Here in the 27th Legislative District, we have an unfortunate (for the entertainment factor of this blog) tendency to go with rather sane and qualified candidates. If you want to see some real Christine O'Donnell anti masturbation campaign level comedy, check out the horror show in the 31st District, (write in apparently stable and law abiding Democratic candidate Ron Weigelt) and the 25 year old apparently anti-girl scout candidate trying to unseat well-respected critical care nurse Dawn Morrell in the 25th.
But I digress.
Taking the candidates in the order they appear on the ballot:
27th Legislative District Position 1
On the Ballot: Laurie Jinkins (D), Jake Fey (D)
Who I'm voting for: Laurie Jinkins
Why? This was a tough one. While Jake Fey is also a great candidate with a decent track record on the Tacoma City Council, Laurie's record as Deputy Director of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and as a community advocate really stands out. I've had the opportunity to see many of the local candidates speak in the past few months, and Laurie gives off a strong vibe that makes me think she'd be a vigorous advocate for Pierce County's interests in Olympia.
27th Legislative District Position 2
On the Ballot: Jeannie Darnielle, Jon M. Higley
Who I'm voting for: Jeannie Darnielle
Why? According to Project Vote Smart, Representative Darneille supported the interests of the Children's Alliance 100% in 2009. She voted to approve HB2261, groundbreaking education reform legislation that expanded the constitutional definition of "basic education" for the first time since the 1970s. She didn't rush to that decision either, when I met her at a Stand for Children round table in the fall of 2008, she spoke extensively about the need to balance competing budgetary interests in a time of greater austerity. At a Tacoma Council PTA meeting a few weeks ago, she gave the same conservative answer to questions about funding education, however looking at her voting record it is not possible to doubt her commitment to Washington's children and families.
Jon Higley on the other hand bills himself as a "back to basics" candidate, back to basics on just about everything from what I gather after hearing him speak at two separate forums. In response to questions about public transportation "now's not the time" seemed to be his refrain, followed by steering the conversation back toward roads and freeways. A resident of Northeast Tacoma, Higley is a former teacher who sees the education budget as inefficient and overfunded. He seems like a decent guy, who spoke from the heart at the Tacoma Council PTA meeting about his time teaching. However, I'm not clear on how the education budget can really be substantially cut without harming instruction, even if "transparency, accountability, and efficiency" are all much improved. At a time when the state is struggling to balance its budget I'm not a fan of cutting taxes. (But I am a fan of Initiative 1098! Which would solve some big problems.)
That's enough for tonight. Teh winez have been uncorked. Mebbe the Prosecutor/judges later, mebbe not. Who are you voting for, anyway, Tacoma? I showed you mine, you show me yours.