This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.
The August primary isn’t exactly a gold rush in the 26th Legislative District, which runs through the Gig Harbor and Key peninsulas north into Bremerton.
Both House positions have attracted only two candidates each, so those races will be decided in November. The Senate race is a three-way affair with Democratic state Sen. Derek Kilmer facing two challengers: Republican Marty McClendon and Kristine Danielson of Port Orchard, who claims no party affiliation.
Since this is a partisan office and Danielson is neither fish nor fowl, McClendon is the more credible alternative to Kilmer. The Gig Harbor real estate broker describes himself as a fiscal conservative.
He’s the choice for diehard Republicans, though neither he nor Danielson has served in public office. In our view, the state Senate is rarely an appropriate entry-level position for a citizen trying to break into politics. Planning commissions, fire commissions, school boards and other local offices are better places to acquire policymaking experience.
Kilmer – who’s been in the Legislature since 2005 – is the Democratic choice. In fact, he’s one of the best legislators to show up in Olympia in recent years.
As vice-president of the Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board, he is exceptionally well-versed in job creation. Smart, pragmatic and easy to work with, he has acquired strategically important seats on the Senate’s transportation and economic development committees; he chairs the higher education committee.
Kilmer has represented the 26th district and South Sound well. We endorse him both in the primary and for re-election in November.