Washington voters should return three incumbents to statewide offices: Peter Goldmark, Mike Kreidler and Jim McIntire.
COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC LANDS
Peter Goldmark deserves a second four-year term as commissioner of public lands. He inherited a department in 2008 that was reeling from financial and operational disorder and successfully turned it into a functioning office.
Goldmark had to act quickly, and he did so by cutting expenses, trimming staff and bringing stability to the office. Managing the state Department of Natural Resources, which includes millions of acres of public and water resources, requires Goldmark’s competent and firm hand.
The Okanogan County rancher with a doctorate in molecular biology can claim several other accomplishments in his first term. Among them are his successful fight against mining interests on Maury Island and the creation of Puget SoundCorps, which uses veterans and others for key cleanup projects.
He has served on a local school board, the Washington State University Board of Regents and as the state director of agriculture under former Gov. Mike Lowry.
His opponent is Clint Didier, a last-second filer and tea party advocate who lost a 2010 primary race for U.S. senate to Dino Rossi. Didier is a former professional football player who has no qualifications for this office.
Mike Kreidler is seeking a fourth term as the state insurance commissioner, and voters should give it to him.
The incumbent in this race is best equipped to navigate the challenges of implementing the Affordable Care Act. The state will benefit from having an experienced hand on the tiller while more provisions of the new health care law, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, enter the implementation stage.
During his tenure, Kreidler has tried three times to convince the Legislature that when insurance companies seek rate increases, he should be allowed to take into account the surplus funds they are holding. He promises to try again, and deserves another chance to make his case to lawmakers.
The former state legislator and congressman has served Washington well. His opponent has twice run for this office, losing in 2004 and 2008. There is no new compelling reason to make a change in 2012.
There is no serious challenger to returning Jim McIntire for a second term as the state’s treasurer. He is clearly the best choice.
McIntire served 10 years in the state House, chairing both the House Finance Committee and the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, before seeking and winning the treasurer’s office in 2008.
He holds a master’s degree in public policy and a doctorate in economics.
His opponent, a certified public accountant, managed to get on the ballot through a write-in campaign that attracted an insignificant 3.4 percent of the total vote.