Evan Smith: Top-two primary worked well

Thursday, September 16, 2010

By Evan Smith
ShorelineAreaNews Politics writer

The top-two primary gave us a November ballot full of contests that match the strongest Republican candidates against the strongest Democratic candidates, and, where it didn’t, it may have given us even better choices.

Shoreline and Lake Forest Park ballots will have Republicans against Democrats for all three positions in the 32nd Legislative District, plus the U.S. Senate and the 1st Congressional District. The 7th Congressional District, where no Republican ran, is the only exception, with the general election matching Democrat Jim McDermott against an independent.

While eight of the State’s nine Congressional races and the vast majority of the 123 Legislative races are Democrat vs. Republican, the exceptions are likely to be competitive. All but one of the six R-R races, the five D-D contests and the five matching either a Democrat or a Republican against an independent come where no one from the other party ran.

One of the most interesting races matches Pierce County Republican Rep. Tom Campbell, who caucuses with Democrats, against a more conventional Republican.

In Snohomish County, two Democrats meet in a contest for prosecuting attorney, where no Republican ran. Under other systems, the primary would have decided the election, with the general election having an unopposed Democrat. Now, the large November electorate will make the decision instead of the smaller number of people who vote in the primary.

General election voters will have a clear choice between incumbent Mark Roe, a longtime veteran of the county prosecutor’s office with little political connection, against Jim Kenny, the choice of the Party organization.


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