The political season may not hit a fever pitch for some time, but all the players are in place.
Throughout the state of Washington, candidates last week formally filed their intentions with the Office of the Secretary of State. The filing period opened May 12 and concluded with the close of business Friday.
On the Plateau, voters’ attention will be focused primarily on the three races in the 31st Legislative District.
The contest with the greatest potential for political fireworks is for the 31st seat in the state Senate. Incumbent Pam Roach, a Republican from rural Auburn, is chasing her seventh four-year term. She is no stranger to hotly-contested campaigns and it appears she could be in for another senatorial skirmish, as Enumclaw Republican Cathy Dahlquist has thrown her hat into the ring. Dahlquist has twice been elected to the House of Representatives, winning the Position 1 seat first in 2010 and again in 2012.
Democrats filing for the 31st District’s seat in the Senate were Enumclaw’s Lane Walthers and Bonney Lake’s Lynda Messner.
With Dahlquist giving up her present position to make a Senate run, the field is wide open for the Position 1 post in the House – and voters will choose from three hopefuls in the “top two” primary.
Filing for the House seat was one Republican, Drew Stokesbary of Auburn. Also in the race are Enumclaw’s Mike Sando, a Democrat, and Sumner’s Jonathon Dunn, who listed his party preference as Independent Democrat.
Desiring another term in the House Position 2 seat is Independent Democrat Chris Hurst. He was elected in 1998 and 2000, then took a four-year break. Returning to politics, he was elected in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. He is being opposed by Kent’s Phil Fortunato, who lists his affiliation as Independent Republican.
Aside from the legislative races, Plateau voters will help send a congressman to Washington, D.C., from the 8th Congressional District. Republican Dave Reichert is seeking another term and is being challenged by Democrats Jason Ritchie of Issaquah and Keith Arnold of Auburn. Plateau voters also will help decide a variety of judicial races: four seats on the state Supreme Court, along with seats on the state Court of Appeals and both King County and Pierce County Superior Court.
Washington’s “top two” primary system advances the two candidates receiving the most votes to the November general election, regardless of party affiliation.
The primary election is set for Aug. 5 and the general election is Nov. 4