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.

29 May 2008

Three credible entries for 14th district seat

Today's Yakima Herald had profiles of three potentially-strong candidates for the 14th district House seat being vacated by GOPer Mary Skinner. The Democratic candidate is Vickie Ybarra, who is board president of Yakima Public Schools. Two Republicans are profiled: Yakima city councillor Norm Johnson, and former Union Gap Public Schools superintendent Bob McLaughlin. Like Ybarra and McLaughlin, Johnson's background is also in education, as he was formerly a teacher and principal in Mabton and Toppenish, and was in municipal office in both cities, as well.

Yakima city councillor Susan Whitman, who balked at the chance to contest the other open House seat in 2006, says she remains undecided. Johnson seems to be the establishment choice for the GOP, with the district's other legislators and much of the Yakima municipal government behind him.

In the 2006 contest, I gave Democrats credit for running a good candidate for the open seat, but in the end they still lost 60-40. Ybarra also seems to be a solid choice, being a municipal officeholder and supposed moderate, but this seat has to remain as GOP favoured. That said, I'd expect Ybarra to make the general election and keep this otherwise solid GOP district from sending two Republicans to the runoff.

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