What have we learned from this election?

November 4th, 2015 by Ken

Sometimes it’s time to go. – – George Barner Jr. was one of the most unusual and unique individuals to ever grace the political stage in Thurston County.   He was an environmentalist before that word was invented.   He had “great” ideas, large ideas, weird ideas sometimes.  He wasn’t a “small” thinker.   He cared about people and people cared about him.   But it was time for him to go.  This isn’t an obituary but it is a political obituary. George was not one to live in the past but sometimes the future catches up with you.   It did so for George.  Joe Downing will be a good port commissioner.

It’s tough to beat an incumbent.  – – That’s what Bill Frare learned in his race against Jeff Gadman.  Frare ran an almost perfect campaign – with one exception.   He never expanded his campaign volunteers much beyond his family and friends.   And, he never really gave the voters a reason to vote against Gadman.   I’ve learned over the years that voters look for a reason NOT to vote for an incumbent.   If you can’t give them a reason – they’ll return him or her to office.   Frare wasn’t able to give voters a good reason to vote against Gadman.   It also helped that Gadman had the backing of the Democratic Party and of the Lacey Firefighters union – both of which contributed money and workers.

Sometimes even firefighters can’t do the job. – – The Lacey Firefighters union has had a strong record of success in the last decade.   It started with the tussle between the city and the fire district in which the union worked hard, spent money and were successful in getting three members of the Lacey City Council defeated for re-election  Then they backed the annexation of the city into the fire district with good success and they made certain voters in the district approved a levy lid lift.  This time around the union threw it’s money and support behind Paul Perz for a seat on the fire commission.   Perz has a strong background having worked as the assistant state fire marshal – –  but more than that, Perz has two sons who are firefighters in Lacey and members of the union.   The incumbent Gene Dobry had done a good job in his four years on the commission and deserved re-election.   The firefighters union was unable to convince voters to vote against him.  Dobry was helped however by the fact that his wife works at Panorama and is well liked by the residents.   Sometimes it helps to have a “good wife.”   Panorama residents make up a large portion of the vote in Lacey

What’s your reason for running? – – That’s the question we asked of Jerry Farmer in his race for a vacant Port of Olympia seat.  Farmer is well known and well liked.   He never passes up a chance to help an organization with its fund raising effort and he never passes up an opportunity to appear before an audience.   He had never expressed any desire to run for political office before.   So we asked the question – – are you running to appease your own ego or do you really have the best interest of the port and the people of Thurston County?   Farmer apparently was able to convince many voters that he really wanted the port job.

For complete election results go to the Thurston County elections web site.


Posted in Local Politics, The Real News

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