Most statewide races on the Nov. 6 ballot present voters with tough choices between comparably matched candidates – and we’ll address those races in separate endorsement editorials.
But three statewide races don’t fit into that category; they feature strong incumbents facing less credible challengers. In the following races, The News Tribune recommends that voters give the incumbents another term.
• Treasurer: Democratic incumbent Jim McIntire has unique qualifications for the position as the state’s money manager. He’s worked as an economist in the private sector and has a master’s in public policy and a doctorate in economics.
After 10 years in the Legislature – during which time he served as chairman of the House Finance Committee and of the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council – he became state treasurer in 2008.
His Republican opponent, certified public accountant Sharon Hanek of Bonney Lake, qualified for the November ballot by receiving 3.4 percent of the primary vote through write-ins. Hanek does not have the economic or managerial qualifications needed to run the state’s finance office.
• Commissioner of public lands: As a lifelong Okanogan County rancher and wheat breeder, Democratic incumbent Peter Goldmark brings firsthand land-use experience to his position, which manages the state Department of Natural Resources.
Goldmark holds a doctorate in molecular biology and is past president of the Washington State University Board of Regents. Among his accomplishments, he cites his fight against mining operations on Maury Island, putting youth and veterans to work on cleanup projects as part of Puget SoundCorps and preserving 15,000 acres along the Interstate 90 corridor. He’s endorsed by the Washington Conservation Voters.
His Republican opponent, Eastern Washington farmer-rancher Clint Didier, is a former professional football player and an unsuccessful tea party candidate for Patty Murray’s U.S. Senate seat in 2010 (he lost to Dino Rossi in the primary). Didier lacks the kind of experience needed to manage a state agency and millions of acres of public land and water resources.
• Insurance commissioner: Of the three incumbents, Democrat Mike Kreidler faces the most credible Republican challenger, insurance underwriter and broker John R. Adams of Kirkland. Kreidler beat Adams in 2004 and 2008, and if the primary trend holds – Kreidler received almost 55 percent of the vote against Adams and two other candidates – he’s likely to win a fourth term.
Kreidler, a former state legislator, congressman and regional director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has been an advocate for consumers and is the better candidate to implement provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act in coming years. He deserves re-election.Read previous endorsement editorials at thenewstribune.com/endorsements.