Here is The Olympian’s final round-up of endorsements made by our Editorial Board for the 2018 general election.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 6, and ballots must be returned to drop boxes or postmarked by 8 pm. on that date.
First, local races and local ballot measures:
THURSTON COUNTY COMMISSIONER — Tye Menser
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In a race between two very good men running for Thurston County commissioner, Democratic challenger Tye Menser offers a better chance to restore balance to the conservative-controlled commission than does incumbent Independent Bud Blake.
THURSTON COUNTY PROSECUTOR — Jon Tunheim
Thurston County’s two-term prosecutor, Jon Tunheim, is a better bet than challenger Victor Minjares in this hard-fought race. Whoever wins, has work to do reforming the agency’s practices and speeding cases through the courts.
THURSTON COUNTY AUDITOR — Mary Hall
Mary Hall, a five-year incumbent, earns our recommendation to serve another four years as Thurston County auditor. Challenger Stuart Holmes, an Independent, and Hall both have experience in running elections at the local level, but Hall’s temperament and judgment give her the edge.
INTERCITY TRANSIT Prop. 1 — Yes
South Sound voters should support Intercity Transit Authority’s sales-tax request for transit. If approved Proposition 1 increases the sales tax by 0.4 percent in most urban Thurston County areas. Though we describe the increase as a “big gulp,” it would let IT boost the number of rapid-transit routes, add more frequent pickups, and transform the region’s transit system to serve a growing population.
TUMWATER PARKS PROP. 1 — Yes
Tumwater voters should approve this two-step increase in property taxes. The first 45-cent increase can add about $1.5 million yearly for city parks maintenance, trail construction and recreation programs for all ages. Currently the city is not keeping up with demand.
Prop. 1 gives the City Council authority to boost the property tax by another 30 cents in 2025, expanding revenues to $2.5 million yearly. That can help pay for a community and senior center.
LACEY PARKS PROP. 1 — Yes
A proposed 47-cent property-tax levy for Lacey parks is modest enough to be very affordable. If approved it should help city leaders improve livability in South Sound’s fast-growing suburban community.
Legislative and congressional races:
STATE HOUSE, Pos. 1, LD 2 — Andrew Barkis
First-term Republican Rep. Andrew Barkis of Thurston County is the better choice than Democratic challenger Anneliese Feld, a first-time candidate, in the 2nd Legislative District.
Barkis earns the edge because of his housing industry experience that can help our state improve its responses to the twin crises of housing affordability and homelessness.
STATE HOUSE, Pos. 1-2, LD 22 — Laurie Dolan and Beth Doglio
We recommend incumbent state Reps. Laurie Dolan, D-Olympia, and Beth Doglio, D-Olympia, as the superior, knowledgeable choices for two House seats up for election this year in the 22nd Legislative District that serves Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater.
STATE HOUSE, LD 35 — Drew MacEwen and James Thomas
In the 35th Legislative District, voters should pick Republican Rep. Drew MacEwen of Union over Democratic challenger Dave Daggett.
In the other House race, we slightly favor Democratic challenger James Thomas of Shelton over Rep. Dan Griffey, R-Allyn.
For Senate, we cannot support either Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, or Irene Bowling, D-Bremerton.
10th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT — Denny Heck
We recommend U.S. Rep. Heck, an Olympia Democrat, to represent the 10th CD for a fourth term over Republican newcomer Joseph Brumbles.
US SENATE — Maria Cantwell
Three-term incumbent Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, is the best choice to ensure that a fighter for the environment is kept in the Senate. Republican challenger Susan Hutchison is, like Cantwell, a successful professional, but she is too tied to President Trump to ensure Congress carries out its oversight role.
STATE INITIATIVE 1631 — Yes
Fossil fuels produce greenhouse gases that are linked to global warming. Passage of Initiative 1631 offers the best chance for our state to take a big, smart step toward weaning the Northwest economy off petroleum-based fuels.
If approved by voters, our state would add a carbon fee for energy produced from coal or oil in 2020. Proceeds would help fund clean-energy projects.
STATE INITIATIVE 1634 — No
Voters should strongly reject I-1634. It is a deceptive measure aimed at blocking cities and counties from enacting taxes on sugary drinks, which Seattle did last year. I-1634 backers — funded with roughly $13 million from out-of-state soda makers — are trying to fool voters into thinking this measure is needed to keep taxes off food.
STATE INITIATIVE 1639 — Yes
I-1639 takes another step toward firearm safety in Washington by criminalizing the failure to secure guns that are later used to harm. It also raises the age and background check requirements to buy semi-automatic rifles, and mandates training for certain firearms.
STATE INITIATIVE 940 — Yes
Washington law requires proof of malice before a police officer who shoots a civilian can be criminally charged — even in cases of clear negligence. Initiative 940 replaces that bad law with a good-faith standard that deserves public support.