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Originally published Tuesday, August 18, 2009 at 10:13 PM

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Partisans Constantine, Hutchison will square off for King County executive

In campaigning for a job declared nonpartisan — King Count executive — voters have chosen Dow Constantine, showy liberal, and Susan Hutchison, closet conservative.

PRIMARY voters knocked out the two candidates this page endorsed for King County executive, Ross Hunter and Fred Jarrett. In the pack of candidates — all of whom were trying to sound middle-of-the-road — Hunter and Jarrett actually were. They are gone.

What we have now is Dow Constantine, showy liberal, versus Susan Hutchison, closet conservative.

In campaigning for a job voters declared nonpartisan, Constantine has been trying to "out" Hutchison as a Republican, and she has been shy and coy and smiling and not admitting it. Voters need more substance than this.

From Constantine, voters need to know he's more than a public-sector union candidate. On employee health-care premiums, he has offered a token plan for nonunion highly paid employees only. On his Web site, he promises one union he will "fight rollbacks" of health coverage, which costs taxpayers more than $1,000 per employee per month. He's for cutting hardly anything. How will he make ends meet?

From Hutchison, voters need to know who she is. She has offered a stage-managed campaign, with poll-tested things that have a good aroma but evaporate under strong light. She does not like questions, and has gone to great lengths not to answer them. She skated through the primary by being glib, smiling and having a name voters remember from TV. But she has offered fewer specifics than Constantine.

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