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Election: Voters will test ‘top two’ primary system for the first time

This election season, there’s been a lot of talk about change.

As the campaign season gets under way locally, there will also undoubtedly be a lot of talk about choices.

On the federal level, San Juan County voters will have four choices for the U.S. House of Representatives, 2nd District.

On the state level, there are 10 candidates for governor, five for lieutenant governor, four for secretary of state, three for state treasurer, three for state auditor, two for attorney general, two for commissioner of public lands, six for superintendent of public instruction, and three for insurance commissioner.

There are seven candidates for 40th District state Senate, two for 40th District State House Position 2, seven for three state Supreme Court positions.

In the county, there are four candidates for County Council, San Juan South; two for County Council, Friday Harbor; and five for County Council, Orcas West.

All are vying to make decisions on your behalf in Washington, D.C., Olympia and Friday Harbor. Salaries range from $169,300 for members of Congress, to $166,891 for governor, $148,832 for Superior Court judge (half paid by state, half by county), $42,106 for state legislator, and $34,000 for County Council member.

The candidate filing period ended Friday. The primary election is Aug. 19; the general election is Nov. 4. To register to vote, you have until up to 30 days before the election to do so by mail, up to 15 days before the election to do it in person, Elections Supervisor Doris Schaller said Monday. Seventeen-year-olds can register to vote as long as they are 18 by election day.

This election is also an opportunity for San Juan residents to participate in something historic:

— For the first time since San Juan County was created in 1873, we will elect a Superior Court judge of our own; we formerly shared judges with Island County.

— County Councilman Kevin Ranker is vying to become the first San Juan resident elected to the state Senate.

— For the first time, the SalmonYoga party has a candidate for 40th District state Senate. (We’re not making that up).

— And the “top two” primary will get its first test; in Washington state, the top two vote-getters in any contest will advance to the general election regardless of political party affiliation.

Candidates for 2nd District U.S. House of Representatives: Rick Bart, a Republican and former Snohomish County sheriff; Glen S. Johnson, a Democrat and farmer from Mount Vernon who has run for the state House and Congress; Rick Larsen, a Democrat serving his fourth term in Congress; and Doug Schaffer, a Democrat from Snohomish.

Candidates for 40th District state Senate: Hue Beattie, a Bellingham resident and state Democratic Party committee member; Paul Gonzalez of Mount Vernon, Democrat and a 22-year State Patrol officer; Ken Henderson, Democrat and former Whatcom County Council member; Stephanie Kountouros of Bellingham, Democrat and member of the Whatcom County Human Rights Task Force; Kevin Ranker, Democrat and San Juan County Council member; Timothy “Cleaver” Stoddard of Anacortes, who put SalmonYoga Party as his preference; and Steve Van Luven of Samish Island, a Republican who formerly represented Bellevue in the state House of Representatives.

Candidates for 40th District state House of Representatives, Position 1: Dave Quall of Mount Vernon, Democrat, is unopposed for reelection.

Candidates for 40th District state House, Position 2: Jeff Morris of Anacortes, a Democrat and House speaker pro tem; and Howard Pellett of Anacortes, Green Party.

Candidates for San Juan County Superior Court judge: Randy Gaylord, county prosecuting attorney; and John Linde, a longtime attorney and former District Court judge who was appointed to the Superior Court position by the governor when it was created last year.

Candidates for County Council, Friday Harbor: Fay Chaffee, a permit coordinator in the county Department of Community Development and Planning; and Howie Rosenfeld, councilman, who is seeking a second term.

Candidates for County Council, San Juan South: Lisa Guard, a former Friday Harbor business owner; Daniel Miller Jr., a landscaper and former candidate for state Legislature and County Commission; Gordy Petersen, who served on the county Board of Freeholders; and Lovel Pratt, a county planning commissioner.

For County Council, Orcas West: Jessica B. Bense, owner of a company specialzing in biofeedback devices; Richard Fralick, a former freeholder; Mindy Kayl, a former freeholder; Alan Lichter, councilman, who is seeking a second term, and Bruce Orchid, a former San Juan County Commission member.

For a list of candidates for all offices in Washington state, visit www.secstate.wa.gov.

In addition, registered Democrats and Republicans in San Juan County will vote for precinct committee officers to represent their political parties in each of the county’s 17 voting precincts. There are a total of 12 Republicans and eight Democrats running for precinct committee positions.

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