Under the state’s top-two primary system, the first- and second-place finishers, regardless of party, advance to the general election. During the primary, the editorial board will only be issuing endorsements in select races involving at least three candidates.
We will consider candidates in two-person races after the primary, and will await the primary results in the races for governor and U.S. Senate before issuing endorsements. We will also take up the ballot initiatives after the primary.
Primary voting begins on July 15 and ends on Aug. 2.
We’ve concentrated much of our efforts on statewide offices, because those races have many good candidates who may be unfamiliar to Spokane-area voters. So check this space for endorsements in the contests for schools superintendent, lands commissioner, lieutenant governor, treasurer and auditor. We will also issue primary endorsements for Spokane County Commission, District 1; congressional District 5; and state House of Representative seats in districts 3 and 6.
We begin today with Legislative District 3, Position 2.
This district, one of the poorest in the state, has been a longtime Democratic stronghold, and Republicans have struggled to field a strong candidate. This year is no different, with incumbent Rep. Timm Ormsby facing weak opposition.
Ormsby was appointed to the position in 2003 and is seeking his seventh full term. In May, he was named chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, which should increase his budgetary clout. Ormsby has been a reliable protector of the social services his district needs, and he has been helpful in expanding the Washington State University Spokane campus and landing a second medical school.
He has the strong backing of labor unions, which has put him at odds with the editorial board on some business-climate and education issues. He did not vote for the charter school initiative, but he said his daughter taught at a Massachusetts charter school. “Whatever works for kids,” he said.
We think the Spokane charters have worked quite well and have earned legislative backing.
Ormsby wants the state’s mental health system to be more nimble, and he believes psychiatric nurse practitioners should be given more responsibility to help alleviate the shortage of psychiatrists.
Laura Carder, a Republican, has run for Legislature and school board, but each time she appears to lack basic knowledge about the issues. In the past she’s wanted creationism taught in schools and she currently believes Judeo-Christian values have been ignored in favor of teaching Islam. One of her chief concerns is the “unfair” discrimination case against the Richland florist who refused to sell flowers for a gay wedding.
Paul Delaney is a truck driver who recently got into selling houses. He is a Libertarian who espouses those limited-government principles, but he was not informed on the main issues, particularly the challenge to fund basic education. He expressed more concern about political correctness and its possible effect on free speech.
Timm Ormsby is the only qualified candidate in this race.
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