Thanks for running, folks | Editorial
August 10, 2012 · Updated 2:39 PM
Island County was well served by the losers of the two Island County Commissioner positions that appeared on Tueday’s primary ballot. Voters in both districts were treated to a number of good choices, regardless of how many votes they may ultimately have received.
In District 2, which serves mainly Oak Harbor, the two survivors advancing to the general election are Democratic incumbent Angie Homola and Republican challenger Jill Johnson. But the two candidates left behind both did pretty well, with Republican Jim Campbell garnering roughly 24 percent of the vote and Republican Phil Collier 10 percent. Campbell brought his city council experience to the race as well as a rational demeanor that many voters felt comfortable with. Collier was more colorful, but he made the race fun and made some good points against bureaucracy.
In District 1, covering South and Central Whidbey, incumbent Helen Price Johnson did remarkably well. Winning about 55 percent of the first night’s vote count was mighty impressive. It was disappointing that independent Curt Gordon collected only 14 percent of the vote. A likable community leader on South Whidbey for many years, and presently an elected port commissioner, he has now lost twice running as an independent for county commissioner. Lesson: If you want to make a serious run for countywide office, call yourself a Democrat or Republican. Voters aren’t comfortable with other labels.
Also in District 1, Jeff Lauderdale showed that hard work pays off in winning second place and advancing to the November ballot as Price Johnson’s Republican opponent. His 26 percent support wasn’t impressive but he worked for every vote and did his homework better than any other challenger. With the party entirely behind him, he’s likely to do better in November.
As for the other District 1 competitors, Republican Wayne Morrison used his personal experiences in business to point out specific problems with overregulation. He only received 4.5 percent of the vote, but he made his point in a calm, respectable manner. Ed Jenkins ran as an independent with incredible self confidence and obvious distaste for the ideas of others. He won only 1.18 percent of the vote, but his presence made the forums colorful and lively.
The primary for county commissioner included only voters within the district. The November vote will be countywide, so anything can happen. Before looking ahead, we should look back and thank all those “losing” candidates who made the democratic process so much more educational and entertaining.