A political thought – is this the year of the trend stopper?

March 7th, 2012 by Ken

No incumbent Democratic woman office-holder has ever been defeated for re-election in Thurston County.

That thought crossed my mind as I listened to Republican Andrew Barkis talk about why we needed new leadership on the Thurston County Commission. All currently serving are Democratic women. His opponent will be Sandra Romero, who not only is seeking her second term on the commission, but also served in the state legislature from the 22nd District.

As I noted in another article, women dominate politics in Thurston County. They had since the mid 1970’s when they coalesced around an effort to elect Karen Fraser, as the first woman, to a seat on the county commission. Fraser of course is still serving in elective office, currently as our state senator.

Those efforts to elect women were further bolstered during the “Year of the Woman” when voters managed to put women in the top seats of our state government. It looks like the Republican presidential candidates are going to make 2012, another “Year of the Woman.”

Since women started dominating local politics, no Democratic incumbent office-holder has ever been defeated. That doesn’t apply to Republican women however. Judy Wilson’s defeat for her county commission seat as a Republican gives that credence.

Some point to the narrow defeat of Democrat Jolene Unsoeld from her Third Congressional Seat, by Linda Smith as an example of how I’m wrong. However, Unsoeld wasn’t just running in Thurston County but all across Southwest Washington. It also took another woman to defeat her.

Barkis has his work cut out. He is an attractive candidate, a good speaker, friendly and out-going, a businessman with good and well thought out ideas. But, he’s a Republican male.

He’s bucking a trend. Democratic women predominate in local elections.

However, all trends eventually stop. Is this the year of the trend stopper?

Posted in Government, History, Informational, Local Politics, The Real News

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