Other than Renata Rollins winning a seat on the Olympia City Council, Gigi McClure doing so poorly is probably the most surprising result of the last election. Her military logistics background easily translated into an argument for an institutionalist kind of candidate that would bring peace to the port commission. From one angle she looked like a sort of proto Bill McGregor, whose decades in port operations across western Washington is the main element of his campaigns.
But, as McGregor seems to be squeezing out a close win in his race, McClure was beaten handily by incumbent E.J. Zita. While Zita herself had a close race against institutionalist
But, most interesting is the geography of where McClure essentially lost this race, where she did a poor job recreating McGregor's map.
On this map, the darkest colors are where McClure did worse compared to McGregor. When you zoom in you see a lot of the same precincts that McClure did the poorest in compared to McGregor are the same ones that Jeff Davis won in against Sue Gunn four years ago. In the same way that McClure was the institutionalist against Zita, Davis was the institutionalist against Gunn in 2013.
Davis' best precincts were in a band of suburban neighborhoods around the more dense areas in northern Thurston County, these are the areas around Yelm Highway and College that make a broad loop around the older parts of the county.
During the recent episode of The Olympia Standard, I made a quick assessment of why McClure didn't match McGregor, but I'm not totally sure I was right. I said that her penchant to equate port protestors with terrorists probably didn't play very well in the suburbs. I think this is still true and I'm also sure that Zita's incumbency had some play in results too. But I'm expanding my thinking. I'll let you know when I get back anything interesting.