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Trail Mix - 08.23.12 

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Final Results Are In

Spokane County posted its final results for the primary election earlier this week. Some observations:

Our turnout was tepid — not quite 39 percent. Still, that’s about right on with the rest of the state. Washington did move its primary earlier to comply with new federal regulations, but that can’t totally explain the feeble effort.

Michael Baumgartner couldn’t beat Maria Cantwell in his own county, losing 45 to 43 percent.

Rob McKenna did quite well in Spokane County, besting Jay Inslee by 11 points. Is that because Eastern Washington voters don’t know Inslee or because local voters really like McKenna?

Finally, the crowded 3rd District State Rep results were very close. Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder lost to Republican Tim Benn by 550 votes. Had he placed in the top two, both finalists would have been Dems.

Sweating in Tampa

Yes, it’s ridiculously hot and humid in Florida in late August — and it’s the peak of hurricane season! Starting Monday, Republicans will gather in the air-conditioned confines of the Tampa Convention Center for a four-day pep rally. Weather experts peg the chance of a hurricane hitting the city at just 1 percent, which, ironically, is the GOP’s favorite percentage.

If you are an attendee, good news — you can bring your handgun. Despite pleas earlier this year from Tampa’s mayor, Florida Gov. Rick Scott refused to make downtown Tampa a concealed-weapon-free zone during the convention.

Not surprisingly, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn is a Democrat — as is the entire city council. It’s a fact that will be driven home by a billboard posted along a major thoroughfare pointing out that Tampa’s “mayor and all city council members are Democrats,” and, “Enjoy our well-run city!”

But if you’re a protester — and Tampa expects thousands — it won’t be anything like Chicago in 1968. In fact, Tampa police will hand out guides, prepared with the help of the ACLU, to the parade route, designated protest areas and places to use the restroom. Nice touch.

Breakout Performance?

Our own Cathy McMorris Rodgers will be addressing the GOP convention on Monday night. Could she be the breakout star? At every convention, somebody America’s never heard of exceeds expectations and the media crowns them an up-and-comer.

If I had to pick the breakout speaker who may launch from Tampa right into 2016, I’d say it’ll be someone we’ve all heard of; somebody a lot of Republicans wished was running for president. Somebody with the kind of folksy charm Mitt Romney can’t seem to manufacture — you know, that other smooth southerner who was born in a place called Hope, Mike Huckabee.

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