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Eye On Olympia

State’s top election official to candidates: “No funny business”

As hundreds of candidates file their candidacy forms next week, Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed is is calling on them to behave.

This is Washington’s first ever “top two” primary, which allows candidates to describe their party preference in 16 (non-obscene) letters.

Most, Reed hopes, will stick to words like “Democratic”, “Republican”, “Libertarian”, “Green” and so on.

But in a state that’s seen perennial ballot appearances by Mike The Mover and Michael Goodspaceguy Nelson, election officials worry that candidates are going to get too creative with those 16 characters. Reed says he hopes candidates play it straight and don’t try to shoehorn in more information, like “pro-life GOP” or “Anti-war Dem.”

“Running for office is very important business and my hope is that candidates play it straight and be serious with this,” Reed said in a press release. “If a person expects to get elected, they need to show they are taking this seriously and not play games. The voters deserve no less.”

Say all you want in the voters’ pamphlet, he says, but don’t clutter up the ballot with personal messages.

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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