Friday was the final day for candidates to file to run in the August 17th primary, and the online lists – which we have reason to believe aren’t final yet – show two local races with candidates who hadn’t surfaced earlier: In the County Council District 8 race (the job to which Jan Drago was appointed to but isn’t running for), joining State Sen. Joe McDermott of West Seattle, Normandy Park City Councilmember Shawn McEvoy, and political newcomer Diana Toledo of West Seattle, we see Tim Fahey of South Park, whose campaign focus – via the Web and Facebook – appears to be on the soon-to-close SP Bridge. In the State Legislature races, Rep. Sharon Nelson remains unopposed for State Senate; the State House Position 2 job she’s giving up has drawn the previously announced candidates – Joe Fitzgibbon of Burien, Mike Heavey of West Seattle, Marcee Stone of West Seattle are on the online list; Geoffrey “Mac” McElroy, also of West Seattle, isn’t, but he says he filed Friday afternoon, so we’ll assume the online list has some lags. But there is one extra entrant, in Rep. Eileen Cody‘s State House Position 1 race; Ray Carter of West Seattle filed on Friday afternoon. He doesn’t appear to have a website, so we don’t know much about him yet, except that he declared his party preference as “Prefers Reluctantly GOP Party.” That makes him the only person mentioned in this story to have declared with GOP or Republican; the County Council race is nonpartisan, so no declarations there, but in the other state races, everyone has declared a Democratic preference except McElroy, who has said he’d run as an independent (since he’s not showing on the state page yet, we don’t know how it will show). In all races, the top two votegetters in August will move on to Nov. 2.
ADDED 10:43 AM: In comments and via e-mail, it’s pointed out that the county candidate-filing list page is showing McElroy’s registration, even though the state page hasn’t caught up yet. And indeed, “prefers independent party” is the designation. We also have heard from newly filed State House candidate Ray Carter, who e-mailed us an explanation of his “reluctantly GOP” preference and his campaign – click ahead to read:
I’m a bad Republican and a worse Democrat. Much too liberal on some
issues for many in the GOP, and far too conservative on many others for
the Democrats, I hold my quiet little doubts that even the Libertarians
would gladly have me.
Yet, with imploding state, county, and city budget pictures leading us
perilously close to the path of fiscal tragedy that California presently
endures, I’m willing to throw my hat in the ring as being reluctantly
Republican – if only to give voters a choice between a candidate
supporting the present course of state government, and one supporting a
sustainable course of state government.
For all that we have Microsoft, Starbucks, and several Boeing facilities
in our state and a wealth of talented and educated workers, the
generosity of tax-paying workers and business owners are not unlimited.
Additional taxes and regulations are best imposed during economic good
times when businesses, that fundamental source of state revenue (taxes
either hit a business directly, or businesses pay employees who – with
their families – are then taxed), can take the impact. In bad times,
taxes and regulation foster unemployment and business
re-locations/closures small and large.
Today, in the middle of an economic depression, with a predictable spike
in energy costs (The Gulf oil spill and regulatory response thereto, and
the rise in the levels of tension in the Middle east) on the near
horizon that will drive production and delivery costs ever higher in
many industries is not such a good time. Businesses that were on the
edge when this began have already failed, and those that are a bit more
stable are pulling back yet further into survival mode or approaching
the edge of failure. Count the number of empty storefronts and
commercial spaces that used to hold businesses that employed people, and
ask if there “are there more or less “for lease” and “for sale” signs
than you saw in the same area last year?”
We need to make Washington a more attractive and easier place to do
business, pay taxes, and hire people than the other 49 states in the
Union. We need those new businesses to help pay our states bills – it’s
painfully obvious that in todays climate, we cannot depend on our
current tax base to pay those bills, and unsurprisingly, not a single
interest group is eager to watch its’ particular oxen be gored.
I enthusiastically support same-sex marriage and the repeal of “Don’t
Ask, Don’t Tell” at the same time I support the right of law-abiding
private individuals to utilize and have access to effective means of
I support higher education funded less on the budgetary whims of an
ever-changing State Legislature and more on the endowment fund model.
I’m nothing short of delighted with the decision of the University of
Washington to refurbish the Husky Stadium without resorting to state
I approve of abolishing the Washington State Liquor Control Board. I
believe it long past time for the Legislature to do its own work in
enacting such laws as are necessary to regulate liquor and it’s
purveyors. The State should be in the business of taxing and regulating
alcohol – not selling it. And enforcement doesn’t belong in the same
agency as sales.
We need to continue to promote the use of bicycles as a mode of
transportation, even as we realize they are not a practical option for
many – for a variety of reasons. We need also to protect our bicyclists
and motorists from each other, striving to provide urban bike paths and
routes well-separated from motor traffic wherever possible, simply to
keep the casualties to a minimum. At the same time, we need to bring to
our bicyclists the same level of competence and safety that our
motorists are required to display. Such efforts must be paid for, and we
need to look at how that might best be accomplished.
Similarly, whether for environmental reasons or to reduce our dependence
on oil, the State Legislature needs to continue taking steps to support
the transition away from internal combustion engines and towards clean
electric vehicles in state, business, and private use.
As we seek to again become an economic powerhouse, we need to re-examine
just how much authority Counties and Cities have and how they use it –
and ask “Are these actions really growing our state economy? And to the
extent they are not,are they producing other benefits that make such
actions acceptable in relationship to the goals of building a healthy
and sustainable Washington?” These questions should be asked by both the
voters AND the Legislature on a fairly regular basis – sometimes, those
bodies need *more* authority, sometimes rather less – but simply
assuming they have *just the right amount* at any given moment is a
failure in responsibility on the part of both voters and the Legislature.
For every elected office where no candidate emerges, or a candidate runs
unopposed, our experiment in democracy fails a tiny bit – foundering on
the rocks of apathy. When we have the opportunity, and it makes even a
small amount of sense, we have a duty to at least indicate a willingness
to serve – no great campaign effort is required, merely a willingness to
serve if the voters pass you the short straw.
Rep. Cody has served long and honorably. If she is re-elected, I am
confident she will stay her course and continue her support of the
Governors leadership. The voters of the 34th District have already won a
small victory simply in having choices easily available to them in two
out of three of their legislative representatives. Now the voters get to
go to the polls and choose the course they support.