Primary bumps races up to August

Baseball season traditionally opens in early April. The National Football League season starts in mid-September. And Washington’s political season traditionally begins on Labor Day weekend, about two weeks in front of the September primary. That tradition has changed in three ways.

  • Tuesday, August 11, 2009 5:29pm
  • Opinion



Baseball season traditionally opens in early April. The National Football League season starts in mid-September. And Washington’s political season traditionally begins on Labor Day weekend, about two weeks in front of the September primary. That tradition has changed in three ways.

First, Washington’s primary is now the third Tuesday in August. Second, forget going to the polls. This year, we’ll all cast our ballots by mail. Third, political primaries for parties no longer exist. We now have a “top two” system where the top two vote getters will appear on the November ballot regardless of party. In the race for King County executive, with four Democrats running in a five person field, you could conceivably have two Democrats squaring off against each other in November (though this is unlikely).

There are only four countywide contests on the August ballot, but all of them are important and are worthy of your attention. November’s ballot will feature many more contests because there are only two candidates running, which makes a “top two” primary unnecessary.

KingCounty executive

There are two county council members running for this contest, Dow Constantine and Larry Phillips, both liberal Democrats from Seattle. If you like the way the county is being governed, either Dow or Larry is your man.

There are also two eastside legislators running, Fred Jarrett from Mercer Island and Ross Hunter from Bellevue-Medina. Both are moderate to liberal Democrats, and both are highly regarded in both their districts and in the state capitol. Both are highly critical of the way King County is run and the unions are attacking Hunter because they’d much rather have Dow Constantine on the November ballot.

And then there’s Susan Hutchison, former KIRO-TV anchor and head of Charles Simonyi’s foundation. If you want an “about face” in the direction of county government, Susie’s your choice. Critics say she doesn’t have any government experience. That is true. Then again, the most experienced people in county government, led by Ron Sims, put us in the situation we’re in today. How’s that working for you?

Court of Appeals, Div. 1, Dist.1, Position 3

Anne Ellington is a widely respected, veteran jurist being challenged by a lawyer named Robert D. Kelly. This particular contest will be settled on the August ballot. Kelly has little legal experience and hasn’t offered a solid reason to replace the incumbent. Stick with Ellington.

Port of Seattle, Position 3

Eastsider David Doud has wisely made an issue of the fact that none of the county wide Port of Seattle Commissioners lives outside the Seattle city limits. He’s being challenged labor backed candidate Rob Holland. Doud would not only be a superb member of the port commission, he’d also be a rising star in county politics. Go with Doud.

Port of Seattle, Position 4

A much noisier primary for the port commission is Position 4 with four candidates, including Max Vekich, a liberal former state legislator, and political newcomer Tom Albro, a successful entrepreneur who’s been active in the Municipal League, youth coaching and scouts. The port needs more business smarts. Vote for Albro.

More in Opinion

Enumclaw boys, join the scouts

Troop 422 here in Enumclaw has taught me these things, and it has allowed me to be able to incorporate these things into my own life.

Concessions may be needed to enact carbon pricing

This is the sixth year Gov. Jay Inslee will try to convince lawmakers that the best means of fighting climate change is by making it more expensive to pollute.

Humility allows for tolerance of other’s opinions

Each of us has grown up in different circumstances. Each has been shaped by our life experiences. Each of us sees the world around us differently as a result. Why, then, should it be so difficult to understand that no two people will agree on every issue?

President Trump working toward the vision of our Founders

President Trump is working to return power and liberty to the people.

Inslee: ‘It’s our state’s destiny … to fight climate change’

In his State-of-the-State address, the governor made the case for an ambitious carbon tax.

Culture, politics have and continue to shape race relations

“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”

Better luck this year, Eyman

2017 was a stinky year for Tim Eyman. It ended with a thud last week when he confessed to not collecting enough signatures to get onto the ballot a measure that would reduce car tab fees and kneecap Sound Transit.

Don’t label all Trump supporters as racist

While the column correctly points out that Trump supporters are happy with his performance and still enthusiastically support him, Mr. Elfers had to inject the liberal “lie” that Trump supporters are racist.

Political turmoil makes nations stronger

Finish this sentence: “What doesn’t kill you___________.” This is how I introduced my recent continuing education class entitled, “President Trump a Year Later.” Of course, this quote is normally completed with the words, “makes you stronger.”

U.S., Russia agree on Middle East situation

Since Russia helped Syria’s Bashar al-Assad stay in power and helped to defeat ISIS, are Russia and the U.S. at odds in the Middle East? Is Russia threatening American dominance in the region? The answer to both is no.

Page-turners: Best books of 2017

Continuing an end-of-year tradition that dates back more than 15 years, the King County Library System has chosen its Best Books of 2017.

Anthem protests about equality, not disrespect

For all who write negative comments about the football players who took a knee and posted that “this is not the America we grew up in,” let me share a few of the personal events from my life growing up in Tacoma Washington as a white woman.