Opinion

Island County voters need good choices

If you’ve ever dreamed of running for political office there’s no time like the present.

The filing period is this week, with the final moment to throw your hat in the ring at 4 p.m. Friday in the Island County Auditor’s Office. Of course, the modern way to file is online. You can do that by snooping around at www.islandcounty.net.

With the county, state and country still in economic turmoil these are interesting times in which no incumbent can sit on the throne comfortably. Challengers are emerging at all levels, and that’s a good thing. For democracy to thrive people need good choices and those are not available unless good people decide to run for elective office.

It’s not easy. Contacts must be made, money raised and time set aside to campaign. This requires much dedication and perseverance, and thin-skinned people need not apply. But most candidates find the process rewarding even if they don’t win at the polls. And a loss the first time around can set a candidate up for victory in the future.

It’s easier to run under Washington’s new “top two” primary system, which is still experimental. Party bosses have lost some power. Call yourself what you want and if you’re one of the top two vote-getters, it’s off to the finals in November regardless of party. In the general election voters could be choosing between two Democrats or two Republicans. This appalls party leaders, but it’s good for voters. It assures two strong candidates in November which is when most people vote.

As for the Aug. 17 primary election, the more the merrier. This is where independents or third-party candidates can make their mark. If two big names split the vote, a third candidate could prevail. It assures that no incumbent takes anything for granted and gives independents hope.

The top two primary will inevitably lead to some shocking upsets, which makes the election process even more interesting. Do voters a favor and run for office. You’ve got until Friday afternoon to decide.

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