Return Haler to Olympia to represent 8th District

Richard Reuther told the Tri-City Herald Editorial Board that he had knocked on about 1,000 doors to solicit support for his campaign.

The No. 1 message he got from people was that since he's not the incumbent, he has their vote.

Granted that's not a scientific survey, but if the results are accurate, it sounds like people are deeply dissatisfied with current state leadership.

We understand that frustration and agree that some things need to change.

And actually, November's results are guaranteed to bring major changes to Olympia because about a sixth of the Legislature's members opted not to seek re-election this year.

But we can't agree with the notion that any challenger is better than every incumbent. Each race needs to be considered independently.

The 8th District is a good example.

Reuther has some good ideas. He has been active in the Democratic Party and has a good understanding of local and state issues.

He has mainstream goals, including job creation, fully funding education and supporting growth in the Tri-Cities.

Reuther describes himself as a serious candidate and, in our opinion, he's not a bad choice. During his interview with the Herald's editorial board, Reuther allayed our fears that his focus in the Legislature would be too narrow.

We doubt, however, that his personality is well suited to working with people who hold views that oppose his.

We recommend returning incumbent Larry Haler to office.

Our big concern for government on a federal and state level is the party politics are gumming up the works. Haler has a demonstrated record of playing well with others.

It's likely the Democrats will have the majority in the Legislature again this year. And, yes, it would be nice to have some representation from the Mid-Columbia in that party. But we're not willing to make a recommendation based solely on the letter after the candidate's name.

So here's just a few examples of Haler's work on behalf of the district.

He has been active in helping get loans for small wineries. He's helped spin-off businesses from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory get established. He authored a bill for new economic development opportunities in Kennewick and Richland.

He also was instrumental in establishing Washington State University Tri-Cities as a four-year campus, completing the bioproducts laboratory, bringing the star researcher program to the Tri-Cities and creating the wine science center.

We don't have anything against Reuther, but we think Haler would be a better representative for the 8th District based on his record of service and ability to get things done for the Mid-Columbia.

The Tri-City Herald recommends Larry Haler for the 8th District of state House.