REDMOND, Wash. — Unlike most of the rest of the country, Washington state, the party lines aren’t so clear, and the presidential race is only one of the things on people’s minds.

The election here is focused mostly on who will be the next governor. The last election came down to a matter of 133 votes, after 3 recounts and a couple bags of missing ballots showing up mysteriously at the last minute.

The race is a rematch between Democrat Chris Gregoire and Republican challenger Dino Rossi.

First term Governor Gregoire served three terms as state attorney general, starting in 1992. Rossi served in the state senate for seven years.

The real issues under debate are about who will do a better job in office, not who will do it the “right” way. The candidates both claim they will lower taxes and keep a balanced budget. Gregoire claims she has money set aside for this, Rossi claims he can spend the budget better. Both of the candidates are claiming to want to fix roads here in the Seattle area.

Seattle has problems with roads. There is a lake between the city of Seattle, and the”East Side.” There are only two bridges to get across. The Route 90 bridge is in decent condition, but the 520 seems like it could fall apart at any time.

We also have a stretch of road in Seattle similar to the old 93 going‚ above Boston. Unlike Boston though, Seattle has Earthquakes. The last one damaged this road and everyone believes it won’t last another one.

So the big question is who can relieve congestion on the roads, and fix the broken roads. Who will keep taxes at a minimum to accomplish all this.

While the rest of the nation is being inundated with ads for McCain or Obama, Washington is mostly getting ads for or against Gregoire and Rossi. If you turn TV on for 10 minutes you will see at least one ad for and against each candidate. It also gets interesting when you have, say, one ad against Rossi saying he opposes stem cell research followed by one from Rossi saying he supports stem cell research.

With the difference last time being just 150 voters it’s anyone’s guess who will win this time around.

Massachusetts native and computer engineer Bradley Ouellette recently relocated to Washington.

About The Author

Bradley Ouellette is a Blast staff writer who's been with us since the bitter beginnings when we were an attic and basement operation on Mission Hill.

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