The Journal endorses ... | Editorial
August 6, 2008 · Updated 4:49 PM
The Aug. 19 primary election is an important one in many ways.
For the first time, San Juan County voters will elect the county’s own Superior Court judge; we no longer share a judge with Island County. The judge’s race will be decided in the Aug. 19 primary election. The winner will be responsible for the fair and impartial administration of justice in cases involving family law, felonies and land use matters, among others. He will manage a infant court system through all of its growing pains. He will serve a four-year term and be paid $146,832 a year.
Voters have an opportunity to send an islander to the state Senate to represent the unique interests of the San Juans in Olympia. According to our records, the last state senator from the San Juans might have been John Blair of Friday Harbor, in the first decade of the 1900s. State senators serve four-year terms and are paid $42,106 a year.
We will also choose people to make decisions on our behalf in the county Legislative Building. As County Council members, they will approve local laws and annual budgets; manage county property and funds; make decisions in land-use appeals; ensure public infrastructure, roads and buildings are in good shape; and determine how much we pay in county taxes. Each council member serves a four-year term and is paid $33,700 a year and benefits.
The Journal recommends a vote for the following.
Superior Court judge: John Linde. Unparalleled experience as a judge in San Juan County — 21 years as elected District Court judge (conducting about 100 jury trials), service as court commissioner and Superior Court judge pro tem, governor-appointed Superior Court judge since Jan. 1. Linde has the judicial and management experience needed to lead the court from infancy, with inadequate funding and borrowed staff, to an efficient system. We trust him for ethical and fair, firm yet compassionate leadership on the bench.
State Senate, 40th District: Kevin Ranker and Steve Van Luven. Ranker presents a rare opportunity for the San Juans to be represented in the Senate. Van Luven served almost 20 years in the state House of Representatives. Both have worked on behalf of the San Juans on issues ranging from economic development to education to transportation. Both are acutely familiar with the unique issues facing our county. Both should be advanced to the Nov. 4 general election.
State Representative, 40th District: Jeff Morris. He has long represented the islands’ best interests on such issues as agriculture, energy, technology and transportation. He knows the islands. And as speaker pro tem, he carries a lot of clout. We need to give him another term working for the islands.
County Council, San Juan South: Lisa Guard and Lovel Pratt. They are open-minded. They are familiar with rural and urban issues; both are farmers, one is a former town businesswoman, one is a county planning commissioner. Both are concerned about the affordability of island living, particularly housing and transportation. Both see agriculture as an important part of the island’s economic future, an untapped source of sustenance and wealth. They will bring a fresh perspective and fresh ideas to the general election debate.
U.S. House of Representatives, District 2: Rick Larsen and Rick Bart. In the top-two primary, we’d like to see Larsen and Bart advance to the Nov. 4 general election.
Larsen has been an effective representative for the district and the islands — from preservation of Mitchell Hill on San Juan Island to support for agriculture, the military and veterans; funding for highway improvements and transit; and solutions to relieve congestion at the border.
Larsen serves on the House Armed Services Committee; the Small Business Committee; the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; and subcommittees dealing with such issues as aviation, Coast Guard, maritime transportation, military seapower, trade, and rural and urban entrepreneurship.
Larsen deserves another term in Congress. Bart, retired Snohomish County sheriff, is a moderate voice whose views on economic development, energy development and the military deserve to be aired and discussed in a general election campaign.
Both deserve to move on to the general election.