The Spokesman-Review's editorial board today endorsed an independent state House candidate, John Waite, over longtime state Rep. Alex Wood, a Spokane Democrat.
Incumbent Wood, a former radio show host, has plenty of experience. He's served in the Legislature since 1997. He prides himself on being a team player rather than a superstar. So he hasn't initiated much legislation or taken on leadership roles in other ways, and he's critical of new legislators who arrive in Olympia gung-ho about both.
wrote the editorial board.
But constituents should expect, and reward, leaders who act the part. Wood told us that if his personal retirement financials line up, he won't run again in two years. "After 14 years, there are younger people who need a shot," he said.
The board instead recommends a vote for Waite, a small business owner and former Spokane city council candidate. (He lost in the primary a year ago.) Noting that as an independent, Waite would likely be shut out of caucus meetings, committee chairmanships and legislative leadership spots, the board also suggested that Waite might want to align himself with one of the parties in Olympia.
The editorial ended with this:
Voters should give Waite a shot rather than send back a placeholder counting down the days to retirement.