Let's talk politics

By: Bill Will

We're all sick of the presidential race. Let's talk some Washington state politics, OK? Here are thoughts of a cynical, jaded independent on the statewide races, worth exactly the price of an expired Discover Pass.

Jay Inslee (D)
Bill Bryant (R)

There are dozens of bright, energetic Democrats who would make competent governors. Then there is Jay Inslee, the embodiment of the word "feckless." But he's got that "D" on his ballot next to his name, so he'll win handily.
I'd be tempted to vote for Bryant, but his association with the Port of Seattle gives me great pause. POS is the perfect acroynm. If it were run by a man with a name ending in a vowel, it would be the subject of an FBI RICO investigation.

Lt. Governor

Cyrus Habib (D)

Marty McClendon (R)

Take your pick -- it matters not. This is a meaningless job that needs to be abolished. Ivan the Gorilla, even in his long-deceased state, would be an ideal lieutenant governor. If I were dictator of the state, I would assign the lt. gov to trim the rhododendrons on the capitol grounds so they would at least do something somewhat productive. Habib will win because of the "D" attached to his name and liberals will delight in twisting the panties of Christian conservatives and rednecks alarmed at the prospect of an Arab Muslim in statewide elective office. He's neither. He's of Iranian descent and a Catholic. Bonus: he's blind, a priceless political attribute. Con (in at least two senses of the word): He's a lawyer.

Secretary of State

Tina Podlodowski (D)

Kim Wyman (R)

Easy pick, because I have a bias against wealthy ex-Microsofties like Podlodowksi trying to buy a political office. I spent two years in Microsoft Building 25 as a contract worker and I don't want these people running anything more than a bad web browser. Wyman is pleasant and competent and has carried on the long tradition of moderate Dan Evans Republicanism in the office like predecessors Sam Reed and Ralph Munro If given the opportunity, Sam would grab Donald Trump by the shoulders while Ralph kneed him in the groin.

State Treasurer

Duane Davidson (R)

Michael Waite (R)

Because of the top two primary system, two Rs are squaring off, meaning the GOP will hold this office for the first time since 1957.
Davidson, long the Benton County treasurer is the pick. Waite also has unfortunate Microsoft baggage. Also, it's a fine idea to elect someone from the east side of the Cascades once in a while, as long as they're not morons like Clint Didier or Matt Shea.
State Auditor
Pat McCarthy (D)
Mark Miloscia (R)
Still shocked Troy Kelley didn't have the hubris to run for another term. I don't know McCarthy, put folks I trust say she's the real deal. I have dealt with Miloscia, who was a bright, effective legislator with a high energy level. By that I mean not in a "works 18-hour days 7 days a week" way but "a rabid pit bull on methamphetamine" way. Guy needs to dial back the intensity level.

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson (D)

Joshua Trumbull (Libertarian)

Trumbull is a Libertarian, which means he will win Ferry County and get 10,000 votes total west of the mountains. I'm kidding. He'll win Columbia, Garfield and Pend Oreille counties, too.

State Insurance Commissioner

Mike Kreidler (D)

Richard Schrock (R)

Kriedler is an incumbent Democrat not under indictment, so Abraham Lincoln is potentially the only Republican who could win this race.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Erin Jones (D)
Chris Reykdal (D)

This race so far been high on entertainment value. The Stranger, Seattle's hipster newspaper, backed off it's reflexive endorsement of Jones (a black woman) after wrongly assuming she toed their line on LBGTQ issues. Reykdal is one of my legislators and a good guy and I'll probably vote for him. But this is another "no matter" race. The accurate job title is "Superintendent of Carrying Water for the Washington Education Association, because if you don't, we'll crush you in the next election."

Commissioner of Public Lands

Hilary Franz (D)

Steve McLaughlin (R)

A classic westside leftie vs. eastside rightie matchup. No way a "D" named "Hilary," one l or two, loses this race. I'd be tempted to go McLaughlin because of the geographic balance issue, but his public support for the Malheur Moonbats last winter scares independents like me.

And that's the list. I sincerely hope both Republicans and Democrats are offended. Now register and vote!

Editor's note: Bill Will is a long-time journalist and former executive director of the Washington Newspaper Publisher's Association.

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