A couple of years ago, I drew a map showing how former port commissioner Sue Gunn did an amazing job connecting anti-establishment voters in the rural and urban neighborhoods.
She had the ability to run as a non-partisan, showing then how you could connect the bottom ends of the so-called (by me) Cascadian Political Spectrum. Typically, partisan elections in Thurston County roll out with the more liberal (Democratic) candidate winning the north county, with the more conservative candidate (typically Republican) winning in the south.
The likely victor is decided by how many voters in the connecting suburban districts turn their heads toward them.
Sue Gunn flipped this equation by winning both the urban area and the rural south, with the connecting suburbs going to her opponent, Jeff Davis.
Unfortunately, Sue had to retire because of health concerns. She'll likely be replaced by E.J. Zita, an Evergreen State College professor and south county resident. At least on the surface, it seemed likely that Zita might be able to repeat Sue's run.
But, when you look at the map of the (very very close) results, Zita will have won by the more traditional liberal's route in Olympia, through urban Thurston County.
Zita did win a handful of precincts in the south county, and Jerry Farmer (her opponent) seemingly owned the suburban neighborhoods. But, Zita's high margins in Olympia seemingly put her over the top.
It is worth noting that liberals (Democrats) usually win in Thurston County, so it isn't that exciting to note that the liberal won again. The notable thing in 2013 was that Gunn (a former
Democratic Progressive Independent candidate for congress) beat a fellow Democrat (Davis) by being more liberal. Or, she was at least more anti-establishment.