Toward a civil, informative general election | Editorial

Congratulations to the winners of the Aug. 19 primary. Voters chose well — they are sending to the Nov. 4 general election candidates who are diverse in their experience and who have disparate views on how to meet the challenges of the day.

Locally, this election is historic — we have the opportunity to send an islander to the state Senate for the first time in about 100 years. There will be two new faces on the County Council. And come Jan. 1, this council will be composed entirely of members elected under the county charter. All will earn salaries set by the county Salary Commission — a payroll reduction of about $72,000 in a year. (Kevin Ranker of San Juan South and Alan Lichter of Orcas West, elected before the charter was approved, continue to receive their pre-charter salaries of $68,000 a year. Their successors will receive annual salaries set by the Salary Commission, $34,000.)

Our opinion? Read-up on the candidates. Attend the candidate forums, which will be publicized in advance in The Journal and on SanJuanJournal.com. Read our news stories about the candidates, their stand on issues, and their goals and priorities.

If you write a letter to the editor, keep it to 350 words maximum, sign it and include your name, address and telephone number for verification purposes. Letters must come from the writer and not a campaign; form letters will not be published. Whenever possible, an equal number of letters supporting each candidate in a race will be published. Some letters may be posted on SanJuanJournal.com in order to ensure that the opinion pages are open to as many voices on as many issues as possible.

Here’s The Journal’s schedule of Candidate Q&As. (County Elections Department deadlines are included in italics.) If you have a question you’d like us to ask a candidate, e-mail rwalker@sanjuanjournal.com or write Editor, The Journal, P.O. Box 519, Friday Harbor, WA. 98250.

— Sept. 24: County Council, Friday Harbor — Fay Chaffee, Howie Rosenfeld.
— Oct. 1: County Council, San Juan South — Gordy Petersen, Lovel Pratt.
— Oct. 4: Last day for mail-in and online transfers and voter registration for the Nov. 4 General Election.
— Oct. 5: Ballots mailed to overseas and military voters.
— Oct. 8: State Senate — Kevin Ranker, Democrat; Steve Van Luven, Republican.
— Oct. 15: Congress — Rick Bart, Republican; Rick Larsen, Democrat.
— Oct. 15: Absentee ballots available.
— Oct. 17: Absentee ballots mailed.
— Oct. 20: Last day for in-person voter registration.
— Oct. 22: Journal’s editorial endorsements.
— Nov. 3: Last day to apply for an absentee ballot. Final day to file as a write-in candidate.
— Nov. 4: Election Day.

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