Inside Opinion

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Tag: Jan Shabro


Some ballot choices more crucial than others

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Voters should always take care when making their election picks, but some parts of the ballot deserve more attention than others this year.

In many South Sound races, voters have two good options, and the public will be well-served no matter the outcome of the election.
Other decisions are more pivotal. Take the election for Federal Way Municipal Court. Judge Michael Morgan has hurt the court’s standing and its internal workings. He has to go.

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Would Julie Anderson and Jan Shabro endorse each other as No. 2?

Kelly Haughton of ranked-choice voting fame wants to Will Baker-proof the upcoming election for Pierce County auditor. He’s asking rivals Jan Shabro and Julie Anderson to endorse each other as No. 2 choices for their supporters.

Shabro and Anderson are sharing the county’s ranked-choice ballot with Will Baker, a self-aggrandizing clown with a history of arrests and disorderly conduct convictions.

The nightmare scenario (alluded to in today’s editorial) is that Baker will wind up a hair ahead of one of the other two in a three-way race, then win in the next round when second-ranked candidates are counted. It’s conceivable that some of Anderson’s supporters will make Baker their second preference and that some of Shabro’s supporters will do the same rather than cast their second-choice vote for their candidate’s major opponent.

Here’s Haughton’s proposal, which I think is a good one:

Julie and Jan – I believe we can all agree that Will Baker would be a disaster as Auditor. To emphasize this point, I suggest that the two of you recommend each other as your second choice.
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Julie Anderson for Pierce County auditor

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

A funny thing happened to the Pierce County auditor’s office in the two years since citizens voted to make it nonpartisan: It seems to have become more partisan than ever.

Its current occupant, Jan Shabro, was appointed by the Republican majority on the County Council early this year after former Auditor Pat McCarthy was elected county executive.

In appointing Shabro, the council rebuffed the Democratic Party’s nominees – which included Shabro’s chief challenger, staunch Democrat Julie Anderson. The contest this year looks as partisan as any in the past.

Perhaps it’s understandable that the Republicans and Democrats want to keep their stamp on the office. The auditor gets to print her name on every ballot sent out, which is a nice way to pick up name familiarity. That makes the position a good springboard to higher office, as McCarthy’s election demonstrated.

Still, the county’s chief elections officer ought to be more than nominally nonpartisan, if only to avoid the perception (inaccurate so far) that a particular party has its thumb on the scale when the ballots are counted. Running elections is pure administrative work, as are licensing, animal-control and the other responsibilities of the office. There’s no liberal or conservative way to chase pit bulls.
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The rest of the story in Bethel school board race

Last week, I wrote about the strange goings-on in the Bethel school board races and promised more on Marianne Lincoln’s candidacy.

Marianne filed for the position back in June, withdrew in July and then refiled in August. We’d never seen anything like it, so we asked her about it when she came in for her endorsement interview. What followed was a whole mess of twists and turns.

I’ll try to keep it brief. If you want to read Marianne’s account, it’s at Life In Pierce County. Here’s the gist:

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