Voters this week are receiving their ballots in the mail for the Aug. 5 primary.
This summer, Seattle Times editorial board members are interviewing candidates in select races for state and federal office, and in pro and con campaigns in statewide and local initiatives. We have published most of our recommendations for the primary in races where more than two candidates appear on the ballot. We will continue interviews for the remaining races that will also be settled by the November ballot.
If you have questions about King County Elections, call 206-296-VOTE or go to kingcounty.gov/elections.
If you have questions about Snohomish County Elections, call 425-388-3444 or go to the Snohomish County Election division website.
For questions about Washington state elections, go to the Secretary of State election website.
Here are our recommendations for selected races in King and Snohomish counties and for ballot measures. And read Editorial Page Editor Kate Riley explain how these election endorsements are made.
Seattle ballot measure:
Prop. 1, Seattle’s Park District measure
The same city government that neglected parks for years now wants voters to approve a new tax that gives them twice as much money and the power to raise rates without voter approval. Voters should reject Proposition 1, a measure to create the new Seattle Park District. Vote against the formation of a metropolitan park district.
State legislative races:
Legislative District No. 1, Representative Position No. 2
Edward Barton, Republican
Edward Barton, first-time candidate for office, displays the intellect and moderation to be a strong lawmaker from the 1st Legislative District, which straddles the King-Snohomish line. He is the better option for voters over the incumbent, state Rep. Luis Moscoso, D-Mountlake Terrace.
Legislative District No. 5, Representative Position No. 2
Chad Magendanz, Republican
After two years representing Eastern King County’s 5th Legislative District, state Rep. Chad Magendanz easily has earned another term. Magendanz brings much-needed moderation and intellectual rigor to Olympia. His professional and civic résumé — U.S. Navy submarine officer, Microsoft manager and Issaquah School Board president — is impressive.
Legislative District No. 21, Representative Position No. 1
Scott Whelpley, Democrat
Scott Whelpley is a former Navy aviator who has served in Afghanistan and Iraq and was awarded a Bronze Star. The Mukilteo Democrat who holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington would be learning on the job. But he holds the clear potential for independence from powerful interest groups and his Democratic caucus.
Legislative District No. 21, Representative Position No. 2
Lillian Ortiz-Self, Democrat
Lillian Ortiz-Self is reluctantly recommended for election. Ortiz-Self has an academic and professional background in education and counseling, and in management of programs. She says she is cautious about not just dumping money into the K-12 system without ensuring effectiveness, but demonstrated no independence from teachers union positions in an interview.
Legislative District No. 31, State Senator
Cathy Dahlquist, Republican
State Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, the longtime lawmaker best known for her fiery temper, faces a sharp and seasoned opponent this year from within her own party. State Rep. Cathy Dahlquist is the easy choice for the 31st District Senate seat.
Legislative District No.31, Representative Position No. 1
Drew Stokesbary, Republican
For the open state House seat in the 31st District, Republican Drew Stokesbary of Auburn is the candidate most likely to be a voice for fiscal responsibility. The incumbent, Cathy Dahlquist, is vacating the seat to run for state Senate.
Legislative District No. 32, State Senator
Chris Eggen, Democrat
Shoreline Deputy Mayor Chris Eggen, a Democrat, is the better choice over the incumbent, state Sen. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline, who is seeking a second term. Challenger Eggen is rated “very good” by The Municipal League of King County, compared to Chase’s “good” rating. Eggen knows what is ahead, especially with education.
Legislative District No. 33, State Senator
Karen Keiser, Democrat
Karen Keiser, the longtime Democratic state senator from Kent, faces two challengers this year in her bid for re-election in the 33rd Legislative District. Keiser is better qualified than both and has earned another term. After 18 years in the Legislature, Keiser is known as a faithful supporter of labor and an advocate for health-care reform.
Legislative District No. 33, Representative Position No. 2
Mia Su-Ling Gregerson, Democrat
Mia Su-Ling Gregerson’s record demonstrates her potential to be a thoughtful lawmaker. Despite her near-perfect voting score with the Washington State Labor Council in her first session, Gregerson displays indications of independence.
Legislative District No. 37, State Senator
Pramila Jayapal, Democrat
In a crowded contest for Seattle’s 37th Legislative District state Senate seat, Pramila Jayapal stands out for the breadth and depth of her civic involvement. The Democrat is a passionate and effective social-justice activist, armed with an MBA and experience in the private financial sector. That said, her election would test her ability to balance a progressive streak with pragmatism and the ability to reach across the aisle to find compromise.
Legislative District No. 37, Representative Position No. 1
Daniel Bretzke, Republican
The 37th Legislative District’s Position 1 needs a legislator willing to compromise and represent the best interests of a diverse district where many schools are struggling and persistent achievement gaps threaten to leave students behind. That means turning out the incumbent, Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, in favor of the promising political newcomer, Daniel Bretzke of Seattle.
United States Representative Congressional District No. 1
Suzan DelBene, Democrat
U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, spent her first term in Congress operating at a level beyond her rookie status. She deserves re-election to continue her work on behalf of the 1st District.
United States Representative Congressional District No. 2
Rick Larsen, Democrat
Voters in the 2nd District have only one credible choice, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett. He has worked hard on legislation that loops back to support jobs in his district and the state.
United States Representative Congressional District No. 6
Derek Kilmer, Democrat
Kilmer has made a promising start, securing $120 million in new investment for Naval Base Kitsap and working to support national defense and veterans’ programs. Kilmer’s most serious challenger is Republican real-estate broker Marty McClendon. McClendon says he is running because he supports limited government. He does not appear to have a grasp of congressional issues.
United States Representative Congressional District No. 7
Jim McDermott, Democrat
Twenty-six years in office is a long time, but U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Seattle, grasps issues important to the 7th Congressional District better than his four fringe challengers. Seattle voters would probably benefit from a fresh perspective in Washington, D.C., but with no viable challengers in this race, they ought to stick with McDermott.
United States Representative Congressional District No. 8
Dave Reichert, Republican
U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, has consistently rated among the most moderate members of Congress. But voters should keep an eye on his willingness to remain independent. During the 2013 government shutdown, he lacked a strong voice calling out the House GOP’s disastrous tactic of tying a budget vote to repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
United States Representative Congressional District No. 9
Adam Smith, Democrat
Adam Smith is a nuanced thinker and ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, which makes him a key advocate for this region’s military interests and an influential voice on U.S. involvement in armed conflicts abroad. Smith’s primary opponents, Democrat Don Rivers and independent Mark Greene, are perennial candidates. Republican challenger Doug Basler works in marketing, but has hardly waged a campaign.
United States Representative Congressional District No. 10
Denny Heck, Democrat
Heck has displayed the same hardworking competence he did as former Gov. Booth Gardner’s chief of staff, demonstrating more interest in policy than partisanship. He was this state’s lead on the marijuana-banking issue, helping convince federal regulators to ease banking restrictions. Last year, he won a bill reforming the reverse-mortgage market. Heck is leading the House fight to reauthorize the federal Export-Import Bank, critical to Washington exports.
Snohomish County executive
John Lovick, Democrat
John Lovick’s endorsements and his campaign treasury point to strong support for his re-election. Snohomish County has budget stress from a natural disaster, and persistent management issues with the county jail. Lovick has the experience, leadership and temperament to lead Snohomish County government.
Nov. 4 general election races and ballot measures
The Seattle Times editorial board already has published its recommendations for two gun-related ballot measures, but they will not appear before voters until the November ballot. Those recommendations are below. Other select races and ballot measures will be published in the coming weeks.
I-591, is wholly inappropriate, unnecessary and potentially a reckless retreat. It’s hard to discern whether the mushy vague language of the brief initiative is a product of poor writing — or entirely the point. Vote no on I-591.
I-594 provides a practical expansion of background checks on all gun sales — clarity and consistency to keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. I-594 is no protective panacea against the kinds of public assaults Seattle has suffered in recent years. But it is a step forward. Vote yes on I-594.
Information in this article, originally published July 16, 2014, was corrected July 22, 2014. A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Edward Barton is a Democrat. He is a Republican.