As she promised at a press conference last week, Governor Chris Gregoire has officially called for a special election to replace US Representative Jay Inslee for the final few weeks of his term. It's kinda silly, but Gregoire insists that it is important that voters of the old 1st Congressional District have representation, "especially in December when key votes on matters that affect our state may need to be cast." Okay. Whatever.
Shortly after Gregoire sent out her press release, Secretary of State Sam Reed sent out his with the details:
“My office will accept candidate filings during the week of May 14, and our Top 2 Primary will have a postmark deadline of Aug. 7. The top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 6 General Election, and the winner will certified by no later than Dec. 6. The new representative will serve until Jan. 3, when a new Congress will be sworn in.
“The winner of the full two-year term will be chosen by the voters of the newly redistricted 1stDistrict, but the short term must be filled by the voters of the old 1st District who elected Jay Inslee. Candidates will be allowed to run for both the short term and the long term. There is no requirement that a congressional candidate live within the district boundaries.
What that means is that there will be two 1st CD races on the both the August primary and November general election ballots. Due to redistricting, some 1st CD voters will see both, some one or the other. And from what the new 1st CD candidates have privately indicated, I would expect most of them to run in both.
A bit confusing, sure. But then, democracy is messy.