Posted by: sweeneyblog | July 24, 2012

Riley’s Voting Suggestions

Hello Loyal Readers,

I received my ballot recently, and wanted to offer up a little voting advice on some of the races that are not terribly straightforward. I imagine most people will be able to figure out who they support when the race is a clear-cut divide between two very different candidates (e.g. the battle royale in the 42nd), but what about some of those other races? State Supreme Court, or commissioner of public lands? First of all, I want to point you to my “Voter’s Guide” tab at the top, where I have gathered all my articles about any given race into one location (arranged by ballot order). Next, I want to give you a couple of thoughts and endorsements.

Washington Supreme Court

Susan Owens – a seasoned judicial expert and sided with marriage equality back in 2006, not a popular time to do so. She’s good at her job, fair-minded, and worth your vote.

Steve Gonzalez – a highly qualified Gregoire-appointee who has been doing a decent job for the last year he has been on the bench, before that he was a very successful King County Superior Court judge. More importantly, his opponent is extremely unqualified but might have a shot because he has a white-sounding name and judicial races are low information votes. Seriously, vote Gonzalez.

Bruce Hilyar – This race is more about Hilyar’s opponent, Richard Sanders. I’ll let the Stranger handle the background on this one, “This race features the return of disgraced former justice Richard B. Sanders, who voters booted off the high court in 2010 amid charges that Sanders made racist statements and showed unforgivable hypocrisy (he voted against same-sex marriage because he said gays have “more sexual partners,” but it turned out that Sanders himself had multiple simultaneous girlfriends). Whatever you do, don’t vote for that cherry-picking asshole.” So that aside, Hilyar is thought of highly by many judicial and legal groups, so vote Hilyar.

1st Congressional District

Delbene, Burner, Ruderman, Hobbs and Rauniyar – This has been an extremely polarizing race, with self-funders, controversial NRA statements, MamaPAC’s, you name it. I have had the great pleasure of interviewing almost everyone for this seat, and the only advice I am going to offer is that you vote for the candidate best able to take on John Koster in the general election, because at the end of the day, all five of these candidates would be better than John Koster. Now each of these candidates is employing a different set of campaign tactics to win the race, so vote who you think will be the most effective against Koster.

Whatcom Superior Court

Carrie Coppinger Carter for Judge

Despite being a non-partisan position, this race has developed a rather partisan divide. David Grant showed up at the Republican county convention to plead his case as a Republican running for office, and then got endorsed by the Whatcom GOPDeborra Garrett, who I had the delight of interviewing recently, has rounded up an impressive batch of Democratic endorsers and supporters and was endorsed by the Whatcom Democrats. Now it isn’t a straight comparison. Dan McShane supports David Grant based on some of the reforms he brought to the District court where he currently presides, and there are a handful of conservatives endorsing Garrett, but after much contemplation, I am voting for Carrie Coppinger Carter. While I was impressed by Garrett’s thoughtful and careful demeanor, Carrie Coppinger Carter’s compelling life story, experience and commitment to this county settled the issue for me. As a single mother, she struggled through hardship, and then after clawing her way out of difficult circumstances, turned around and devoted a good chunk of her time and energy towards helping youth in similar circumstance. I want a judge who can empathize, who is hard-working and really embedded in this community.

One final note, as a feminist, I am simply delighted to have two women as very strong candidates for judge, and three very strong candidates for Congress. It is simply a delight to be choosing between so many highly qualified female candidates for fields that are overwhelmingly male.

That’s it for my advice. A few more quick notes that I don’t have long explanations for, Peter Goldmark for Public Lands, Mike Kriedler for Insurance Commissioner, Bill Finkbeiner (yes a Republican!) for Lt. Governor, Craig Pridemore for State Auditor and local boy James Bauckman for Superintendent of Public Instruction.



  1. On the 1st CD: The standard line is “we have to go with the moderate” — because people with well-defined positions can’t win. This argument, of course, is why Delbene garnered endorsements from “moderates” Gregoire and Larsen.

    I’m not so sure. If you take a well-articulated position, defend it with passion and logic it can surprising impact. Think Bernie Sanders on the left and Michele Bachmann on the right…. Very few of their electorate actually agrees with the positions they take. If you don’t like these, think about some other electoral surprises like Jesse Ventura or Rand Paul.

    Delbene is likely to end up a Blue Dog. Ruderman has crashed and burned (“thanks Mom”) and none of the others has a chance against Koster.

    This is a great opportunity to get a serious, thoughtful and devoted progressive in as our rep in Congress: Darcy Burner.

    • Really?

      I’d rather elect an intelligent person than your so-called passionate and logical Michele Bachmann.

      And where has anyone ever said DelBene will be a Blue Dog?

      I want someone with strong progressive values, sure. But I want someone who can represent this district too. DelBene is the only candidate with both of those qualifications.

  2. There is zero evidence that Suzan will become a Blue Dog. That’s a meme the liberals like to push, but it doesn’t hold up when you actually get to know Suzan. She’s a moderate, yes, which is what the district is. She’s the one Koster is the most afraid of because she’s intelligent, has a more youthful and tech-savvy outlook and is the best at running a vibrant and effective campaign. All the self-funding in the world won’t do you any good if you’re getting bad advice (Laura’s mother). Suzan is a professional who knows about business and taxes and has the right attitude about representing everyone in the district, not just the liberals. I want to send 6 Democrats and 4 Republicans to DC, not 5 and 5. Suzan is the best-equipped to beat Koster, not only in 2012 but in 2014 when there are no headliners at the top of the ballot.

  3. […] Note: If you are voting right now, go to my Voting Suggestions page […]

  4. […] we start, if you are looking for my Voting Suggestions, you can find them here. Get that ballot turned in […]

  5. um… Megan? DelBene was asked who she would caucus with in DC. She replied that she would caucus with the Blue Dogs (New Democrats, the DLC corporate moderate Dems). Burner and Ruderman said they would caucus with the progressives. …and Koster doesn’t fear DelBene at all, since she has federal lawbreaking about to become a big scandal.

  6. Couldn’t make it to the brewery tonight. I’m he king in regularly via I pad. Have a great time and Go Progressives!!!

  7. Finkbeiner is a RINO.

  8. […] a fantastic legal mind and deserves a seat on the bench, but more importantly, Richard Sanders is shockingly bad. As much as I dislike salty language, I think I’m going to let the Stranger handle the […]

  9. […] house. This could set off an interesting set of elections. Will previous Superior Court contenders David Grant and Carrie Coppinger Carter make this seek a sort of “runner-up runoff” election? Will […]

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