Eye On Olympia

And they're off...

I took a new camera over to the Secretary of State's office in the capitol this morning, putting on a wide lens so I could better capture the long line of politicians filing for office on the first day of Filing Week.

But there was no line.

Maybe it's the Internet. You can now file for office and pay the filing fee online, as 70 percent of candidates are expected to do.

Or maybe it's the fact that, these days, candidate order on the ballot is determined by lot, not by who shows up first to file.

Among the few that showed up early this morning: State Auditor Brian Sonntag, Secretary of State Sam Reed, Supreme Court Justice Charles Johnson and Spokane retiree Barbara Lampert. Lampert carefully wrote out her check for a $1,652 and became a Democratic candidate for Congress. She's run for something every year since 1996, although she has yet to win.

"It's about giving the voters a choice," Lampert of her low-budget, longshot run. "I am very much against uncontested races, and whether or not you're the last one standing, you do get your ideas out into the dialogue of the day."

After three hours, about 60 candidates have registered. Here's the list.




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