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Democrats In Washington State Just Won Control Of Entire Government

Democratic candidate Manka Dhingra won Tuesday’s special election to a Washington state Senate seat, giving her party’s full control of the state government.

Dhingra defeated Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund by a wide margin in a race that people poured millions of dollars into because of the significance of the seat. Democrats control the governorship and the state House in Washington, but until Tuesday, they’ve been one seat short of a majority in the Senate.

That one-seat differential has mattered. Republicans in the Senate have prevented Gov. Jay Inslee from enacting some of his top legislative priorities relating to climate change, voting rights and birth control. They also forced Democrats to compromise on a smaller state budget.

Inslee told The New York Times earlier this week that if Democrats win control of the Senate, he has ambitious plans for new policies like a carbon tax.

“We intend to make a full-scale effort in the next session of the Legislature if we win,” Inslee said. “It will be a bell in the night, showing hope for the country, rejecting the Trump agenda of denying climate science.”

A Republican previously held the Senate seat, which is based in the Seattle suburbs. But voters sent a message that they’re not buying what Republicans are selling under the Trump administration.

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