After her 17 years on the King County Council, you might say that Republican Jane Hague has aged like a fine wine, but if you did, she'd probably try to drink herself. Especially after her poor showing in last week's primary.
Conventional wisdom says an incumbent wants to come out of a primary election with more than half the vote. But Hague—embattled after a 2007 drunk driving incident—now stands at less than 38 percent, a truly pathetic tally, even given a four-way contest. Worse for Hague, the election seems to have swung heavily toward political newcomer Richard Mitchell. The Democrat is actually outpolling Hague in the late ballot returns and comfortably leading the better-known third-place challenger, two-term Port of Seattle commissioner John Creighton, by a 30–24 margin.
That's a clear indication that former Hague voters have abandoned the incumbent. Whether it was her past scandals that turned off voters, or her I-was-for-the-$20-car-tab-fee-before-I-was-against-it-before-I-was-for-it debacle, it's hard to say. Regardless, Hague appears to have worn out her welcome.
The consequences of a Mitchell victory in November would be huge. Mitchell would give the Democrats a 6–3 supermajority on the putatively nonpartisan council, meaning controversial measures like the $20 fee would cease to be controversies.