It ain't over 'til it's over, and in a trio of races of interest to drug reformers, it ain't over. There are also a handful of other races of interest that we haven't mentioned yet. Here's a post-election roundup:
In California, in a race critical to the state's medical marijuana industry that is still close to call, Republican attorney general candidate Steve Cooley Saturday retook the lead from Democratic candidate Kamala Harris. Cooley is a determined foe of the existing dispensary system and has said he believes any dispensary sales of marijuana are illegal. As of Thursday morning (11/11), with only some absentee and provisional ballots still to be counted, Cooley has 45.9% of the vote
to Harris's 45.7%. The Greens got 2.6% of the vote, the Libertarians got 2.5% of the vote, and the Peace and Freedom Party got 1.6% of the vote. As of this writing, Harris trails by about 22,000 votes.
In Arizona, in a race that is still too close to call, the medical marijuana initiative, Proposition 203, trails by slightly more than 5,000 votes out of 1.5 million cast, but with fewer than 130,000 mail-in and provisional votes yet to be counted. As of Wednesday night, Prop 203 trails with 49.9% of the vote
, compared to 50.1% opposed.
In Washington state, drug reformer and incumbent state Rep. Roger Goodman is leading narrowly
in a race that probably won't be called until December 2, the last day for the secretary of state to certify election results. Goodman, the head of the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers
, a national organization affiliated with the King County Bar Association Drug Policy Project
that Goodman founded, leads challenger Kevin Haistings by a margin of 51.2 to 48.8%.
Only 60% of the votes were counted election night, and Goodman was down by 500 votes then. Since then, the percentage counted is up to 91%, and Goodman has pulled ahead by more than 1,200 votes. For Haistings to pull it out, the late vote trend would have to dramatically reverse.
Also in Washington state, a drug law reforming candidate for Snohomish County prosecuting attorney, Jim Kenny, failed in his bid to win office. Kenney got only 30.03% of the vote
, compared to 68.76% for his opponent, Mark Roe. Both ran as Democrats.
In Florida, drug reformer Jodi James was defeated in her bid to be elected state representative in District 31. Running as a Democrat, James got 37.81% of the vote
, while Republican candidate John Tobia won with 62.19%.
In New York, Rockefeller drug law reformer Eric Schneiderman was elected attorney general. He won 54.9% of the vote
, beating Republican candidate Dan Donovan, who had 43.7%. Also in New York, anti-prohibitionist candidates Randy Credico and Kirsten Davis picked up 0.6% and 0.5% respectively in their races for US senator and New York governor.
In Vermont, pro-marijuana decriminalization Democrat Peter Shumlin eked out a narrow victory over Republican Brian Dubie. Shumlin got 49.24% of the vote
to Dubie's 47.46%.