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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Lesser-known names fill out gubernatorial ballot

Richard Roesler Staff writer

OLYMPIA – In addition to Gov. Chris Gregoire and Dino Rossi, there are eight lesser-known candidates running for governor this year. Some are perennial also-rans wanting to get their names and political messages out; others are hopefuls dipping their toes into politics for the first time.

Here’s who else you’ll see running for governor on the Aug. 19 primary ballot:

Will Baker, Reform Party: Baker, who once described himself as an “international man of diplomacy,” has run for Washington secretary of state, auditor and governor and been repeatedly arrested for disrupting government meetings in his native Tacoma.

Duff Badgley, Green Party: A Seattle environmental activist who has recently protested a Washington biodiesel company’s use of foreign palm oil, Badgley is running largely to sound the alarm about climate change.

“We are birthing ourselves into a world radically different from the one middle-class and industrial world citizens have known for a century,” he recently told TVW, the state’s public affairs network.

The state Green Party newsletter in April acknowledged that Badgley has little chance of being one of the top two vote-getters in the race but said the point of such filings is mainly to get Green principles into the state voters’ guide, which is sent free to 3 million voters.

John W. Aiken Jr., Republican Party: Aiken, from Medical Lake, is running for governor for the second time after losing the 2004 Republican primary to Dino Rossi. Aiken’s platform includes reviving the timber industry, boosting home ownership, year-round schooling and a largely unified curriculum statewide.

Christian Pierre Joubert, Democratic Party: Joubert, from Edmonds, says the governor should be “the constitution’s guardian and the people’s educator,” defending individual rights. He’s calling for European-style universal health care, more sustainable power, and promotion of holistic health and alternative medical treatments. He’d also like to see hemp production for rope, clothing and other nonmedicinal uses, more tree planting and alternatives to chlorine treatment of drinking water.

Christopher A. Tudor, no party preference: Tudor, a Seattle-area hotelier and entrepreneur, says the state is too beholden to partisan politics and special interests and must instead embrace education, more parental involvement with youth, and a greater sense of community. Party politics have “stalled any movement on issues that matter to the average Washingtonian,” he says, citing transportation, education and the environment.

“The state,” he says, “is losing its soul.”

Javier O. Lopez, Republican Party: Lopez, a Lacey-area ordained minister, contractor and security company owner, ran four years ago as a critic of the impact of money on political races. This year, his key issues include government integrity, less waste and curbing sexual abuse of children. In the voters’ guide, he claims to have invented an automobile engine that runs on air.

Mohammad Hasan Said, no party preference: Said ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate four years ago. A Palestinian-American doctor from Ephrata, Said wants to see a joint Palestinian-Israeli state and complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. He’d like to give the power to declare war to state legislatures, rather than Congress.

“This amendment will prevent our rushing into conflicts without adequate facts and proper input from the people,” he said.

Said would also like the U.S. Constitution amended so that individual states are free to trade with any country.

“National economic embargos have proven mostly useless,” he said. “Strong economic ties have proven to be one of the strongest deterrents to war.”

James White, Independent: A Boeing airplane inspector and former state prison correctional officer, White says that job security and reform of family courts are his top issues. Specifically, he says, he’d like family law “to put focus on the importance of both parents being involved in children’s lives.”

He says he also wants to cut government waste, improve schools and expand health coverage, particularly for children and vulnerable adults.

White calls his campaign “a new beginning, a start in an effort to take back our government and return it to the people.”