Candidate forum attracts a full house in Edmonds

Friday, August 6, 2010

Over 200 people crowded the hall of the Edmonds United Methodist Church on Thursday evening, August 5, to hear candidates for ten different races make their statements. Chaired by Valerie Stevens and Moderated by League volunteer Cheryl Ricevuto, the event stayed civil and on time.

US Senate
None of the major US Senate candidates were there, but several minor candidates enlivened the usual speeches about out-of-control spending or protecting the vulnerable. Mohammad Said presented his agenda to create a secular state in Palestine where everyone could live in peace and informed the room that as a physician, he has prescribed more medical marijuana than any other doctor in the state. GoodSpaceGuy (his legal name) talked about the need to restore the space program so we can colonize space stations before we go to Mars. Paul Akers sounded the most like a real candidate, talking about how he would apply what he has learned as a successful international businessman to the state budget problems. Also participating were Skip Mercer who is a UW Prof, and Schalk Leonard, a retired US Navy Judge Advocate (JAG) officer.

US Congress 1st District Representative
Jay Inslee, incumbent Congressional District #1 representative, energized the room when he bounded in at the last moment to take his place on the platform. His opponents, Matthew Burke, James Watkins, and David Schirle, all lambasted him for voting to spend the country into debt. Inslee responded by talking about the major expenditures he had voted against, and the importance of allowing every American to buy health insurance, regardless of their medical condition.

Candidates left to right: Gary Gagliardi, Ruth Kagi, Doris Fujioka McConnell, Cindy Ryu, Art Coday.
Eight of the nine 32nd district candidates participated. Stan Lippman did not respond to the invitation (nor did he respond to the SAN request for information).

32nd District State Senate
For the open Senate seat being vacated by Darlene Fairley, Patty Butler talked about her previous experience in the legislature and her ability to work across party lines as well as with her party. Maralyn Chase, who left her legislative seat to run for the Senate, talked about the importance of state tax reform. David Baker, current mayor of Kenmore, talked about his record of frugality and fiscal management, and quoted an Art Coday story about waste in state government.

32nd District State Representative Position 1
For the State Rep Position 1, Doris McConnell, current Shoreline city councilmember, explained her strong background in education, schools, and PTA, and mentioned the things she learned as a widow raising children and running a family business. Cindy Ryu talked about her family business experience, her leadership at the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce, and the fact that she was the first Korean-American female mayor (Shoreline) in the United States. Art Coday also talked about his roots in the community and the medical expertise he could bring to the legislature as a Harvard-trained physician with a Medicare/Medicaid practice.

32nd District State Representative Position 2
For State Rep Position 2, Gary Gagliardi said we need to improve education and help improve the graduation rate by giving the control back to the schools and removing the layers of bureaucracy which hinder them with regulations. Incumbent Ruth Kagi talked about going into the legislature as an advocate for vulnerable children and the things she has been able to accomplish while in the legislature. She said that the next session is going to be very challenging as the legislature works to rein in expenses without a a slash and burn approach which would hurt the vulnerable.

Cheryl Ricevuto moderated the forum
Washington Supreme Court Position 1 candidates Stan Rumbaugh and Jim Johnson did not respond or send representatives.

Washington Supreme Court Position 2 incumbent Richard Sanders was out of state but sent a former law clerk to read his statement. Bryan Chushcoff, a current Pierce County superior court judge, said that judges should understand the lives of real people and should not be on the bench to push a political agenda. Charlie Wiggins reeled off an list of endorsements, including 31 of 39 county prosecutors. He suggested the website to help voters decide judicial races.

Also present were candidates from the 21st Legislature district which represents north Edmonds, and candidates for Snohomish County Prosecutor.

Sponsored by the League of Women voters of Snohomish County, the American Association of University Women, Edmonds Branch, and the Edmonds United Methodist Church Outreach Team. This is their 27th candidate forum.


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