Opinion

Incumbents, Sidhu our choices for 2014 general election in Whatcom County

THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

After a long political season where all sides suggest they alone will bring sweeping change to the state, we know that whoever is elected will find that the business of legislating is about listening to constituents, learning to understand complicated issues and making political compromises to help the state better serve its residents.

Who then is best to represent Whatcom County? We appreciate that incumbents bring more knowledge about the job and we generally believe they have the best chance of representing our community well. We also listened at forums and read up on the candidates who are mostly well known in the community.

For the U.S. House we endorse Suzan DelBene, Democrat, in the 1st Congressional District and Rick Larsen, Democrat, in the 2nd Congressional District. Neither challenger, Pedro Celis and B.J. Guillot, both Republicans, had much to say about the district and both seemed to run against President Obama rather than the incumbents.

In the state’s 40th Legislative District, which includes south Bellingham, we endorse incumbent Democrat Kristine Lytton. We believe that legislators must believe government is how our cities, states and nation work. Republican challenger Daniel Miller appears to prefer much less government than we believe is prudent. Lytton’s background in education should be particularly helpful as the legislature deals with the Supreme Court mandate to fund education.

The state’s 42nd Legislative District includes all of Whatcom County except south Bellingham and the southwest corner of the county. Voters in the 42nd tend to be among the most conservative in the county, and it’s fair that their representatives reflect that. So we endorse Republican incumbents Doug Ericksen for state Senate and Vincent Buys for state representative, position 2. Their opponents, Democrats Seth Fleetwood for Senate and Joy Monjure for House, offer much government experience and understanding of Whatcom County issues but offer more liberal viewpoints on state issues. We believe all four would act well to protect Whatcom’s environment and quality of life, despite their political differences.

The candidates for the 42nd Legislative District state representative position 1, Republican Luanne Van Werven and Democrat Satpal Sidhu, offer deep understanding of our community. But we believe Sidhu’s candidacy is an opportunity not to be missed and earns our endorsement. His success as dean of Technical Education at Bellingham Technical College is invaluable as the legislature works to fund K-12 education while protecting the secondary education and training necessary to keep the economy moving. He’s a small-business owner and has been a valued voice for diversity.

We also endorse incumbent Jeffrey McClure for the nonpartisan Public Utility District commissioner position. He understands the mission of the district and its contractual obligations, unlike challenger Bob Burr, who pushes a progressive agenda not in the purview of the district.

Don’t let your ballot go to waste, sitting on a desk. Use your voice; mark and return your general election ballot by Nov. 4.

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