The 2017 election is now behind us. Despite wins for Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey, and Washington State victories in the 45th LD Senate race and the Burien City Council, it can be easy to feel discouraged by the results of the special election here in the 31st Legislative District. While we did see progressive candidates win local races for Auburn City Council, it is disappointing that voters did not turn out to support our state legislative candidates. Nonetheless, the efforts of local volunteers working to elect Democrats to the State House and Senate have not been in vain.
The overall direction in the 31st races is positive for Democrats, though clearly not enough to win this year with candidates who have not run for state level positions before. Our chances next year with Cantwell at the top of the ticket are going to be much better, and assuming our candidates run again, name recognition will be stronger.
Volunteers the 31st LD averaged more than three canvasses each, higher than anywhere else in the State of Washington. This is something we can and should be proud of. We identified many voters whose party affiliation was not previously known, and we need to do more of this in 2018, so that the universe of voters we contact during balloting is significantly larger.
In this district we have to put enormous effort into reaching independent voters. To accomplish this, our focus should be on recruiting more PCOs, identifying the party leanings of more voters, and registering more voters who are likely to vote for our Democratic candidates. These tasks are fundamental to making further gains in subsequent elections. At our next meeting on November 29, we will discuss our plan to achieve these goals.