In Our Opinion: Candidate filing weeks is around the corner

Once a year, just prior to the candidate filing week, the Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record urge people to run for political office.

Next week, people interested in elected office must officially file. The filing period begins at 8 a.m. on Monday, May 6 and runs until 5 p.m. on Friday, May 10.

Important offices will appear on the ballot in the general election and some positions already have a lot of interest. With this being a presidential election year, the voter turnout is bound to be robust.

But unlike the presidential election, the local elections need not be divisive or ugly. For those who do jump into the ring, take the high road and make it about the issues.

For Whidbey residents, the available offices for filing include the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, the state Senate, the state House, judicial positions, statewide positions and local precinct officers.

In addition, two of the three positions on the Island County Board of Commissioners, for Districts 1 and 2, will be on the ballot. Nobody has announced an intention to take on District 2 Commissioner Jill Johnson, a Republican, but four candidates have already come forward for the commissioner position in District 1, which covers South and Central Whidbey Island.

Commissioner Melanie Bacon said she will seek reelection and faces a challenge from fellow Democrat Marie Shimada, the manager of Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve. In addition, former county Treasurer Wanda Grone and Steve Myres, owner of a business in the construction industry, are running as Republicans.

The race will be whittled to two candidates in the Aug. 6 primary.

Unfortunately, there’s already been some election year shenanigans in the District 1 race, although not on the part of any of the candidates. Someone pretending to be Shimada sent out a series of bizarre emails spouting offensive ideas. Fortunately, the emails seemed to have stopped after she alerted the community and the police.

The races for Legislative District 10 positions in Olympia will likely be lively. State Sen. Ron Muzzall, a Republican, will face at least one challenger. Janet St. Clair, an Island County commissioner and a Democrat, announced she is running for the position.

State Rep. Clyde Shavers, a Whidbey resident and a Democrat, will face Republican Yvonne M. Gallardo-Van Ornam of Arlington. Another potential candidate filed with the Public Disclosure Commission, but it’s unclear if she plans to officially file.

So far, nobody has announced a challenge to state Rep. Dave Paul of Oak Harbor.

Island County Superior Court Judges Carolyn Cliff and Christon Skinner filed for their positions with the PDC.

And finally, Oak Harbor resident Patrick Harman, a former candidate for mayor, announced that he is running for lieutenant governor.