Thursday, December 23, 2021

In Washington's 42nd Legislative District where I happen to live.

There has been quite a bit of national news about death rates from COVID 19 being higher among Republican leaning areas versus areas that vote Democrat. This due to lower vaccination rates among Republicans and other factors such as more resistance to mask wearing.

The spotlight of this news has come closer to home recently, here in Washington State's 42 Legislative district with the recent death of our state Senator, Republican Doug Erikson.

It isn't publically known whether Erikson was vaccinated, or not, but has been reported that he had Covid 19 during a trip to Elsalvador. He was medivacted to Florida where he was reported to be improving, but later reported to have passed away.

Wishing the best for him and his family.

I live in the 42nd district so he was my state Senator, even though I didn't vote for him.

Some people reading this wouldn't be familior with the 42nd District so here is a part of the story.

The city of Bellingham, where I live, is divided into two legislative districts; the 40th and the 42nd districts. The district line runs down certain city streets. Urban areas tend to be more liberal than rural areas.

40th district tends to go south from mid Bellingham while the 42nd district goes north. 42nd district includes rural northwest regions of Whatcom County.

Over the years, the 40th district usually sends Democrats to Olympia (our state capital) while the 42nd tends to vote more Republican. Erikson had held a state House of Represenatives seat from 1998 till 2010 when he ran for the state Senate and held that seat ever since.

Democrats have tried to elect a Democrat in that District, but Erikson was able to hold the seat. In 2018, the election was close, I think within a few hundred votes.

Next election will be in 2022.

Meanwhile, according to Washington State Constitution, the Republican Party is to pick a field of candidates to serve out the end of Erikson's term and the County Council chooses the final candidate from that field.

I'm remembering one year when it seemed like there was a huge difference between the 40th and the 42nd districts. That was the year when the top two candidates from the 40th district were from the Green Party and the Democratic Party.

Washington has a system where the top two candidates from the primary ballot go on to the general election. While the 42nd elected Republican Erikson, in the general, no Republican was in the general election from the 40th district. In the 40th district, the Democrat beat the Green Party Candidate that year.

I was living in the 40th district at that time.

In reality, the two districts have more in common than it looked that year, but races are often fairly close.

I've lived in both districts since the line bisects Bellingham. Not that I've moved real often, but I have moved across that line so I am currently in the 42nd district.

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