Asked about the eleventh-hour state Supreme Court candidacy of Seattle attorney Michael Johnson, who on Thursday entered a race that hitherto featured only one Johnson -- former state Sen. Stephen Johnson -- Gov. Chris Gregoire had the following to say this morning. (Michael Johnson's filing prompted widespread speculation that he's merely trying to siphon votes away from Stephen Johnson.)
"If anybody's gaming the system, let the record reflect: I'm opposed to it. I'm opposed to buying positions on the Supreme Court, I'm opposed to putting up names to try and confuse voters. I had absolutely nothing to do with anything, if there is a game going on...But if there is a game going on, shame on them."
A state law -- albeit one that seems ripe for a constitutional challenge -- makes it a Class B felony to run for office with "a surname similar to one who has already filed for the same office, and whose political reputation is widely known, with intent to confuse and mislead the electors by capitalizing on the public repuation of the candidate who had previously filed."