Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Statewide, Republicans made gains in legislative seats, not only narrowing the Democrats' lead in the state legislature but as of press time threatening to gain a majority.
"It looks like we've picked up six seats and nine are too close to call," said State Rep. David Taylor, who was re-elected last night, Tuesday.
"If the stars align those would give us the majority by two," said Taylor (R-Moxee).
He says that if Republicans pick up four of the nine seats it would be enough to force Democrats to work more with Republicans in Olympia.
Democrats held a 62-37 legislative advantage heading into last night's general election
"If we pick up four of the nine that puts us at 47," Taylor said, noting there are some fiscally-conservative Democrats in the House who have in the past voted with Republicans.
Whatever happens, Taylor says Republican gains in the State house means Democrats "are going to have to involve us."
With the Lower Valley represented by Republicans, that might mean local issues gain more traction in Olympia.
"Anytime people have to sit down and negotiate what's best as a whole for the state the people win," Taylor said.
He says the big issue for the area is gangs.
"How do we deal with that, with gangs long term," Taylor said. "I happen to be an advocate for as much community input as possible. I think we have locally elected officials who have the desire and wherewithal to put that in motion."
Beyond gangs, Republicans can also have more of a say in the House on dealing with other key issues.
"At the broader level, it's about the state legislature adopting some significant economic development reforms," Taylor said.