Posted by: sweeneyblog | June 16, 2012

Battle Royale in the 42nd Legislative District

Just in case you missed the excitement, we actually have a couple of competitive races here locally. As many of you know, Whatcom County is divided in half when it comes to who represents us in Olympia. You can find the maps here, but the upshot is everything north of Alabama street (including yours truly) is in the 42nd Legislative District (LD).

The 42nd is represented by an anti-working people crusader, journalist threaten-er and worst of all, user of Papyrus font in his mailers, Doug Ericksen (R), who after getting his electoral behind handed to him by County Executive Jack Louws, isn’t up for re-election until 2014. However, his protege, Jason Overstreet is up for election. You might remember Jason Overstreet as the Representative who tried to pass a law allowing you to pay all your bills with gold coins. Leprechaun economics aside, his seat partner is Vincent Buys, who recently made news by having one of the worst voting records for working people this year. Both Overstreet and Buys are up for re-election this year, and they both have strong challenges.

Natalie McClendon

Taking on Jason Overstreet, we have Natalie McClendon. You might remember her as the (now) former chair of the Whatcom Democrats, but she is also a former teacher and current business owner (Turner Photographics). After I worked on Catherine Chambers campaign for City Council, she reached out and gave me a seat on the Executive Board of the local Democrats and set me to writing their newsletter and press releases. She has always had a keen eye for process, details and while she doesn’t have the glossy coat of a professional politician, she does speak from the heart, honestly about the challenges of our community.

Matt Krogh

Taking on Vincent Buys, we have Matt Krogh. Krogh, a former GIS expert, has been the point man for RESources during much of the Gateway Pacific Terminal discussion, but unlike some of his fellow environmentalists, he did not retreat to alarmist rhetoric, instead keeping his arguments firmly coached in solid facts, and respectful discourse. I remember sitting down with him when he was concerned about a recent County Council decisions and being impressed not just by the depth of his knowledge, but by the quality of the questions he asked. He brings an analytical and grounded approach to public policy and will be a welcome break from the sometimes dogmatic ideology currently represented in the 42nd LD.

But what about the 40th LD, you ask? Well, there isn’t much of a race there. Kevin Ranker has the biggest challenge, having drawn an opponent on the left and the right. John Swapp, the avuncular fellow who ran against Jeff Morris last time and talked about doorknobs, is running against Kevin as a Republican, while Jim Cozad, homeless advocate, is running against Ranker as a Democrat. Jeff Morris only drew a Green Party candidate, Howard Pellett, as his opposition. Finally, my favorite state Representative Kris Lytton has done such great job of representing her district that literally NO ONE filed against her. After filing week, one Republican decided to run as a “write in” candidate, but really, Kris remains unopposed.

Which leaves all the focus back on the 42nd. Although the demographics have shifted in the redistricting, making the 42nd difficult terrain for any Democrat running, both Buys and Overstreet drew top-tier opposition, strong candidates ready to raise the money and make the incumbents fight for every vote.

I hope to have interviews with everyone running in the 42nd over the course of this election cycle. You can support the good work we do by clicking here, and see other articles about the 2012 election cycle here.



  1. […] College attended by a loose association of conservative federal candidates and both sides of the battle royale in the 42nd legislative district. Having returned, unscathed, I bring you a whole report complete with pictures, quotes and video. […]

  2. […] who they support when the race is a clear-cut divide between two very different candidates (e.g. the battle royale in the 42nd), but what about some of those other races? State Supreme Court, or commissioner of public lands? […]

  3. […] something similar to 2006 or 2008. What does that mean? It means if I was Rep. Jason Overstreet, or Rep. Vincent Buys I would be looking over my […]

  4. […] about the ending of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the need for equality. Natalie McClendon and Matt Krogh shared their “Top Ten” list of “Reasons we need new representation in the 42nd […]

  5. […] a big way. We could have Matt and Natalie in there like that.” I asked him how he thinks the race to the north will turn out. “We still might have a very real opportunity there, but it is an uphill […]

  6. […] 2012, Natalie McClendon and Matt Krogh made a noble attempt to unseat Rep. Vincent Buys and Rep. Jason Overstreet and despite the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: