With November being the traditional election month in the United States, it might seem anachronistic to be discussing candidates in the middle of July. But, believe it or not, election season is here, with ballots for the Aug. 2 primary election on their way to registered voters.
That primary will determine which two candidates, regardless of party, advance to the November general election. For local races involving more than two candidates — therefore providing a contest for the primary — The Columbian’s Editorial Board has spent the past several weeks interviewing candidates and examining the issues involved in the races. Our recommendations for such contests can be found at http://tinyurl.com/gmjon38, and videos of the meetings are at http://tinyurl.com/hoxnbqe.
As we often mention in providing such recommendations, these are merely suggestions designed to provide some insight to the candidates and to foster discussion. The Columbian trusts the ability of voters to study the candidates and make an informed decision before casting a ballot. In that regard, videos can be particularly helpful in assessing a candidates’ depth of understanding surrounding the issues and in making judgments about their demeanor or how effectively they articulate their beliefs.
For statewide races, we will not be making a recommendation until after the primary has reduced the field to two candidates. And for many local races, only two candidates filed for the position, meaning that The Columbian will interview candidates prior to the general election.
While this is a year with a presidential election and while that race, understandably, grabs the majority of attention from voters, we again emphasize the importance of local elections. Choosing a successor to Barack Obama is meaningful, but local legislators and utility commissioners are more likely to make decisions that have an impact on the daily lives of Clark County residents. Therefore, it is essential for citizens to be engaged in the process.
Here are The Columbian’s recommendations for this year’s primary:
• Congressional representative, Washington’s 3rd District: The Columbian is scheduled to interview candidates this week and will be providing a recommendation following that.
• State Rep., 17th Legislative District, Pos. 1: Sam Kim (independent Democrat) and Don Orange (D).
• State Rep., 17th Legislative District, Pos. 2: Paul Harris (R) is a strong choice; Martin Hash (D) is the best option to challenge Harris in the general election.
• State Rep., 18th Legislative District, Pos. 1: Brandon Vick (R) and Justin Oberg (D).
• State Rep., 18th Legislative District, Pos. 2: Shane Bowman (R) and Kathy Gillespie (D).
• State Sen., 49th Legislative District: Annette Cleveland (D) is a strong choice; Vaughn Henderson (D) is the next-best option.
• State Rep., 49th Legislative District, Pos. 2: Alishia Topper (D) and Monica Stonier (D) both are strong candidates; Carolyn Crain (R) also is worthy of consideration.
• Clark County council, District 3: John Blom (R) and Tanisha Harris (D) deserve consideration against incumbent David Madore (R).
• Clark County council, District 4: Jennifer McDaniel (R) and Roman Battan (D).
• Public Utilities Commissioner, District 2: Nancy Barnes and Mike Lyons. This is a nonpartisan office.