SEATTLE, Wash. – Washington Governor-elect Jay Inslee says states are the incubators of new ideas – and that should extend to marijuana legalization. Inslee Wednesday said he’s hopeful Washington’s new recreational pot law can take effect without federal interference.
Inslee didn’t support Washington’s marijuana legalization initiative. But now that it has passed he says, “The voters have spoken.”
Inslee says he will work in a “rational and mature” way to persuade the Obama administration to allow Washington to implement the law.
Republican Rob McKenna was leading in 31 of 39 Washington counties. But it was not enough. Friday night he conceded defeat in the race for governor to Democrat Jay Inslee. McKenna called Inslee after the latest vote tally showed the race narrowing, but not fast enough to reverse the Democrat’s lead. Later, McKenna posted a video to Facebook.
Gay rights groups are hoping Oregon will be the next state to legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot. Washington did that this week. But to follow suit, Oregon voters would have to reverse themselves and repeal a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Voters passed that ban in 2004 after a campaign led by the conservative Oregon Family Council. Spokeswoman Teresa Harke says her group will oppose any efforts to overturn it.
"I think there are still a lot of people who support one man, one woman marriage. And we are ready to fight for that."
Exit polls show Latino voters helped push President Obama to victory on Tuesday. But there was another sign of the growing influence of Hispanics on election day: That was the actual names on many ballots.
A public radio analysis done before the election found that just 2 percent of the Northwest's elected officials were Latino.
Oregon may have nudged that up. Voters in the Portland area elected Jessica Vega Pederson and Joseph Gallegos, both Democrats, to the state House.