GOP Governor Blues

Why the Republicans keep coming up short for governor –

The state GOP legitimately has the governor blues, but there’s no reason to despair about ever winning a chance to lead the state again.

It has been 32 years since a Republican in Washington has won a race for governor, stretching back to 1980 when the Democrats were so divided that both President Jimmy Carter and Gov. Dixy Lee Ray faced primary challenges. Carter survived his from Ted Kennedy but was buried in the 41-state Reagan landslide. Dixy was tackled in the primary by Seattle state Sen. Jim McDermott, the only progressive candidate in a five member field. Three Republicans — King County Executive John Spellman, co-Speaker of the State House Duane Berentson, and Secretary of State Bruce Chapman — divided the non-liberal vote with Dixy, allowing McDermott to squeak through with the nomination. But in November, McDermott got 43.5 percent of the vote against the genial, pipe-smoking Spellman, “the man who built the Kingdome”.

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