Candidate who received free ads from Seattle Times won’t concede race

Seattle Times | Honolulu Civil Beat
Rob McKenna hasn’t conceded the Washington state gubernatorial race, and Seattle Times politics writer Jim Brunner says the “math doesn’t look promising” for the Republican.

Trailing by nearly 50,000 votes statewide, McKenna would need to capture 52 percent of the remaining 1.3 million estimated remaining ballots, a Seattle Times analysis found. He was getting 48.7 percent as of Tuesday night.

McKenna ran as a moderate in a state that also legalized recreational marijuana use and gay marriage in Tuesday’s elections. But Democrats, Brunner writes, “spread the message that McKenna ‘isn’t who he says he is.’ ” One ally McKenna had in getting a counter-message out: The Seattle Times, which gave him ads worth about $75,000, which “company executives described as an experiment to show the power of newspaper political advertising,” Brunner and Andrew Garber reported last month. Staffers at the paper protested the decision, saying it created “a perception that we are not an independent watchdog.”

The Times also ran ads in favor of the gay marriage referendum.

In another political race with a media subnarrative, former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano lost his bid to be Honolulu’s mayor, blaming “special interest groups that spent millions of dollars on attack ads and other campaign tactics,” Nathan Eagle and Nick Grube report in Honolulu Civil Beat. In February, Cayetano tried to get Civil Beat reporter Michael Levine booted from covering his campaign because he didn’t like the way Levine was covering him. Cayetano’s stance β€œis potentially indicative of his demeanor and his approach to people who disagree with him,” John Temple, then Civil Beat’s editor, told Poynter at the time. Levine would stay on the story, Temple said.

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