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Incumbents worthy of continued service
The next four years will be a rocky, uncertain economic ride. Sitting on the cusp — or smack dab in the middle, depending on who you ask — of a recession means that there’s a whole lot at stake in the November election. With the present mired in economic frailty and no idea of what the future holds, voters are searching for strong, competent leaders to send to represent their interests on a county and state level.
With that in mind, the Herald’s editorial board met with Herald Publisher Donna Etchey and Editor Celeste Cornish this week to discuss the issues with some local candidates. On Monday and Tuesday evening, we met with:
• 23rd Legislative Senate candidates Phil Rockefeller (D—Bainbridge), incumbent, and challenger Connie Lord of Poulsbo, a Republican.
• 23rd Legislative state representative position 1 candidates Sherry Appleton (D—Poulsbo), incumbent, and challenger Larry Cooney of Poulsbo, a Republican.
• 23rd Legislative state representative position 2 candidates Christine Rolfes (D—Bainbridge), incumbent, and challenger Mark Lowe of Keyport, a Republican; and
• Kitsap County commissioner district candidates Steve Bauer, a Democrat from Hansville, and Sandra LaCelle, a Republican from Lofall.
The format for the meetings was forum style, in which the candidates for each office were brought in together — Rockefeller and Lord, Appleton and Cooney, Rolfes and Lowe, Bauer and LaCelle — and were given equal time to answer a series of questions from the editorial board. Some of the questions were asked on the fly and none of the candidates were given the questions in advance.
Only questions that had a specific bearing on North End voters were asked. Most revolved around finances, transportation, public safety and, of course, education.
Each question and answer session was 30 minutes and deliberation was done at the evenings’ end.
Etchey and Cornish moderated the deliberations but did not weigh in on the endorsment decisions.
Based on this week’s interviews and prior information attained throughout the political season, the Herald’s editorial board concluded that while the challengers were strong contenteders in each race, none were able to present a compelling reason for a change in leadership.
In this upcoming leglislative cycle, they embrace experience and the prior knowledge the incumbents possess. As one editorial board member said, “it takes the first year on the job just to find the restroom.”
Therefore, the Herald’s editorial board is recommending:
• for 23rd Legislative Senate, Rockefeller;
• for 23rd Legislative state representative position 1, Appleton;
• for 23rd Legislative state representative position 2, Rolfes; and
• for Kitsap County commissioner district 1, Bauer.