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caption: Nearly $3.2 million has poured into campaign coffers so far, most of it being spent to votes through spending on direct mail, digital and TV.
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Nearly $3.2 million has poured into campaign coffers so far, most of it being spent to votes through spending on direct mail, digital and TV.

What would you rather spend election dollars on?: Today So Far

A lot of money was just spent on campaigns in Washington. What would you spend money on instead of those campaign ads we all just had to suffer through?

This post originally appeared in KUOW's Today So Far newsletter for November 10, 2022.

Republican Tiffany Smiley has officially conceded the Senate race to incumbent Democrat Patty Murray.

Smiley's campaign, roughly, falls in the middle of the pack of Murray contenders. Smiley's 43% of the vote (as of this morning) is in the territory of George Nethercutt's results in 2004 and Linda Smith's results in 1998. With 48% of the vote in 2010, Dino Rossi carved away the most votes of any candidate going up against Murray. Despite all that, Smiley certainly gave Murray a run for her money this time around.

The Murray/Smiley election is going down in history as the most expensive race in Washington state history. Murray spent about $20 million on her campaign, and Smiley spent more than $14 million. Together, that money could have purchased nearly enough Dick's Deluxe burgers to feed all of Washington state (yep, I did the math). And I'm not talking about the basic cheeseburgers or even the specials — these are the top-of-the-menu Deluxe burgers. If you minus all the vegans and, say, Sammamish, I think there'd be enough to go around the state. It certainly would be better for our region than all those campaign ads we just suffered through.

That money could also pay for 68 million games of Safe Cracker at Shorty's. It's more than enough to buy out the Tacoma Dome to see Snoop Dogg in December, or all three days of Monster Jam in January. I didn't calculate this, but I'm assuming that $34 million could also cover rent for a few months at an apartment in Seattle ... for like a studio ... if you have a roommate.

Election news is going to continue to trickle in, so keep up with KUOW's election coverage here.

Other elections remain up in the air around Washington.

Over in the 3rd Congressional District, Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez has 52% of the vote, leading Republican Joe Kent with 47%. OPB reports that there are about 80,000 more ballots left to be counted, and the two candidates are only about 11,000 votes apart at this point.

Roughly 11,000 votes are also separating Democrat Kim Schrier and Republican Matt Larkin in Washington's 8th Congressional District. Schrier has 52% and Larkin has 47%.

Things remain tight in the race for the 42nd Legislative District which borders Canada. Republican Simon Sefzik was appointed to take over for state Sen. Doug Erickson after Erickson lost his battle with Covid. Sefzik is running to keep the job, but is trailing Democrat Sharon Shewmake by less than 1,000 votes.

Remember that candidate who misrepresented his military record (and we all found out because his father pointed this information out to his opposition)? It seems that family drama and that military mix up hasn't hurt Democrat Clyde Shavers too much in the race for Legislative District 10. Shavers has 53% of the vote. His rival, Republican Greg Gilday, has 47%. They are separated by about 2,500 votes.

King County and Snohomish County have yet to call winners for their respective prosecuting attorney races, but there are candidates clearly in the lead.

In King County, Leesa Manion currently leads Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell by 11 percentage points. As KUOW’s Angela King reported this morning, this is the first time in more than 40 years that there wasn't an incumbent running in that race. In Snohomish County, Democrat Jason Cummings is leading Republican Brett Rodgers by about 13 percentage points. Rodgers ran a tough-on-crime campaign. Cummings is a former Seattle police officer.

Taking a statewide view, I'm just going to rip directly from Northwest News Network's Tom Banse who reported the following on KUOW this morning:

"All 98 seats in the Washington House and half of the seats in the state Senate were up for election. Republican donors and various business trade groups invested millions and millions of dollars to chip away at the solid control Democrats exercise in Olympia. Organized labor and other Democratic allies countered with millions more in campaign spending, mostly playing defense. Somewhat surprisingly, the end result might be a slight increase in the size of the Democratic majorities. Close to a dozen races remain too close to call. But if the current margins hold, the Democrats could add one seat to the 28 to 21 advantage they now have in the Washington Senate, and maybe a couple seats to the 57 to 41 majority they now have in the state House."

AS SEEN ON KUOW

caption: Lines of voters stretch out the door at a voting center in Ballard on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022.
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Lines of voters stretch out the door at a voting center in Ballard on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2022.
Credit: Courtesy of Bill Monroe / Strokecast

Voters who went to King County voting centers in Seattle and Bellevue on Election Day (to cast ballots and register to vote) found themselves facing long, long lines in frigid weather. (Courtesy of Bill Monroe)

DID YOU KNOW?

Friday will be the 68th year that Veterans Day will be celebrated in the United States. The holiday, as we know it, began after World War II, but the tradition goes back further.

Before WWII, November 11 was known as "Armistice Day," noting the armistice between the allies and Germany in 1918, ending the first world war. It's said that the armistice happened on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year. Armistice Day is still celebrated in other countries, and is also known as Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom.

After World War II, Armistice Day was expanded to include all veterans of the U.S. military. The idea for that expansion began with WWII veteran Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Alabama. Weeks started Veterans Day celebrations in 1947 as part of a national effort. It grew and was made official through Congress in 1954, and we have noted "Veterans Day" ever since.

ALSO ON OUR MINDS

caption: In this Feb. 27, 2021, photo, President Joe Biden speaks on the economy in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Biden took office promising to move quickly to restore and repair America’s relations with the rest of the world. Yet one major nation has yet to see any U.S. effort to improve ties, and that's China.
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In this Feb. 27, 2021, photo, President Joe Biden speaks on the economy in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Biden took office promising to move quickly to restore and repair America’s relations with the rest of the world. Yet one major nation has yet to see any U.S. effort to improve ties, and that's China.
Credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The midterms went better than expected for Biden. Now he's traveling to Asia

President Biden leaves Thursday for a week-long trip that will see him meet with allies and competitors alike during a series of major summits — including a face-to-face meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It's a trip that will focus on Biden's major foreign policy priorities: climate change, countering China's global influence, and trying to curb the damage caused by Russia's war on Ukraine.

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