The way Ruth Bennett figures it, if the Libertarian Party candidate hadn’t been on Washington’s ballot for governor, Christine Gregoire (D) would have waltzed to an uncontroversial victory.
As it turned out, Gregoire’s winning margin of 129 votes made her contest with Dino Rossi (R) the closest gubernatorial race in state history.
While Bennett (’75 Anthro.) finished a distant third with just more than 2 percent of nearly three million votes cast, her 63,465 total nevertheless was plenty to turn the race into a nail-biter. Her tally shrank Gregoire’s margin of victory nearly 500-fold. By Bennett’s estimate, her campaign nearly cost Gregoire the race.
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