On Tuesday, our local governments held their primary elections, with results in most of the races still being tallied. No statewide issues were on the ballot this year. However, mayors, council members, school boards, port commissioners, and others around the state are standing for election.
It has been said that “all politics are local,” especially in odd-year elections. Why are these local government races so important? Voters should pay attention, learn about the candidates, and cast their ballots for many reasons, but two are especially important. First, these individuals will directly impact our everyday lives, including overseeing our water, sewer, trash, the roads we drive on, and the schools our kids go to. Second, today’s mayor or school board member is often the state legislator or congressperson of tomorrow.
These local races typically give voters relatively easy access to the candidates. Many show up in person on our doorsteps. Many come to our Kiwanis and Rotary meetings to share why they should be the best choice to represent us. These candidates are usually our neighbors, co-workers, and kids’ friends’ parents. “Do yourself and your community a favor and get to know the candidates and support them where you can,” says Mark Johnson, WR Senior VP of Policy & Government Affairs.
Many local government offices are non-partisan, as they should be. But, Washington is also a ‘top two’ state, meaning the two candidates with the highest votes—regardless of party—advance to the November 7 General Election. This system can result in a race with two Democrats or two Republicans running against each other in the fall election.
WR has a Local Government Political Action Committee. We recognize the importance of supporting these crucial positions in our communities for our industry’s immediate benefit and long-term health. We are always looking to support candidates that embrace our issues, such as public safety, retail theft, and organized retail crime—those we can get behind and help get elected.
“Our interest and participation in choosing our elected leaders is one of our most important rights and responsibilities as Americans,” said Johnson.
If you know a candidate for office that we should look into supporting, please don’t hesitate to contact Mark Johnson, or if preferred, have the candidate contact him directly.