercial flight out of Sea-Tac and made it to Spokane in time for the 10 a.m. ceremony, hs staff said. Unfortunately for the governor and her group, the fog kept them in Olympia for a while longer. The media event was rescheduled for 11 a.m., to give the fog time to lift and let them make the flight.
“They got there eventually, the ceremonial check changed hands, ceremonial words were spoken, and Driscoll headed back to Olympia,” legislative aide Dan Frizzell noted in a press release. “Flying coach.”Which begs the question: Why didn’t the governor and everyone else fly coach, too?
OLYMPIA—Washington Republicans wasted little time trying to draw connections between a Democratic Senate loss in Massachusetts and election prospects in the Evergreen State.
Washington Democrats conceded that the loss of a supermajority in the U.S. Senate complicates plans in the Legislature. They can’t expect Congress to adopt health care reform or a stimulus package before they have to patch a $2.6 billion budget hole and leave town.
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