Evan Smith: A Republican candidate explains the robo-calls

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

By Evan Smith
ShorelineAreaNews Politics Writer

Those automated telephone calls from Republican 32nd Legislative District candidates have their roots in the candidates’ door-belling, one of them told me Tuesday.

Gary Gagliardi, who is running for State representative against two Democrats, said that he and fellow Republicans have heard voters say that a primary vote for an unopposed Republican would be wasted-because the top Republican and top Democrat qualify for the general election.

That was true under the blanket primary that Washington used through 2003 and the pick-a-party primary that Washington used from 2004 through 2007, but not under the top-two primary that the State started using in 2008.

The calls remind voters that, under the top-two system, candidates of all parties appear on one ballot, with the top two vote getters for each position, regardless of party, qualifying for the general election.

Republicans Gagliardi, David Baker and Art Coday are each on the primary ballot against two Democrats.

“We are letting voters know the new rules as something of a joint public-service message,” Gagliardi said. “We all found that some were confused about this, thinking that their vote would be wasted on an unopposed Republican. Hence the call.”

Baker is running for the vacant State Senate seat against Democratic State Rep. Maralyn Chase and former Democratic State Rep. Patty Butler. Coday is running against Democrats Doris Fujioka McConnell and Cindy Ryu for the House seat that Chase is vacating. Gagliardi is running for the other House seat against incumbent Democratic State Rep. Ruth Kagi and Stan Lippmann, who is running as a Democrat after having run for several offices under a variety of party labels.


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