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Originally published July 20, 2012 at 2:12 PM | Page modified July 26, 2012 at 3:50 PM

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Seattle Times editorial board endorsements for 2012 primary

The editorial board lists its recommendations for candidates and measures on the ballot for the Aug. 7, 2012, primary.

Statewide office

Governor: Rob McKenna

Rob McKenna, the Republican gubernatorial candidate, has spent his entire career in local and state government, having to work with Democrats as well as Republicans, and knows it inside and out.

Lieutenant governor: Brad Owen

Lt. Gov. Brad Owen's reputation for wielding a fair and bipartisan hand over the state Senate is much-needed. The Democrat has held the job for 16 years and seeks a fifth term.

Secretary of state: Jim Kastama

State Sen. Jim Kastama, Democrat, has battle scars from courageously bucking his party in the last legislative session. He was one of the three rogue Democrats who broke with party leadership to help Republicans seize control of the budget and force necessary reforms.

Auditor: Troy Kelley or James Watkins

The Times editorial board endorses both Troy Kelley and James Watkins for state auditor.

State Rep. Troy Kelley, D-Tacoma, is past chairman of the Joint Legislative Audit Review Committee and vice chair of the House Business and Financial Institutions Committee. He previously was an audit-team leader for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

James Watkins, an unsuccessful challenger to former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee in 2010, has extensive experience in auditing in the private sector and worked at the FDIC in the 1990s. The Redmond Republican is a business-development consultant.

Attorney general: Reagan Dunn

Our preference for Reagan Dunn begins with legal experience, which is crucial for the office of attorney general. The Republican was a federal prosecutor in Miami, Washington, D.C., and Seattle, working here under former U.S. Attorney John McKay.

Superintendent of public instruction: Randy Dorn

Without a strong challenger, Randy Dorn is the choice for a second term. In four years, he has grown into a helpful, moderating voice between the powerful interests of the state teachers union and education reformers.

Insurance commissioner: Mike Kreidler

Democrat Mike Kreidler is the best choice for what lies ahead as the state wrestles with health-care issues brought about by the federal Affordable Care Act. Kreidler deserves a fourth term.

State Legislature

1st District

Senate: Dawn McCravey

Challenger Dawn McCravey, a Republican, has been a hardworking, constructive presence on the Northshore School Board, and served as board president. She has deep roots in the school district and community through her family and volunteer activity.

House, Position 1: Derek Stanford

In the only contested House race in the 1st District, Democratic state Rep. Derek Stanford has three challengers. Stanford is seeking a second term. He is narrowly endorsed for two more years.

5th District

House, Position 2: Chad Magendanz

Republican Chad Magendanz, current president of the Issaquah School Board, oversees the school district's annual operating budget. He would push for better prioritizing of state spending with education at the top of the priority list.

11th District

House, Position 2: Stephanie Bowman

Stephanie Bowman, Democrat, has a combination of nonprofit, public-policy and small-business smarts. As executive director of the nonprofit Washington Asset Building Coalition, she has worked to help moderate- and low-income families build wealth.

32nd District

House, Position 2: Ruth Kagi

Democratic state Rep. Ruth Kagi is the solid choice for re-election. She helped implement child-welfare reforms and early-learning programs in one of the leanest budget years ever.

36th District

House, Position 1: Reuven Carlyle

Reuven Carlyle, an entrepreneur who fits the tech-savvy, progressive district, is a needed voice in a caucus heavy with public employees. The Democrat took courageous votes on reform of workers' compensation, school employment benefits and state retirement plans.

House, Position 2: Gael Tarleton

Democrat Gael Tarleton is by far the most qualified candidate for the seat being vacated by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson. She has twice been elected countywide as one of the five Port of Seattle commissioners, who have elected her president.

41st District

Senate: Steve Litzow

State Sen. Steve Litzow is an independent-minded, strong advocate of public education and working families. The Mercer Island Republican is seeking a second term in office.

44th District

House, Position 1: Mark Harmsworth

Mark Harmsworth would be new to Olympia, but not public service. The Republican will be a strong voice for public education and a strong economy, with an eye toward the impacts of state revenue measures and regulations on small business.

45th District

House, Position 1: Joel Hussey

Republican Joel Hussey, CEO and president of an aircraft-leasing company, brings critical budget and finance skills. He is a good prospect to challenge the Legislature's dependence on budget deals based on gimmicks and tricks.

46th District

House, Position 1: Jessyn Farrell

Jessyn Farrell offers the most thoughtful and inclusive Democratic perspective. The 38-year-old lawyer is the former executive director of the pro-transit Transportation Choices Coalition and a respected voice on transportation and environmental issues in King County and the state.

U.S. Congress

U.S. Senate

Michael Baumgartner or Maria Cantwell

The Times editorial board endorses both Michael Baumgartner and incumbent Maria Cantwell for the U.S. Senate seat representing Washington state.

Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, was elected to the state Senate in 2010. A social and fiscal conservative, he authored legislation consolidating four state agencies into two. He also helped lead the change in the state pension system for new employees.

Running for her third term, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, Democrat, is a valued leader on Wall Street reforms and helping small businesses. Cantwell has worked to boost job-training and technical-skills programs, smartly focusing on growth areas such as aviation and the success of Boeing.

1st Congressional District

Steve Hobbs

State Sen. Steve Hobbs, Democrat, has a demonstrated capacity to work across partisan lines under the most contentious circumstances. His skills and abilities are desperately needed in the U.S. Congress to represent this newly-drawn district.

The editorial board further recommends Hobbs as a write-in candidate for the month of December only as a stand-in for the old 1st District, a seat previously held by Jay Inslee.

2nd Congressional District

Dan Matthews or Rick Larsen

The Times editorial board endorses both Dan Matthews and incumbent Rick Larsen for the U.S. House seat representing the 2nd District.

Republican Dan Matthews, of Mukilteo, served on the Shoreline School Board in the 1980s. He is a former military pilot, a retired instructor for Northwest and Delta airlines and currently a contract instructor at Boeing.

Democratic incumbent Rep. Rick Larsen has worked to sustain the military connection in the region, with civilian jobs via support for the Air Force refueling tanker and Boeing.

3rd Congressional District

Jaime Herrera Beutler

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is the most qualified candidate in a thin field as she runs for a second term. The Republican has shown the ability to put the needs of Southwestern Washington first. She was also one of seven Republicans who voted to extend payroll-tax cuts.

6th Congressional District

Derek Kilmer or Bill Driscoll

The Times editorial board endorses both Derek Kilmer and Bill Driscoll for the open U.S. House seat representing the 6th District.

State Sen. Derek Kilmer, Democrat, is vice president at the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County. He is chairman of the Capital Budget Committee in the state Senate, where in the last session he promoted a bill for the state to create jobs by borrowing for public construction.

Businessman Bill Driscoll, Republican, has never held public office, but his work abroad in business and the military give him global experience. In 2006, he rejoined the Marines and served in Iraq and in Afghanistan.

8th Congressional District

Dave Reichert

Rep. Dave Reichert, Republican, has improved his performance in Congress. The Seattle Times editorial board recommends him for a fifth term.

9th Congressional District

Adam Smith

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, a moderate, hardworking Democrat, is the standout candidate in a field of five that includes three candidates who don't even live in the district.

10th Congressional District

Denny Heck

Denny Heck, an Olympia Democrat, possesses an impressive level of public- and private-sector experience.

Washington Supreme Court

Position 2: Susan Owens

Susan Owens has 12 years of experience on the Washington Supreme Court. She has deep support in the legal community.

Position 8: Steve Gonzalez

Steve Gonzalez was appointed in January by Gov. Chris Gregoire to replace a justice who had reached the mandatory retirement age, 75.

Position 9: Bruce Hilyer

King County Superior Court Judge Bruce Hilyer is our choice for the seat being vacated by Justice Tom Chambers. Hilyer, 61, has been a prosecutor and a judge.

King County Superior Court

Position 25: Elizabeth Berns

Elizabeth Berns has two decades of private practice experience, and a calm, clear and direct manner. She has three years' experience as a judge pro tem in District Court and as a commissioner pro tem in Superior Court.

Position 29: Sean O'Donnell

Sean O'Donnell, who was one of the five prosecutors in the Gary Ridgway case, is a trainer for the National Association of Attorneys General, an adjunct faculty member at the Seattle University School of Law and heads the Washington State Bar Association's legislative committee.

Position 30: Doug North

Doug North's challenger says North allowed verbal abuse in his courtroom. North says that had he done more to control the defendants, the convictions would have been reversed on appeal. The problem was not with North, but with the law.

Position 42: Sue Parisien

Sue Parisien, an attorney for Zurich Insurance Group, litigated civil cases for 12 years for state attorneys general Chris Gregoire and Rob McKenna. She is tough-minded and will not be an easy judge.

Position 46: Judy Ramseyer

Judy Ramseyer was law clerk to renowned federal judge Bill Dwyer. Upon earning her law degree, she practiced at the Seattle law firms Heller Ehrman and K&L Gates. She has experience in at-risk youth, family law, commercial law, civil rights and class actions.

Local ballot measures


Proposition 1: New tax levy for Seattle Public Libraries — NO

The proposal for a seven-year library levy is the wrong way to fund such an essential day-to-day service. That is what has happened with the public schools. Their levies, which were supposed to be for extras, are now needed to keep the doors open. Let's not do this with libraries.

King County:


The dilapidated King County Youth Services Center

Proposition 1: King County Youth Services Center levy — APPROVE

Voters should support a sensible $210 million property-tax levy to replace the aging Youth Services Center. The youth center's public-safety risks and escalating maintenance costs make a compelling case for a new facility.

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