Clough can be influential from middle of the road

October 26, 2012 

The race for the state Legislative District 8, Position 1, has an interesting juxtaposition of candidates.

Klippert, a Republican, has served two terms in the position and is a ranking member of the Public Safety Committee. With a background in the military and law enforcement, that's a position for which Klippert is well-suited.

Even though he's in the minority party in Olympia, Klippert says he has been able to work across the aisle. And while that may be true, working and getting results are two different things. The results of his efforts are few and far between.

Perhaps Klippert's greatest claim to fame is that he is not afraid to stand on his own two feet and vote for what is right. And what he thinks is right and what his constituents want may be two different things, and that seems to be all right with Klippert.

Challenger Jay Clough is a Democrat, and that's likely to be the biggest strike against him in trying to represent Eastern Washington. Democrats as elected officials are few and far between on the dry side of the Cascades.

Clough, who works at Hanford and describes himself as a conservative Democrat, has done his homework and is a big proponent of economic development and diversifying our economy.

He promises to look at issues based on what's good for the community and not just for his party.

Klippert is a true patriot and has strong beliefs, that's for sure. But we're not convinced he's a strong legislator.

Clough, on the other hand, comes across as a guy who can get things done. Of all the challengers we saw this season, Clough was one of the best prepared. He has researched the issues of the district. He has put in countless hours on the campaign trail. He's thoughtful and reasoned, and we see him leaning to the middle more than the left, which should make his chosen party affiliation more palatable to voters.

It seems like we've seen all that Klippert has to give as a legislator, and it's just not enough for the needs of our region. Clough appears to be someone who could lead us into the future and be a long-term leader.

And it's quite likely that Democrats will control the Legislature again this year. We could use a Democrat on our team in Olympia to ensure Eastern Washington concerns are heard in the majority caucus.

We think Clough has the right temperament not only to get the attention of Democrats in Olympia, but also to represent the district as a whole.

The Herald editorial board recommends Jay Clough for state representative.

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