One of the biggest disappointments coming out of the last round of redistricting was Grays Harbors’ loss of the 35th legislative district* and the chance to explicitly back some fine Republican candidates for State House. Like Dan Griffey.
Griffey was a frequent presence in Grays Harbor in 2011. He was here for everything! GHGOP Central Committee Meetings. Lincoln Day Dinners. Flag Day and Logger’s Playday Parades. Picnics and barbecues. Special events. Always willing to lend a hand, Dan and wife Dinah pitched in at the party’s fair booth in August ’11 and practically ran the thing by themselves.
Part firefighter and part pit bull, Griffey took on entrenched incumbent Kathy Haigh in the 35th not once. Not twice. But three times. They said she couldn’t be beat. “Impossible.” A “pipe dream.” “Good luck.” (Who are these people?) Haigh won in 2010. Griffey vowed to run again in 2012. He did. And came heart-breakingly close to unseating the eight-term incumbent from Shelton.
Flimsier souls may have thrown in the towel. Two campaigns and two losses take a heavy toll. But Griffey threw his hat into the ring again this year. Although trailing by 223 votes on election night, November 4, Griffey began closing the gap as late ballots came in. Our fingernails were about nibbled to nubs as the see-saw battle continued. Griffey led by more than 500 votes by last Wednesday and declared victory.
In a November 12 Facebook message the career firefighter said:
“I am very honored to be able to share with you that I will be the next Representative for the 35th in the WA. State House- Position 1. I appreciate Kathy Haigh’s sacrifice in serving our district and was very touched by her call this afternoon. I am thankful for such a strong team of supporters that enabled us to claim victory and very humbled by the opportunity to serve you all.”
He followed it up on November 14 with:
“I want to thank each and every one of you for the kind words and congratulations. I am working hard to get back to all of you. The outpouring of support was amazing and humbling. We are going to do good things for you in Washington!”
Well done, Team Griffey. Now go get ‘em.
* The 35th L.D. includes Mason, Kitsap and Thurston Counties.
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Photo credit: Facebook