Once again, elections have rolled in on us. Oh, it’s not the all important presidential election, but mid-term elections that for the local community, are just as important. With the burgeoning deficits and ever deepening debt of the city, county and state, this might be one of the most important local elections we will see.
That’s why it is so important that we voters and taxpayers have some good choices in who to elect and that’s what we have this time around, some very good choices in who to select to represent and govern us. Our choices will give us the opportunity to effectively neuter the out of control over spending and taxation we saw this year. Or, continue on ever deeper into the morass of economic decline, increasing unemployment and welfare state.
At the top of the list are Senator Patty Murray, elected 18 years ago and who has voted nearly lock-step with the socialist agenda brought in by the strangely different Democratic Party that used to actually care about hard working middle class blue collar America.
We have 3 choices to finally replace her and bring some sanity back to our Senate, former gubernatorial candidate, Dino Rossi, former football player, super bowl winner and farmer, Clint Didier and a highly successful businessman, Paul Akers. This is the race I just can’t make my mind up on who to support, just knowing that Patty Murray has to go and any on of the 3 could do a better job in representing Washington State and bringing a touch of sanity back to the US Senate.
We also have a highly contested race to replace retiring Brian Baird, another Democrat, in our 3rd Congressional District. Of a multitude of candidates, three stand out as having any chance at all, Democrat Denny Heck and Republicans state legislator Jaime Herrera and Navy Veteran David Castillo, who also has held sub-cabinet level positions in the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security.
My choice here is easy as only David Castillo has the well rounded experience we need to join in with others in turning America around. Heck and Herrera just don’t have it, Herrera too often choosing to join in with Democrats in a path that has brought us to where we are and Heck, a Democrat who would follow along that detrimental path.
At the state level we have several offices contested, one of which is the 18th legislative district seat that Jaime Herrera will be leaving, win or lose in her bid for the 3rd Congressional District Race. Hopefuls for that seat are Democrat Dennis Kampe, Independents Richard Carson and Jon T. Haugen along with Republicans Ann Rivers, Jon Russell, Brandon Vick and 18 year-old Anthony Bittner, just beginning a political career.
Since I don’t live in the 18th I really have no top choice, but by nearly all accounts, Ann Rivers stands out ahead of the rest as most likely to win.
We also see the seat in the 17th legislative district, won last election by Democrat Tim Probst challenged by Republican businessman, Brian Peck. Probst is one of those tricky Democrats who campaigned on promise of not voting for tax or spending increases and if you quickly look over his voting record, appears to have kept that promise. I say appears to because if you look closer, you will see that he doesn’t seem to support any alternative ideas put forth and voting no is easy when you know the spending measure will easily pass with the majority being so lopsided.
Then again, some bills he voted for would bring back door spending or tax increases, such as HB 1329, a bill that would have forced childcare centers to belong to a public union if they accepted state funds for low income families.
Peck, on the other hand, as operated a successful business that has won excellence awards 5 years in a row and knows the value of our hard earned tax dollars and how hard it is for us to earn them and support our families. Hands down, Peck would be my choice if I lived in the 17th.
The other seat in the 17th is open, being vacated by retiring Democrat, Deb Wallace. We see Republican Paul Harris, a businessman and former Evergreen school board member filing to run against Democrat Monica Stonier, a middle school teacher.
Both seats in the 49th legislative district currently held by Democrats Jim Moeller and Jim Jacks are being challenged this time. Moeller’s seat is challenged by another very successful businessman with a lot of experience in healthcare, Craig Riley. Jacks, who has proven the words he spoke in his 2008 campaign, “I don’t know how to fix it, I’m no tax expert” as very truthful, is facing Republican Bill Cismar, a Veteran with 3 decades experience in the high-tech field.
With how the Democrats have driven the state economy to the brink of ruin, both Jacks and Moeller voting to do so and since I’m in the 49th district, my choice here is easy to support both Cismar and Riley.
Moving down to more local races, we see County Commissioner Steve Stuart being challenged by Alan Svehaug, a Republican of varied experience, including contracting and teacher of chess and speed learning. Given the performance by Stuart, raising the ire of many in Clark County and having sat down and discussed with Svehaug his ideas on improving and restoring Clark County, Stuart just may see a tough challenge this time around.
A hint to fellow Clark County Commissioners Marc Boldt and Tom Mielke. Just because you’re Republican doesn’t mean your seat is safe in the next election. Both have not been acting all that “Republican” all too often.
Several in the community were upset over the appointment of Bart Hansen to replace Tim Leavitt, who was elected mayor, on the Vancouver City Council, with little or no citizen input heeded. I have watched Bart sitting on the council and his thin-skin and lack of knowledge of the civil rights opposition of the Democratic Party of old concerns me.
Challenging Hansen is John Jenkins and Jack King O’Neal III. O’Neal is a relative unknown, but Jenkins, 56, a retired information technology professional has ran for the seat before and shares many concerns with citizens on the cities purchase of the Columbian Building downtown for a new city hall as well as the council ignoring citizens on forcing light rail from Portland, Oregon upon us against our wishes.
For county assessor, three Republicans and one Democrat are vying to replace Democrat Linda Franklin, retiring due to medical reasons. David Horowitz, a retired certified public accountant, Daniel Weaver another retired CPA and certified appraiser Peter Van Nortwick. Janet Seekins, a Democrat currently with the County Appraisers office, threw her hat in the ring as well.
Given the problems seen in the County Appraisers Office in the last couple years, I think it is time for some new blood and I will be supporting Peter Van Nortwick.
Art Curtis, County Prosecutor is retiring this year so that seat is also up for grabs. Filing to run for the seat is Democrat Tony Golik, Independent George A. Kolin and Republican Brent Boger, of the City Attorney’s Office. As can be expected, Golik, a Democrat, enjoys Prosecutors Union support as he is currently in the Prosecutors Office, which would continue the current problems in the office should he be elected. Kolin is a private attorney from Washougal. I like Boger because he has some new ideas to make the Prosecutors Office more efficient and end some expensive frivolous prosecutions that shouldn’t even be brought to trial.
As you can see there are several races contested this time, only a few being uncontested. We have choices this time around and it is incumbent upon each of us to learn who these candidates are and work hard to elect who we think is the best suited.
We need to get away from just checking next to the familiar name and actually take part in our democratic process by knowing who we vote for and what they stand for.
Our forefathers left us this marvelous system of self governance and as shown above, we have choices this election.
Let’s do as they showed us and become familiar with the best candidates and actively exercise our choices. And, once elected, we must begin holding each and every one of them accountable.