Geoffrey "Mac" McElroy and Tim Fahey might not have made it to the general election in tonight's primary, but they both vowed to be back in a set of stirring speeches that included Fahey singing a mournful Irish ballad in a shockingly impressive baritone.
According to McElroy, not having a "D" or "R" after his name kept him from being treated like a legitimate candidate. He says that he found out KUOW was interviewing the other three candidates running to replace Sharon Nelson (who ran unopposed for the state Senate) from a friend listening to the program. He wasn't invited to participate.
And yet when King County elections released its count of early mail-in ballots last night, McElroy was beating Marcee Stone, a former actress and paralegal who won the 34th District Democrats sole endorsement, with almost 19 percent of the vote to her 14 percent. Michael Heavey, the son of a former legislator by the same name, and Joe Fitzgibbon, the legislative aide to Sharon Nelson, were in the lead with nearly 34 percent and 33 percent of the ballots.
"I think that anybody that puts eight months into something, you want to win," McElroy says. But he adds that beating Stone "shows there's some viability."
McElroy pointed out that since the election is to fill a vacant seat, not a full term, it will be up again next year. And he plans to run. "I'm looking forward to being the first Independent in the state legislature," he says.
Addressing the crowd he put it more dramatically saying he intends to "let the status quo know that there is an alternative to the Democrats and the way they do business and the Republicans and the way they do business."
Following McElroy's remarks, Fahey rose to give his own version of the "it's ain't over yet" speech, though for him the numbers are more bleak. Former state Senator Joe McDermott had more than 59 percent of the vote at first count. Fahey was in fourth with just over 7 percent.
But that didn't seem to dampen his spirits. After vowing to run again in 2011, Fahey dropped his head, closed his eyes, then lifted his face back up and sang: "Of all the money that ere I had/I spent it in good company."
The entire bar grew completely silent until the final line. "So fill me to the parting glass/Goodnight and joy be with you all."
Be wary tonight's winners, neither Fahey nor McElroy have any intention of parting for good.
Go to the websites for the Secretary of State and King County Elections for the rest of the results. (Hint: You'll never guess who made it to the general election in the U.S. Senate race! ... Okay, yes you will.)