Opinion

San Juans, state blessed with choices in '08 | Editorial

Shortage of local candidates? That’s so last year. You’re going to have to study for the Aug. 19 and Nov. 4 elections. And that’s a good thing — a field of candidates results in a discussion of ideas and issues. Campaigns and candidate forums allow us to get to know those vying for the opportunity to make decisions on our behalf.

Remember to register to vote. You have until up to 30 days before the election to do so by mail, and up to 15 days before the election to register in person, Elections Supervisor Doris Schaller said. Seventeen-year-olds can register to vote as long as they are 18 by Election Day.

Have a Washington state driver’s license? You can register online. Visit http://www.sanjuanco.com/elections/registration.aspx.

You can register by mail. Visit http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/pdf/vrform.pdf to print out a voter registration form you can fill out and mail in. Mail to San Juan County Elections, P.O. Box 638, Friday Harbor 98250.

You can register in person. The Elections Office is located at Second and Reed streets, in the County Legislative Building. Schaller and Elections Assistant Carlys Allen will assist you.

On the federal level, you have four choices for the U.S. House of Representatives, 2nd District.

On the state level, you will choose among 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. There are two candidates for San Juan County Superior Court judge.

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.

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.

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

n 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.

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

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

n 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.

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

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