Here is one way to look at a vote for Clark County Superior Court judge: If you or your child or a friend landed in court, what qualities would you hope to find in the presiding jurist? We're guessing that calm, approachable, reasoned, empathetic, and deliberate would be on the list. In other words, you would hope to wind up in the courtroom of Bernard Veljacic.
When two worthy candidates square off at election time, our political system and our community are strengthened. Providing voters with a choice between capable contenders can help reinforce the public's faith in government while improving the level of discourse and the quality of representation.
During his years as a Clark County Commissioner and then a state Senator, Craig Pridemore reached an important conclusion about working with others in the formation of public policy: "I think the most important thing is that you have quality of argument."
During four years as Clark County Assessor, Peter Van Nortwick has compiled a notable list of accomplishments. For example, this year, for the first time in 24 years, the office has sent out property valuation notices before the stipulated deadline. For another example, property assessments coming from Van Nortwick's office have shown improved accuracy during his tenure.
So many factors point to Tony Golik as the right choice to remain as Clark County prosecutor that it is difficult to know where to begin. Suffice it to say that this might be the easiest decision for voters this election season.
The position of Clark County clerk might not be glamorous or garner many headlines, but it can play an important role in how a county functions. Charged with maintaining court records and ensuring that such records are accessible to the public, the clerk is essential to a well-oiled judicial system.
It would be difficult to argue that residents of Washington's 18th Legislative District didn't get their money's worth during Brandon Vick's first term in Olympia. Vick sits on six legislative committees, including some key groups that deal with the state's financing, and he rightly boasts that he did not miss any votes during the 2013 and 2014 sessions.
While Clark County voters will be electing a new sheriff for the first time in decades, The Columbian Editorial Board is confident the Sheriff's Office will remain in good hands. With Garry Lucas retiring after 24 years on the job, four candidates with vast law enforcement experience are seeking the position.
The three-person primary race for the representative from Washington's 3rd Congressional District presents a sharp contrast in philosophies that gives voters a variety of choices. The Columbian recommends that Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler and Democrat Bob Dingethal advance to the general election.
As a longtime businessman, community leader, school board member, and now state representative, Paul Harris has served the 17th Legislative District well for many years. The Republican, who is seeking a third term in the Legislature, has earned strong consideration for advancing through the primary to the general election in the race for the district's Position 2 representative.
Sharon Wylie over the years has served as a lobbyist, as a government relations officer for Clark County, as an Oregon state representative, and now as representative from Washington's 49th legislative district. Some people who long for a shake-up in government might view that résumé as a negative, but that experience sets Wylie apart from her challengers in this summer's primary.
Ideally, elections present voters with diverse choices representing a broad spectrum of interests and opinions. With that in mind, The Columbian endorses Democrat Jim Moeller and Republican Carolyn Crain in the primary race for state representative from the 49th District, Position 2.
Clark Public Utilities has attained a performance level that all public agencies and governments should aspire to match, yet there always is room for improvement. Because of that, The Columbian's Editorial Board endorses incumbent Byron Hanke and challenger Jane Van Dyke in the primary race for Clark Public Utilities commissioner from District No. 3.