The Aug. 5 primary election is fast approaching and it is the first graded test of the political season.
Some will win, some will go home.
The Washington primary is a top-two system, which has been in effect since 2008 following years of court battles.
Two races in the 31st Legislative District are impacted by the top two primary.
Currently the hottest race is for the state Senate seat. Incumbent Pam Roach, Auburn, is facing a party challenge from Rep. Cathy Dahlquist of Enumclaw. Both are Republicans. Lynda Messner of Bonney Lake is running as a Democrat.
Three candidates are running for Dahlquist’s State House seat in the 31st: Republican Drew Stokesbary, Independent Democrat Jonathon Dunn and Democrat Mike Sando.
According to the Secretary of State’s website, “Washington is the first state in the country to establish a top-two primary election system, rather than a party nominating system. A top-two primary narrows the number of candidates to two. The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary advance to the general election, regardless of their party preference.”
Candidates may state a party preference when registering to run for the office, or indicate no preference.
The Secretary of State’s website pointed out, “A candidate’s party preference does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party, or that the party approves of or associates with that candidate.”
In Washington, voters do not declare a party affiliation when registering to vote.
Political parties are not guaranteed a spot on the general election ballot according to the Secretary of State. The two winners of a primary race may be from the same party or both may have declared a no party preference.
Mail in ballots
Voters must mail ballots by Aug. 5 or drop ballots off at a drop box or ballot van location.
Mailed ballots require first class postage and must be postmarked by Aug. 5.
31st Legislative District
• State Senator
Cathy Dahlquist, R
Pam Roach, R
Lynda Messner, D
• Representative Position No. 1
Drew Stokesbary, R
Jonathon Dunn, D
Mike Sando, D
• Representative Position No. 2
Phil Fortunato, R
Christopher Hurst, D