Well, the vote by mail ballots for the 2018 primary election are out, and some are already headed to the auditor's office to be ready for counting August 7, the official election day.
With Washington's top two primary system, we have just a few races that will be decided in the primary.
One of the more interesting races is that for US House of Representatives. Incumbent Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler faces challenges from four Democrats and two Republicans. Herrera Beutler is bound to advance to the general election, so who will advance with her?
In our June candidate forums, three Democrats really impressed me. US Army veteran Dorothy Gasqué spoke eloquently about ending corruption and cronyism in Congress. Attorney David McDevitt started his campaign early and has a good grasp of our county's rural issues. Political science Professor Carolyn Long showed outstanding understanding of the political system and how one could address complicated issues such as gun control without running afoul of gun rights.
I wish we could send all three to Congress. However, in the end, Long's knowledge has persuaded me to support her with my vote.
We have a three candidate race for state House of Representatives, Position 2. Incumbent Democrat Brian Blake faces challenges from Republicans David Parsons and Joel McEntire. Blake and Parsons spoke at a candidate forum; McEntire, a US Marine Corps reservist now stationed overseas, sent a video introducing himself. We haven't caught up with him yet for a further interview.
Blake has turned into an outstanding representative and chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, which is important for the county's economic interests. Otherwise, I'd pick McEntire just because he's a Cathlamet resident and more attuned to our economy.
There are 29 candidates for US Senator. Incumbent Democrat Maria Cantwell should easily advance.
Perhaps the top Republican candidate is Susan Hutchinson, former state party chair.
Also in the field are an Independent candidate who calls herself a Berniecrat, Jennifer “Gigi” Ferguson, a fellow whose Patriot Prayer marches have generated anti-white supremecy demonstrations even though he has disavowed white supremists, Joe Gibson, and a fellow who lists his experience as president of his high school senior class, Tim Owen.
We'll see what comes out of that.