It has been a week since the election and the Republicans have gained a total of five seats. While this does not seem like a big win for Washington Republicans, this is huge!
Though the House Republicans only gained four seats in the House and still don’t have a majority, those seats were held by four Democrat incumbents, one of which has been in office since 1998:
- 17th legislative district: Representative Monica Stonier, elected in 2010 lost by 1,134 votes to Lynda Wilson
- 25th legislative district: Representative Dawn Morrell, elected in 2002 and again in 2012, lost by 3,523 votes to Melanie Stambaugh
- 26th legislative district: Representative Larry Seaquist, elected in 2006, lost by 289 votes to Michelle Caldier
- 35th legislative district: Representative Kathy Haigh, elected in 1998, lost to Dan Griffey by 546 votes
There was one race that we were tracking in the 28th legislative district, with Christine Kilduff (D) and Paul Wagemann (R), and for a day or two, Wagemann seemed to be leading. But over the week, Kilduff has gained more votes and has a lead of 289 votes. And while Ms. Kilduff may have won this seat, it does not take away a seat previously held by a Republican. Kilduff winning this seat does not take away a seat from the Republicans, but instead, keeps the seat for the Democrats.
What has once an eight seat lead for the House Democrats is now a 4 seat lead over the House Republicans. This brings the distribution of power in the House to 51 Democrats to 47 Republicans.
Last year, the Senate Democrats held 25 seats while the Republicans held 24 seats. But since last week, Republican Mark Miloscia has held a steady lead over Democrat Shari Song and has given the Senate Republicans the one seat they needed to gain control of the Senate (25 seats held by Republicans and 24 seats held by Democrats). The Republicans do not need to rely on the Majority Coalition, which included 24 Republican and two Democratic Senators, to hold the majority.
The seats gained by the Washington Republicans will have an impact on the upcoming legislative session, which starts on January 12, 2015. And should any of those bills deal with life, religious freedom, marriage, and parental rights, we will keep you updated on those issues.