This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.
We put a fair amount of work – interviews, homework, discussion – into most of our primary endorsements. In a few cases, we don’t have to.
We don’t interview or endorse statewide candidates who don’t have a major party behind them. We like the idea of electing a good maverick as much as anyone, but the odds only stretch so far. The days when George Washington could get elected by ladling out rum from town to town are long gone. If you don’t have a big organization and at least some money behind you, you can’t beat an opponent who does. Like it or not, that’s the way elections work.
Nor do we invest time in felons, cranks, vanity candidates, candidates who’ve invented their own parties, candidates whose statements are riddled with spelling errors, and other sure losers. Their names may appear on the ballot; that doesn’t make them viable candidates.
Here are three primary races in which the strongest Democratic and Republican candidates are self-evident:
• For the U.S. Senate, it’s incumbent Maria Cantwell and challenger Michael Baumgartner.
Cantwell we all know. Baumgartner is a state senator, former U.S. diplomat and economic development specialist.
They’re opposed by Mike the Mover, perennial pest Will Baker and several more respectable candidates with minimal or no experience in public office. Enough said.
• For governor, the only real choice is between Attorney General Rob McKenna and former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee.
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