The Olympian editorial board has endorsed candidates seeking elected office in Thurston County cities and one school district. Here is a summary of those endorsements for the Nov. 5 general election.
LACEY CITY COUNCIL
Cynthia Pratt’s knowledge of land-use issues, gleaned from her former career as a state environmental planner, has benefited City Council during her first term. She’s an analytical thinker and committed to government transparency. She has earned a second term.
Michael Steadman is a local business owner and member of the city’s planning commission. He has a get-it-done attitude that could help this council move forward on lingering issues, such as the Tanglewilde annexation. Incumbent Ron Lawson does not make a compelling case for re-election.
As the longest-serving member of the Lacey City Council, voters should elect Virgil Clarkson to a fifth term. His valuable institutional knowledge will benefit an otherwise relatively inexperienced council.
OLYMPIA CITY COUNCIL
Voters have a clear choice in this race about downtown Olympia. Cheryl Selby opposes a low-barrier shelter in the city’s core, while challenger Darren Mills favors it. Selby has the right vision to attract new business and bring shoppers back into downtown. Selby is a solution-minded small-business owner, and that’s a voice this council needs.
Julie Hankins has served two years in an appointed role. During that time, she’s proved herself as a moderate who likes to gather comprehensive public input before making decisions. Given the first full term she deserves, Hankins could emerge as a real City Council leader. Challenger Mike Volz has potential, but needs to gather experience on a city board or commission before running again.
Like Hankins, Jim Cooper has earned election to a first full term. Besides, he has no serious challenger.
TUMWATER CITY COUNCIL
Incumbent Ed Hildreth understands the role of city government. His challenger does not present a viable alternative.
There’s a fine line between a divisive city council and one that welcomes healthy debate as a means toward a better outcome. Debbie Sullivan would bring a fresh perspective to Tumwater City Council that might beneficially challenge current thinking. Sullivan’s decade-long experience on the city’s planning commission — seven as its chair — has her focused on the right issues, the ones that should matter most to Tumwater voters.
OLYMPIA SCHOOL BOARD, DISTRICT NO. 3
Voters must not pass on an opportunity to re-elect Eileen Thomson, the incumbent in this race and chair of the school board. Thomson brings ideal qualities and a unique perspective to the position. She’s been an active school volunteer for 20 years. She’s the mother of two children with diverse educational needs. She’s the only woman on the school board, and the only parent of a developmentally disabled child. Voters should re-elect her.