The Moderate Washingtonian

Outlook on politics and elections in the state of Washington from an overall centrist viewpoint. My views tend to be libertarian in nature, but at the same time are largely nonpartisan.

31 July 2005

Walk with Rosencrantz

I happened upon a neat thing the other day while visiting the campaign site of Seattle council candidate Robert Rosencrantz. He's putting together a grassroots campaign by taking walks through Seattle neighbourhoods to talk issues with residents and listen to ideas. Robert is a moderate-liberal who seeks to make Seattle more fiscally-responsible. This stands in stark contrast to his opponents, both left-wing Democrat partisans. It's time for a change from the status quo -- put an independent voice who hasn't lost touch with the public on the Council. I'd urge Seattle residents to periodically check the above link to see what's happening with his campaign walks.

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West appeal disgraceful

It seems that once again disgraced Spokane Mayor Jim West is hiding behind the demographic he launched a legislative career on discriminating against. West's lawyers are claiming in their appeal to the state Supreme Court that the recall being launched against him is based on his sexuality and that his "private life shouldn't be a cause for his ouster from public life." Perhaps not, but the use of taxpayer-financed computers and internet access for chasing teenage boys online is not what his city equipment and office ought to be used for, let alone by a man in his fifties. Two thirds of the public has lost enough confidence in the mayor to want him to resign, and I don't know how he intends on leading the city in this climate. So much for his insistence on allowing the public to choose if he should stay or not.

West's willingness to hide behind his sexuality after spending his legislative career as one of the most anti-gay rights legislators is shameful. While it would have proven more difficult to get elected were he honest the whole time about his sexuality, Dean Lynch has already proven that a gay man can get elected in the city of Spokane. If West had any honour left, he'd do the city a favour and resign so a competent and trusted leader, Council President Dennis Hession, can take over as mayor and continue the progress that West had gotten most of the credit for, despite Hession's consistency in leading a much more civil city council than we had only a few years ago. Let's only hope the Supreme Court will be a little better about handing down good decisions than they have recently.


30 July 2005

Candidate update

Below are perspective pieces on council races in Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, and Spokane Valley. Be happy that for once the Spokesman Review hasn't locked up a decent informative article with a price tag.

Spokane/Spokane Valley

Also, according to the Seattle Times, former Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Michael Nelson is indeed challenging Ron Sims as a Democrat in September's primary, as if Sims had any primary worries even before discovering that tidbit.


29 July 2005

2005 election filing, day 5

Last office filing. I will add information after new filings about the matchups, and perspective on it, if possible.

King County
*County Executive: No new filings. David Irons is alone in the GOP primary, and Ron Sims has two token challengers in the Democratic primary. I'm assuming that Gentry Lange will not be required to file or stand in the primary being that the Green Party does not have major party status yet.
*County Council District 1: Republican Steven Pyeatt has filed, but will run unopposed in the September primary. This could help Democrat Bob Ferguson now that district Republicans (the few there are) will not have any major primary races and could get crossover support from some Republicans who choose a Democrat ballot. Ferguson will oppose fellow incumbent Carolyn Edmonds in the Democratic primary, and has received the endorsement of the King County Democratic Party.
*County Council District 2: Incumbent Democrat Larry Gossett faces Republican Brian Thomas. Democratic cakewalk.
*County Council District 3: Incumbent Republican Kathy Lambert is running unopposed in both the primary and general election.
*County Council District 4: Incumbent Democrat Larry Phillips is, sigh, running unopposed in both the primary and general election.
*County Council District 5: Incumbent Democrat Julia Patterson faces a challenge from Republican Orin Wells, who had previously considered jumping into the ninth district race. Patterson is in probably the most marginal Democrat-held seat, but should be favoured over the lesser-known Wells.
*County Council District 6: Incumbent Republican Jane Hague is running unopposed in both the primary and general election.
*County Council District 7: Incumbent Republican Pete von Reichbauer will face Democrat Geni Hawkins in a likely GOP hold. The moderate von Reichbauer should easily top the left-wing Hawkins.
*County Council District 8: Incumbent Democrat Dow Constantine is running unopposed in both the primary and general election.
*County Council District 9: Democrat Shirley Gaunt-Smith has filed and will run unopposed. The real contest will be between co-incumbents Reagan Dunn and Steve Hammond. Hammond barely held onto the seat in a special election following the death of Kent Pullen, but did earn the endorsement of the King County Republican Party over the son of former state GOP Chair Jennifer Dunn.

*Port of Seattle: Wen Wu Lee has entered the race for the first seat on the Commission, facing incumbent Lawrence Molloy and challenger John Creighton. In the open third seat, Christopher Cain has newly filed, and will face a quartet of previously-mentioned challengers. For the fourth seat, incumbent Pat Davis faces four challengers as well, including newly-filed Kathleen Quong-Vermeire.
*Federal Way City Council: Three late challengers have entered the fourth seat race against Jeanne Burbidge. Bill Foulkes, Gayla Hardison, and Mark Walsh have all filed on this final day.
*Kirkland City Council: Mike Nykreim has filed for the first seat, and will face Joan McBride. For the second seat, Arthur Best will be running against Bob Sternoff, and John Spangenberg will run against Jim Lauinger for the fifth seat.
*Kent City Council: Jim Orr and Elizabeth Watson have joined the sixth seat race against Russell Hanscom.
*Shoreline City Council: Norine Federow has filed for the first seat against John Chang and Keith McGlashan.

*Seattle Mayor: A handful of late filings today, but still no major challengers. Incumbent Nickels will now face Luke Williams, Omari Tahri-Garrett, Richard Lee, and Jeanne Dixon, in addition to the previous three challengers. I'll be interested to see if the Jeanne Dixon who filed here is the same person who was a frequent Democratic candidate for secretary of state in the 1980s and 1990s. If so, I call for the re-emergence of previous frequent Democratic secretary of state candidate John McKee.
*Seattle City Council District 2: Port Commissioner Paige Miller will face incumbent Richard Conlin and fellow challenger Darlene Madenwald. A Miller-Conlin general election matchup should be marquee, though Madenwald could surprise and make a decent showing in the primary. However, I do not see a situation where the general election is anything but Paige Miller and Richard Conlin.
*Seattle City Council District 4: No new filings. The general election will probably be Casey Corr and Jan Drago, in all likelihood. The thought of a Freedom Socialist or even a Green in a general election (even if nonpartisan) is unlikely.
*Seattle City Council District 6: No new filings. Nick Licata is a strong bet to defeat Paul Bascomb for reelection.
*Seattle City Council District 8: In what should prove to be the best primary matchup, incumbent Richard McIver faces Democrat county Councilman Dwight Pelz and Robert Rosencrantz. McIver will likely face Pelz in the general, but hopefully Rosencrantz will give both liberals a solid run.

Pierce County
*Tacoma Port Commission: Challengers David Hyres and Deborah Johnston have filed to face incumbents Dick Marzano and Ted Bottiger.
*Lakewood City Council: Susan Berven has entered the race for the first seat against a trio of previously-mentioned candidates. Jason Whalen has entered the second seat against Mike Brandstetter and Pad Finnigan. Finally, Anthony Belford will face Doug Richardson and Paul Wagemann for the fifth seat.

*Tacoma Mayor: Well, Bill Baarsma has a challenger. Unfortunately, it's state laughing-stock Will Baker, who gained statewide notoriety after the state GOP nominated him at the last hour for state auditor without looking into his background of being repeatedly arrested for disrupting Tacoma city council meetings and serving jail time. Baarsma may not be the most moderate Democrat to run a major city in this state, but he's much better than a loony like Baker who has zero qualifications to become mayor of the state's third-largest city aside from his age.
*Tacoma City Council District 2: Denny Faker and Rick Cvitanich have joined the race against Carolyn Davidson and apparent front-runner Jake Fey.
*Tacoma City Council District 5: Incumbent Connie Ladenburg will face Richard Bashaw.

Snohomish County
*County Council District 1: A third Democrat, Tom Foster, has joined the race against GOP incumbent John Koster. Koster will likely be reelected, though sits in a seat that could be won by a strong enough Democrat.
*County Council District 4: Republican Eva Davies will face incumbent Democrat Dave Gossett in this safe Democratic seat.
*County Council District 5: Independent candidate Greg Stephens will join the race, but will probably not stand until the general, I assume. It would be nice to see Steve Hobbs win the Democratic primary, but i'm quite sure that Dave Somers would win a partisan Democratic primary, being the liberal candidate of the duo. The winner will face incumbent Republican Jeff Sax.
*Edmonds City Council: Lora Petso (first seat) and Alvin Rutledge (second seat) have filed.

Spokane County
*Spokane City Council District 2: In a welcome surprise, nutty ex-Councilman Steve Eugster did not file after all. However, another ex-applicant for the position Verner was chosen for has filed against her. Insurance agent Dallas Hawkins will make another go for the city council, along with Jeff Bierman, who advanced further than Hawkins in the appointment process.
*Spokane Valley City Council District 3: Former Mayor Mike DeVleming will face Howard Herman.
*Spokane Valley City Council District 6: Four new challengers will run for the open seat being vacated by Mike Flanigan. Two of them, Edward Mertens and John "liberal Democrat who can't take a hint he can't win in right-wing suburbs" Kallas, ran failed campaigns in the new city's first council elections in 2001. New faces are Dale Strom and Ronald Lippincott.

Clark County
*Vancouver Mayor: David Kallstrom has filed for the now three-way race.
*Vancouver City Council: Bob Gaylor will challenge incumbent Jeanne Harris for the third position.

Finally, an update on the open legislative seat in southwest WA: appointed incumbent Dean Takko will run unopposed in the Democratic primary, as will GOP challenger Dawn Courtney and Libertarian candidate Judi Roberts Fiest in their respective primaries. Takko ought to hold this seat, barring a major upset on the coattails of Gregoire and legislative Democrat unpopularity.


28 July 2005

2005 election filing, day 4

King County
*County Executive: Democrat Karen Rispoli has joined the race.
*County Council: Council President Larry Phillips has filed for reelection. Voters in his district could do King County a great service by dumping him, but they won't. In the ninth district, appointed Councilman Reagan Dunn has filed against fellow GOP incumbent Steve Hammond. Hammond might have won the dumpy, smoke-filled GOP convention, but I don't expect to see him duplicate that come September.
*County Sheriff: Jim Fuda and Greg Schmidt have challenged appointed incumbent Sue Rahr.
*Seattle Port Commission: John Kane has filed for the crowded third position open seat. For the fourth seat, incumbent Pat Davis has filed for reelection.
*Bellevue City Council: John Albertson has filed to run against acting Mayor Connie Marshall.
*Federal Way City Council: Incumbent Eric Faison has filed for reelection to the sixth position. GOP-backed challenger Dini Duclos is already in the race.
*Kirkland City Council: Arthur Best has filed for the second position against Bob Sternoff.
*Kent Mayor: Councilman Les Thomas has filed, joining the quartet.
*Kent City Council: Bob O'Brien has entered from the second position. In the fourth spot, Aaron Anderson and Ted Nixon have filed, joining Tim Clark.
*Seattle City Council: Port Commissioner Paige Miller has filed for the second seat against Richard Conlin. She is the only remaining challenger of what was once a hotly-contested race that included county Councilman Dwight Pelz and Mayor Nickels-backed Casey Corr. Freedom Socialist Linda Averill, the first announced challenger to Council Pres. Jan Drago, has filed. Conventional wisdom would dictate that in a race between two leftists, a liberal Democrat, and a moderate Democrat, the leftists (Averill and Bolaños) are toast, even in Seattle. It will be interesting to see if any candidates miss the filing deadline in the eighth district, notably the relatively moderate (and endorsed by this weblog) Robert Rosencrantz. Even with Pelz running for this seat, he ought to have an outside shot at a runoff.
*Shoreline City Council: Janet Way has filed for the third position.

Pierce County
*Lakewood City Council: Bruce Banfield (first), Mike Brandstetter (third), and Helen McGovern (fifth) have filed. McGovern ought to be an easy bet for reelection after her strong showing against appointed state Sen. Mike Carrell in a generally solid-GOP seat (even though Carrell is much more conservative than Shirley Winsley).

Snohomish County
*County Council: Democrat Suzanne Smith has entered the first district race.
*Edmonds City Council: Jeff Wilson has filed for the third seat.
*Everett City Council: Jackie Minchew has filed for the third position currently held by Arlan Hatloe.

Spokane County
*Spokane Valley City Council: Charles Parker has filed for the open sixth district seat.

Clark County
*Vancouver City Council: Failed legislative candidate Pat Campbell has filed againts incumbent Pat Jollota.


27 July 2005

2005 election filing, day 3

Here we go again...

King County
*County Council: Democratic incumbents Bob Ferguson and Larry Gossett have filed. Gossett will be challenged by Republican Brian Thomas in his safe Democrat district. Note: this is not former state Rep. Brian Thomas of rural eastern King County, unless he's had some serious plastic surgery since he last held office.
*Seattle Port Commission: Challengers Lloyd Hara and Robert Walker have entered the race in the third and fourth districts.
*Kirkland City Council: Joan McBride has filed in the first district.
*Seattle City Council: Paul Bascomb has filed to run against Councilman Nick Licata for the sixth seat.
*Shoreline City Council: Challengers John Chang (position 1) and Cindy Ryu (position 5) have filed.

Pierce County
*Lakewood City Council: Ron Cronk has filed in the first district, and Doug Richardson has filed in the fifth district.
*Tacoma City Council: Charles Creso has filed to run against incumbent Mike Lonergan for an at-large seat, and incumbent Connie Ladenburg has filed for reelection to the fifth district.

Snohomish County
*County Council: Fourth district incumbent Dave Gossett has filed for reelection to his Everett-based district.
*Everett Mayor: City Councilman Ron Gipson has formally filed his intent to challenge incumbent Ray Stephanson. He also has yet to put up a campaign site to my knowledge (grr).

Spokane County
*County Assessor: Appointed incumbent Ralph Baker (R) has filed to complete his term.
*Spokane City Council: Jeffrey Bierman has filed to run against appointed second district (aka my district) incumbent Mary Verner. Bierman was one of seven finalists chosen for the appointment that ultimately went to Verner in January of 2004. For the third district, Daniel Day has entered, as well as frequent candidate Barbara Lampert. To her credit, Lampert did come in second place in a three-way contest to make the general election for city council in 2003, but, in typical frequent candidate fashion, drew slightly over 20% in the general election. I'm still trying to figure out how someone can draw more votes in a three-way primary than a two-way general election. She most recently ran in the Democratic primary for county commissioner last year.

Clark County
*Vancouver Mayor: Charles Stemper has filed to run against incumbent Royce Pollard.


26 July 2005

2005 election filing, day 2

Roll call...

King County
*County Executive: David Irons has officially filed, as has Michael Nelson, a Democrat challenging Ron Sims in the primary. I have yet to verify if this is the same man who lost the 2004 Libertarian primary for governor and the 2003 county council race to Dow Constantine.
*County Council: Democratic incumbents Carolyn Edmonds, Julia Patterson, and Dow Constantine have filed, along with Republican incumbent Jane Hague. Republican Orin Wells will be challenging Patterson in the fifth district, and Democrat Geni Hawkins will take on senior GOPer Pete von Reichbauer in the seventh district, once he files. That's whether Phil Fortunato does primary von Reichbauer or not.
*County Sheriff: Appointed Reichert replacement Sue Rahr has filed.
*Seattle Port Commission: In district three, Rich Berkowitz and Peter Coates have filed, and in district four, Jack Jolley and Richard Pope have filed. We all can thank Richard Pope for getting killed twice in a row by Chris Gregoire to give her something to run for governor on.
*Bellevue City Council: Incumbents Conrad Lee and Don Davidson have filed, with Lee being currently challenged by Vicki Orrico.
*Kirkland City Council: Tom Hodgson has filed in the seventh district.
*Kent Mayor: Suzette Cooke, Bruce White, and Judy Woods have filed. City Councilman Les Thomas will soon follow.
*Kent City Council: Mark Albertson (second district), Tim Clark (fourth district), and Russell Hanscom (sixth district) have filed.
*Seattle Mayor: Three small-time challengers have filed to challenge Greg Nickels today: leftist activist Christal Wood, the first to announce her intent to run for mayor; Chris Hoeppner, member of the Socialist Workers Party; and former Husky prof. Al Runte.
*Seattle City Attorney: Incumbent Thomas Carr has filed.
*Seattle City Council: Environmentalist Debbie Madenwald has formally filed her challenge to incumbent Richard Conlin. She boasts the support of current Land Commissioner Doug Sutherland (R) and former Gov. Booth Gardner (D). I might have been able to support her solely based on that, but then saw the A word plastered on the front page of her website (activist). In the fourth position, Angel Bolaños has filed to run against Council President Jan Drago. He had initially ran for the eighth position currently held by Richard McIver, but apparently wanted to skip out of that crowded field. Former Conlin opponent Casey Corr has also switched to face Drago, though has not formally filed. Democratic County Councilman Dwight Pelz has filed to run against McIver, and sixth seat incumbent Nick Licata has also entered the race.
*Shoreline City Council: Keith McGlashan (first position), Paul Grace (third position), and Bonnie Mackey (fifth position) have filed.

Pierce County
*Tacoma City Council: Second district candidate Carolyn Davidson has entered the race against Jake Fey. Denny Faker is also running for the position, but has yet to file.

Snohomish County
*County Council: First district incumbent John Koster has filed for reelection. Former Councilman Dave Somers (D) has entered the fifth district race to get his seat back from Jeff Sax. Somers, an avowed liberal, has to first get by the more centrist Steve Hobbs in the Democratic primary.
*Edmonds City Council: First district incumbent Michael Plunkett has entered his reelection race, already occupied by Strom Peterson. Bart Preecs has joined Ron Wambolt in the third district race, as well.

Spokane County
*Spokane City Council: First district incumbent Al French is being challenged by Tina Howard, but is easily the strongest candidate for any of the three council seats this year. French, a moderate who enjoys the support of much of both major parties, is expected to be reelected easily. In the third district, Joyce McNamee and Keith Springer have joined the pack for the open seat race. Despite being one of the more controversial members of the notably confrontational council of the late 1990s, Corker ought to have enough name recognition to win the primary. While it may not be intelligent to make predictions for wide-open, packed contests like this, right now i'd give the edge to Nancy McLaughlin for the other spot in the general election. She has the solid backing of the county GOP, and may be able to top the Democrat Corker in a general matchup, despite being one of the more liberal districts in the city.
*Spokane Valley City Council: Bill Gothmann has entered the race for the open sixth district, being vacated by Mike Flanigan. Second district incumbent Steve Taylor is being challenged by Jennie Willardson, the first incumbent to have a challenge so far. Taylor is an acquaintance of mine, and is a respectable and likable conservative. He already has the support of the county GOP, and would be very difficult to beat in the conservative City of Spokane Valley.

Clark County
Vancouver City Council: First district incumbent Pat Jollota has filed for reelection.

In other news, failed GOP Congressional candidate Dawn Courtney has filed for the State House from the 19th district. When moderate Democrat Brian Hatfield resigned after winning an unopposed election late last year, 19th district county commissioners nominated Cowlitz County Assessor Dean Takko to replace Hatfield. Because of the appointment, this is the only legislative race to be on the ballot this year. The district is solid Democrat, although they have lately elected moderates more often than liberals, as evidenced by Hatfield and state Sen. Mark Doumit.


25 July 2005

Reichert has company

It appears two Democrats have entered the race to challenge freshman Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Bellevue). According to, ex-Microsoft exec. Darcy Burner and attorney Randy Gordon are challenging him and have put up websites (or at least skeletons of such). One must wonder if state Rep. Ross Hunter, who appeared to be the candidate the DCCC were courting, might be hesitant to enter into a primary challenge. The same goes for former state Rep. Laura Ruderman, another possible Reichert foe, who was the anointed candidate for secretary of state in 2004 before losing to popular moderate Sam Reed. For more information on these newly-minted candidates, visit their websites below. Props must be given to candidate Burner for the Tory-like banner, as well.

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2005 election filing, day 1

Today is the first day of five for candidacy filings across the state, for mostly county and city offices. As a service, i've chosen to cover the filings for major offices in the state's five most populous counties. Up to date information can be found at county auditor websites, most updating several times daily. Offices are nonpartisan unless otherwise noted.

King County
*County Executive: Incumbent Democrat Ron Sims has filed, and will soon be joined by anointed Republican David Irons and perhaps Green Party candidate Gentry Lange.
*County Council: Incumbent Republicans Kathy Lambert and Steve Hammond have filed, soon to be joined by many other incumbents and a handful of challengers.
*Seattle Port Commissioner: Incumbent Lawrence Molloy has a challenge from John Creighton on Day 1. Two other port positions are up for election this year.
*Bellevue City Council: Incumbent Connie Marshall, the acting mayor, has filed. Two other positions are up for election this year, including that of former Republican Congressional candidate Conrad Lee.
*Federal Way City Council: Incumbents Jeanne Burbidge (Pos. 4) and Linda Kochmar (Pos. 2) have filed, along with Pos. 6 candidate Dini Duclos. Duclos has the support of former Federal Way mayor and current moderate GOP legislator Skip Priest, as well as senior GOP county Councilman Pete von Reichbauer.
*Kirkland City Council: Incumbents Mary-Alyce Burleigh (Pos. 3) and Jim Lauinger (Pos. 5) have filed. Bob Sternoff has also filed, for position #2.
*Seattle Mayor: Incumbent Greg Nickels has filed, and is expected to walk to reelection due to lack of major competition.
*Seattle City Council: Three of four incumbents have filed on day one, with only Nick Licata failing to file today. No challengers have yet filed.
*Shoreline City Council: Acting mayor Ron Hansen has filed, and has a challenge from George Mauer. No other incumbents have yet filed.

Pierce County
*Tacoma Port Commission: Incumbents Connie Bacon, Dick Marzano, and Ted Bottiger are the only candidates to have filed.
*Lakewood City Council: Incumbent Pad Finnigan has filed for reelection to position #2. Newcomers Leslie Swalley (Pos. 1) and Paul Wagemann (Pos. 5) have also filed, as well as Paul Calta and Lisa Ikeda in position #3.
*Tacoma Mayor: Incumbent Bill Baarsma, who had two prospective opponents enter and drop out prior to filing, has filed. No major challengers are expected to run against the incumbent.
*Tacoma City Council: Incumbents Rick Talbert (fourth district) and Mike Lonergan (sixth district) are in, and Jake Fey has also filed for the open seat vacated by Kevin Phelps in the second district. Fey, who has the backing of several big-name area Democrats, including state Sen. Debbie Regala, has several other announced but not yet filed challengers.

Snohomish County
*County Council: Steve Hobbs (D) has filed for the fifth council district. The county Democratic Party endorsed former councilman Dave Somers for the position earlier this summer. The winner of the Democratic primary will face incumbent Republican Jeff Sax, who defeated Somers in 2001. Both Democrats have a pair of big-name endorsements, with Hobbs having the backing of County Executive Aaron Reardon and Snohomish Mayor Liz Loomis, and Somers being supported by US Rep. Jay Inslee and state Rep. Hans Dunshee. Democrat Marian Harrison has also filed in the first district to challenge incumbent Republican John Koster.
*Edmonds City Council: Second district incumbent Deanna Dawson has filed, along with Ron Wambolt in the third district and Strom Peterson in the first district.
*Everett Mayor: Incumbent Ray Stephanson has filed, and will likely be followed by City Councilman Ron Gipson into the race. Stephanson became mayor in a special election, and has the county Democratic establishment behind him.
*Everett City Council: Incumbents Paul Roberts (1st), Arlan Hatloe (3rd), and Drew Nielsen (5th) have filed, along with newcomer Charlene Rawson in the second district, who is challenging incumbent Mark Olson.

Spokane County
*County Assessor: Appointed Republican Ralph Baker will run to complete the term of Duane Sommers, a former legislator elected to the position in 2002. He has yet to file, but has been nominated by the county GOP. Baker ran unsuccessfully for county auditor that same year, losing to Democrat Vicky Dalton.
*Spokane City Council: Incumbent Al French has filed for the first district, the only seat which at this point has no challengers. Appointed incumbent Mary Verner (second district) has also filed, but is expected to face former Councilman Steve Eugster. Eugster is very controversial (and very liberal), and will be DOA for just about any race he runs in (he drew under 20% in a two-way race last year for County Superior Court). In the only open seat of the three, former Councilman Steve Corker leads the way, along with GOP-backed Nancy McLaughlin and liberal activist Judith Gilmore. Water fluoridation leader Joyce McNamee will likely enter the open seat contest later this week.
*Spokane Valley City Council: All seven districts will be up for election this year for the new city, with the four highest vote-getters serving four-year terms and the lower three serving two-year terms. Six of the seven incumbents have filed, with only Councilman Mike Flanigan not intending on running for reelection. Nearly all incumbents are known Republicans.

Clark County
*County Commissioner: Former GOP legislator Tom Mielke has filed to run against appointed Democrat Steve Stuart. Mielke ran a strong race against Betty Sue Morris last year, and should prove to make this a close race as well. Stuart was appointed to replace Craig Pridemore after he narrowly defeated moderate Republican state Sen. Don Carlson last year.
*Vancouver Mayor: Multi-term incumbent Royce Pollard has, in a huge shocker, filed for reelection. His margin of victory has declined the last several elections, but the real question might be if he'll have a challenger this time around.
*Vancouver City Council: Incumbents Jeanne Harris and Jeanne Stewart have filed, with Stewart having drawn opposition from Eric Olmsted and David Michael Heywood.


22 July 2005

Major parties lack respect for state voters

With the recent ruling by federal Judge Thomas Zilly, the will of voters was once again overturned in the name of partisan political power. If it were not previously apparent, the three major parties in this state do not care about the opinions of those they represent in government, and only harbour a neverending urge to exert their control and their polar agendas on the populace, regardless of public opinion.

Last fall, while the state was embroiled in the closest gubernatorial race in state history, Initiative 872 was easily passed with 60% of voters approving, throwing out the unpopular partisan "Modified Montana" primary and instituting an open primary system similar in nature to both the "unconstitutional" Blanket primary and the runoff system used in Louisiana. While partisans on both sides labeled the opposition "sore losers" during the gubernatorial election, party heads Paul Berendt and Chris Vance began to buddy-up to sue the state to overturn the recently-passed primary. The saddest part of all is that the Libertarian Party also took part in the liberty-limiting lawsuit, seemingly contrary to their ideological creed's call for personal choice above all else (except, apparently, in the matter of infringing on their right to have complete control over who will carry their party's 2% in the next election).

As one of the 60% of state voters who sought the right to choose person over party on their primary ballot, I am quickly growing tired of having every major political party in this state not care about the will of myself and other voters, especially when there are major political figures in both major parties who are solid supporters of holding open-primaries. Not surprisingly, it's those at the poles who are opposed, and those are who run the parties.

In future elections, I would urge people to ask their candidates for political office their stance on the future of our state primaries, and be sure to reward those who stand up for you in office, such as Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen, Secretary of State Sam Reed, and Attorney General Rob McKenna. Voters here are often much too independent-minded to be forced into partisan little boxes in primary voting, and we need to keep trying to hold onto our open primary opportunities, no matter how often big government takes it away in the name of securing their own power.