I've weighed in on all the major statewide contests and ballot measures, plus the awful Sound Transit 3 tax increase on the ballot in most of King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. But what about all the OTHER races, such as legislature and judge? OK, let's drill down.
While our votes for US Senate and Congress determine which party controls the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, we will also determine with our votes the complexion of the State House and Senate in Olympia -- and there the margins between the parties are much closer.
Here's my recommendation: Vote Republican in ALL House and Senate races. Normally I don't vote a straight party ticket, but it's imperative that we continue a Republican majority in the Senate, and it's equally important that we end the dynastic leadership of House Speaker Frank Chopp in the House. After 12 years of his iron fisted control, it could happen this year.
I've already endorsed David DeWolf, Dave Larson and Greg Zempel for the State Supreme Court. Now, here are my choices for the Superior Court Positions in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. Some of the choices, particularly in King County were tough because neither candidate was close to ideal. But some were truly awful, prompting a vote for the opponent. Here we GO:
Position 14: Nicole Gaines Phelps. A former prosecutor and Public Defender. Her opponent defends "Occupy Seattle" and Black Lives Matter protesters.
Position 26: David Keenan. Former juvenile delinquent turned federal agent turned lawyer. Could be a fine judge.
Position 31: Helen Halpert. Her opponent is upset that she ruled against him in a case, costing him $25,000.
Position 44: Eric Newman. Military veteran, whose opponent is caught up in accusations of unethical campaigning.
Position 52: Kristin Richardson. The best candidate running, featuring solid experience as a veteran prosecutor of serious cases, including 25 murder trials.
Position 53: Mariane Spearman. An experienced judge, but a close call over Thomas Cline, who's run a one-man law firm for over 30 years in Ballard.
Position 3: Rico Tessandore. Widely regarded as an effective prosecutor and crime victims advocate.
Position 2: Timothy Ashcraft. A breath of fresh air, with lots of legal experience and community involvement.
Position 5: Dominique Jinhong. A close call. I'm giving the nod to Jinhong for her experience as a deputy prosecutor, her military experience as a JAG officer, and support from cops.
Position 8: Grant Blinn. His wide ranging legal experience and high marks as a prosecutor gives him the nod here.
Position 17: Tom Quinlan. Military veteran who prosecuted serious offenders as a Lt. Col. JAG officer. A multitude of impressive endorsements.