Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Political Desk - Swinging Summer Edition

 Ah, it is July. The rain has finally stopped. The temperatures are moving towards balmy. The Mariners are playing above .500 ball, and people are losing their minds over it. Yard signs are sprouting like late-season dandylions. Of course, we have an election. 

Its a primary, There are five offices up for grabs at GrubbStreet. US Senator, US Representation Congressional District Number 9, Secretary of State, and two State Reps for Legislative District Number 11. Our primaries out here are "Top Two", which means the top two voter-getters will go on to the November Election. This usually means an Endorsed Republican against an Endorsed Democrat, but in Seattle it can mean a Centrist Democrat against a Progressive Democrat.

As we have done for years. GrubbStreet is rolling through its ballot, not only giving recommendations but also sending you to other sources so you can make up your own mind. The Voters' Guide is online here, and consists of candidate statements about themselves. The elections office does not fact-check or edit them. Crosscut has put together a nice summary of the major candidates here. The Public Disclosure Commission has its info here, if you want to see who is behind the various candidates in financial support. 

The Seattle Times has been spending the past couple weeks endorsing various candidates - they tend to prefer pro-business, conservative-to-centrist candidates, and will often recommend Republicans. This year, you can hear their teeth grate as they have endorsed primarily Democrats, particularly for the big offices. The Stranger just dropped its recommendations here, and while they are usually rather glib and foul-mouthed, they are currently engaged in their own teeth-grinding frustration as their chosen candidates don't tick all their required boxes.

What about Grubb Street? I tend to lean left and like people who have been doing their job. We are also a little sad that we aren't dealing with any cool battles - we are literally about two blocks away from those districts with hard-core political fights. Here are my recommendations:

United States Senator: Patty Murray has been the incumbent for quite some time, and has been very effective in her role. The Times compares her to previously powerful Washington State Senators like "Scoop" Jackson and  Warren G. Magnusson. Her primary opponent will likely be Tiffany Smiley, who has the support of the State Republican Party. She doesn't have a lot of government experience (Murray was at least a State Representative before running for office), but will likely do what she's told. The OTHER 17 candidates are the standard mix of regular office-seekers, well-meaning souls, one-issue candidates, and cranks (The highpoint is one who is running as the "JFK Republican Party"). So yeah, Patty Murray.

United States Representative Congressional District No. 9. The 9th reaches south from SoDo and crosses Renton along the south end of Lake Washington. We're in the far southeast corner of that area. The district has been well-represented by Adam Smith. I will point that he is being challenged on the Left by Stephanie Gallardo,, who is running on a pro-education platform. I like that, but Ms. Gallardo's resume, like Ms. Smiley's, doesn't have the underpinning I would be looking for. Go with Adam Smith.

The big action, by the way, is just a few blocks away from here in the 8th District, which was rezoned to make a bit more rural and red. Incumbent Kim Schrier (who is again, doing the job) will likely be challenged by GOP Fixture Reagan Dunn, who has spent the past few decades on the King County Council, explaining why he can't get things done (His solution to homelessness - A bus ticket to Spokane). This is a definitely a swing district, so money is coming in from both sides. The Times, which has treated Dunn with kid gloves in the past, has endorsed Schrier this time).

Washington Secretary of State: This position oversees our elections, and has been for many years admirably overseen by Republican Kim Wyman. She did a great job, such that other Republicans got mad at her. She has left to take a position in the Biden administration, and has been replaced by former state senator Steve Hobbs. Hobbs has continued Wyman's policies to guarantee the safety of elections and get people voting (The GOP? Some members have been posting signs near the ballot boxes, declaring that they are under surveillance, in hopes of suppressing the vote). Also good is Julie Anderson, also Republican but running as a nonpartisan, who has run elections down in Pierce County, and has the experience as well. But, Mr. Hobbs has been teaching other state representatives to play D&D, so I've got an inborn prejudice there.

State Legislative District No 11, Positions 1 and 2: Two candidates for each of these positions, so they will go onto the general regardless of what I say here. In Position 1, I go with David Hackney over Stephanie Peters, and Steve Berquist over Jeanette Burrage, but you're going to see them again in the fall.

Again, we are on the edge of this district, and the action is happening next door, which makes up the bulk of Kent and has three very good, experienced candidates running for two slots. It is almost like they redrew the district boundaries just to deny me some cool options.

That's it for this ballot. No judges, no initiatives, no school board or sewer district commissioners. Short and sweet. Get your ballots in by 2 August, and keep an eye out for shifty-looking characters monitoring the ballot drop-offs.

More later.