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Political Notebook

1,700 ballots received as of Monday
San Juan County Elections Supervisor Doris Schaller reports her office had processed 1,504 ballots as of Monday and received 200 more that day.

Her office mailed out 11,031 ballots for the Aug. 19 election. She said the number received is a slow start toward her earlier predicted voter turnout of 63 percent.

“We were thinking high, but we’re not sure now,” she said. “We’ll have to get a lot of ballots in to reach that.”

Schaller said voters may be taking their time deciding how to vote. “We did have a long ballot. Maybe that’s why.”

Secretary of State Sam Reed is predicting a 46 percent turnout statewide. That would be the best statewide primary voter participation in years.

“Our voters are intrigued by our new Top 2 system of voting, which once again allows them to pick their favorite candidate for each office, without regard to party,” Reed said in a press release.

“This should be very popular. It’s the Washington tradition to vote for the person, not the party.”

Newspapers, B’ham officials endorse Ranker
State Senate candidate Kevin Ranker received the endorsement of the Cascadia Weekly, a respected non-daily newspaper in Bellingham.

The endorsements followed a week in which Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike, Bellingham City Councilwoman Barbara Ryan and mayoral candidate Don Keenan endorsed Ranker as well.

“Where other candidates tell you what they hope to do when they get to Olympia, Kevin Ranker is already doing it — prodigiously and energetically,” Cascadia Weekly reported. “He is already at work for the people of his district on a variety of issues.”

In a letter to the editor of the Bellingham Herald, Pike asked voters to support Ranker. “Ranker’s strong background on environmental issues provides him with a strong understanding of the challenges we face in Lake Whatcom …”

The Journal of the San Juan Islands also endorsed Ranker: “Ranker presents a rare opportunity for the San Juans to be represented in the Senate.” The paper stated that Ranker has worked on behalf of the San Juans on issues ranging from economic development to education to transportation and that he is acutely familiar with the unique issues facing San Juan County.

Ranker, a member of the San Juan County Council, has 15 years of professional experience in the private and public sectors, developing and advancing legislation, community development strategies, and conservation initiatives.

View Ranker’s commercials on YouTube
You can view state Senate candidate Kevin Ranker’s campaign commercials on YouTube.

Visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kvZsME1DMc and www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4ntB-dkjTQ

Kountouros endorses Henderson
Former 40th District Senate candidate Stephanie Kountouros has endorsed Ken Henderson for the position.

“As a grassroots coordinator, I value representatives who can understand issues from multiple perspectives and work hard to represent multiple interests,” Kountouros said in a press release.

“I see in Ken Henderson a long-standing commitment to human rights, including his work with the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force. Henderson’s past support of local non-profits including Sean Humphrey House and Planned Parenthood show that his dedication to social justice is firm.”

Kountouros has served as a Washington State Democratic platform representative and was community coordinator of the Obama campaign in Whatcom County.

Henderson, 59, is an optometrist and former Whatcom County Council member, Bellingham planning commissioner and Whatcom County parks board member.

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