The ballots are still filtering in to determine the final results of the Eighth Congressional race between incumbent Dave Reichert and two-time challenger Darcy Burner.


Reichert Burner Race Still Undecided

The ballots are still filtering in to determine the final results of the Eighth Congressional race between incumbent Dave Reichert and two-time challenger Darcy Burner.

Current results, being updated regularly, have Reichert up 50.5 to 49.5 percent with nearly 140,000 votes tabulated. Burner is up barely in King County and Reichert is ahead by 8 percentage points in Pierce County, encompassing the district’s southern third area.

With results coming in last night, clearly against the Grand Old Party, the former King County Sheriff seemed to be the only politician the faithful could call upon.

Like a plaintive Carrie Fisher beseeching Sir Alec Guinness, throughout the night groups of Republicans embraced Reichert, telling him he’s their only hope.

Reichert was reflective Tuesday evening, taking in the loss of so many of his congressional colleagues nationwide hard, while dealing with the uncertainty of his own race.

He said, however, that he is placing his hope in democracy along with the nation's history of a peaceful transition of power.

“Obama will be the next President. We as Americans need to rally around the flag,” Reichert said adding that when he gets back, he’s going to have to continue to work with the Democrats in passing legislation.

For the latter part of the campaign, the economy has been the prime focus. Along with voters deciding whether having a degree in computer science and economics from Harvard qualified that person as an economic expert.

Much of his time spent back in D.C. has been spent on public safety and national security legislation. However Reichert said he has been working on the bread-and-butter issues too, citing his opposition to the $850 billion Wall Street Bailout package as a prime example.

Reichert opposed party leadership on the initial $700 billion dollar bill and voted against it again when the Senate added $150 billion in goodies.

“The administration felt that it had to push that down our throats,” Reichert said with an angry flash in his eyes. “After we held the line on the first Bailout, the Senate added a lot of Christmas tree ornaments to the bill. Earmarks. Pork disguised as tax extenders. Some of those ornaments would have benefited Washington. If voting on the [Bailout] was wrong the first time, I wasn’t going to be enticed with some Christmas ornaments.”

Having been labeled as a Rubberstamp for the Bush Administration for two election cycles now, there seemed to be a lot of frustration about being stuck with that sort of legislation in the middle of a tough bid for re-election.

Contrary to stereotypes, the Eastside is not Republican and hasn’t really voted that way for almost a decade. Looking at election results, precinct by precinct, Bellevue, Redmond, Mercer Island and Medina place their bets on Blue. In other words lots of limousine liberals.

Rather Republican support comes from the 253 and 360, South King and Pierce County, from the working-class and blue-collar homes of families living in Kent, Auburn, Covington and Renton.

Burner was campaigning hot and hard in the southern portion of the district, renting an RV and camping out for a week in the towns of Eatonville, Buckley, Orting and Enumclaw. Pierce County voted against Burner by fifteen percentage points in 2006.

Eight days before the election, sitting in Eatonville, Burner told the Seattle Weekly that it was her goal to erode Reichert’s support amongst his southern constituents.

The strategy has worked to a certain extent because the Democrat has cut into the lead so far. But as of yet it hasn’t been enough to put her over the edge.

Burner spokesperson Jaime Smith said before the polls closed yesterday that the campaign wouldn’t know for probably a week what the final tally would be.

Initial voting trended very heavily for the challenger. These are being cited by insiders as "eager Obama voters" who couldn't rushed to get their ballots mailed in as soon as possible. Most of these ballots also were returned before the so-called "Harvard Hoax" gaffe hit the news.


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