OLYMPIA — Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna are not the only candidates in Washington state’s governor’s race. Seven others are vying to succeed Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, and while they’re not reflected in most media coverage, a few of these unknown-to-most candidates are running campaigns, even though they’re likely to be electoral footnotes after the top-two primary Aug. 7.
All are registered voters and paid nearly $1,700 to run for governor. Here’s a look at those other candidates:
• Shahram Hadian is a pastor from Everett originally from Iran who often speaks of his conversion to Christianity from Islam. The Republican pledges to stand up to public-sector unions, opposes legalizing gay marriage and says he’ll fight the implementation of the federal health care law. He has no elected experience; he ran for the Legislature in 2010 but lost in the primary. Hadian said that his experience with the campaign of residents opposed to pasty and thong-wearing coffee baristas in Snohomish county in 2009 “was an affirmation of the ability of the impact I was able to have.” The Snohomish County Council ultimately passed an ordinance that effectively banned the practice, requiring that bikini barista stands with partially nude employees or sexually suggestive signs be licensed as adult entertainment. He referred to his decision to run for governor as a calling. Hadrian says that he is the “true conservative candidate” in the race, as opposed to McKenna, who supports abortion and recently said that he wouldn’t fight implementation of the federal health care law. Hadrian has raised more than $81,000. Hadian2012.com
• Shoreline resident Rob Hill is the owner and operator of commercial real estate in Washington and Alaska. The Democrat, who has no elected experience, pledges to raise taxes on pack of cigarettes by $10 by 2016. His dad died of a smoking-related cancer in 1995, and “I want cigarettes to be taxed at a level that makes it too expensive for young children to start smoking.” He has not raised any money for his run and does not have a campaign website.
• L. Dale Sorgen is a computer programmer from Sultan. The independent pledges to “encourage people to think independently about ideas in a new and creative way that emphasizes personal liberties and excellence in government services that we are forced to pay for.” He has no elected experience. Sorgen said that he decided to run because he believes that the two main political parties are no longer fighting for taxpayers. He has raised $2,469 for his run. imagineliberty.us
• Christian Joubert was formerly director of a holistic health retreat center. He splits his time living in both Bellingham and Edmonds. This candidate with no party preference says he wants a “pro-active holistic health care system,” and to help the state’s economy, he wants to focus on industries including hemp, organic agriculture, eco-housing and tree planting. He also calls for a reduction of the work week to 35 hours and retirement at age 60. Joubert, who has no elected experience (he unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2008), says that he, Inslee and McKenna disagree on fiscal and budget issues. He says he supports a “holistic governorship” that would see more taxes on “those business which disproportionately enrich the one percent while impoverishing the people, destroying our health and poisoning our resources.” Joubert has not raised any money for his run. holisticgovernor.org
• Max Sampson, an airplane parts painter for Boeing, lives in Black Diamond. The Republican said he wants to address excessive force by police, and have mental and physical evaluations done on all police and check their backgrounds on any past complaints about excessive use of force. Sampson has no elected experience. Sampson’s 19-year-old son, Eric, was shot and killed last year by King County officers after they say he wouldn’t drop a machete, something that the elder Sampson disputes. He has raised no money for his campaign and has no campaign website.
• James White, airplane inspector for Boeing and volunteer child advocate, lives in Marysville. The independent is running on a platform of family court reform, job creation and education. White was elected treasurer for his Moose Lodge and had an unsuccessfully run for governor in 2008. He says he is motivated to run by his work in child advocacy and his personal experience with an ongoing custody battle over his 17-year-old son. White has raised no money for his campaign. whiteforgovernor2012.com
• Javier O. Lopez is retired and lives in Bucoda. The Republican’s website points to the need to address transportation costs, the education system and equity in taxation, but when asked for specifics, he railed against the media and said, “I have nothing to tell you, because you are an usurper.” Lopez is a former member of Los Angeles’ Community Action Committee, and unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2008 and Bucoda Town Council in 2007. Lopez said Christianity motivates him to stay in the race, and declined to say what sets him apart from mainstream candidates. He has raised no money for his run. His website, www.lopez2012.org, was not running Sunday evening.