With the numbers breaking badly against him, a dwindling pool of votes left for King County Election officials to count and facing long odds for a shift in his fortunes, state Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, last Friday evening conceded the 47th Legislative District race to Covington Democrat Mona Das.
Trailing by more than 500 votes in the Friday afternoon tally, Fain released this message on Facebook:
“I want to congratulate Senator-Elect Das on her new opportunity to serve South King County in the Washington state Senate,” Fain wrote in an email message. “I look forward to supporting her during the transition in any way I can. The past eight years have been the most professionally rewarding time in my life. I’m so grateful to my supporters, friends, constituents and colleagues for giving me the opportunity to serve.
“I especially thank my family, and most of all my wife, Steffanie,” Fain continued. “Public service is incredibly demanding on a family; few recognize the daily sacrifices that our loved ones must make.”
Post-concession, Das has continued to build her lead over Fain. By 3:45 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 13, Fain had dropped to a 769-vote deficit, garnering 27,028 votes (49.3 percent) to Das’ 27,797 votes (50.7 percent), with 54,825 votes counted.
Hurt by allegation
Fain’s defeat comes in the throes of a looming investigation.
In late September, Faber, a former foreign service officer and an employee of Seattle’s Information Technology Department, said Fain had raped her in a Washington, D.C., hotel room in 2007, following a night of drinking that celebrated her graduation from Georgetown.
Faber first made the allegation in a tweet and later posted her story on Medium.
On Nov. 8, a state Senate subcommittee agreed it would spend funds to hire an investigator to look into an allegation of rape made against Fain this fall by a Seattle woman, Candice Faber, who claimed in September that Fain had raped her on the day she graduated from Georgetown University in 2007.
Fain has denied the charge, and asked for a thorough investigation.
Given the outcome of the election, it is unclear if the committee would proceed with the outside investigation.
The committee is scheduled to meet Thursday in Olympia.
During his time in office, and in an era when the modern political culture creates plenty of partisan warriors but far too few diplomats, Fain wrote in his concession, he tried to be a bridge between parties and ideologies. For the state and country to thrive, he continued, people must start listening to one another with open minds and open hearts.
“We cannot fear what we see as different. We cannot vilify one another as a way of grasping for power. Only a free, open and respectful society is capable of facing and overcoming the challenges before us. While I will miss the endless challenges and rewards of legislative service, these election results widen the door to my family and two young boys who need and deserve a full-time dad who has been largely absent during the long winter months of the previous legislative sessions.
“Elected service in America is not prestigious. We are all just everyday citizens who are called, for a time, to give what we can on behalf of our neighbors. That is the system I love and trust. Thank you for putting your trust in me these past two terms. I’m so proud of what we have accomplished together,” Fain concluded.
Fain, 37, was first elected to the state Senate in 2010 and reelected in 2014. He served as the Senate minority floor leader during the 2018 legislative session.