Here are Seattle Transit Blog’s endorsements for the August 7th primary. As with all our primary endorsements, these focus entirely on transit and land-use issues, and only on races with three or more candidates.

STB only selects candidates with strong pro-transit portfolios or particularly egregious opponents, although the generic Democrat will generally produce better legislative outcomes than the generic Republican.

The editorial board consists of Martin H. Duke, Sherwin Lee, Bruce Nourish, and Adam B. Parast, with valued input from the rest of the staff.

Jay Inslee (wikimedia)

Governor: Jay Inslee’s transportation platform is basically agreeable to STB: “The next governor must take an ‘all of the above’ approach to transit and transportation choices – cooperation at the state level and advocacy within the Legislature for transit alternatives.” He also name-checks light rail on the CRC, Amtrak, and complete streets. His platform, and a track record of concern about environmental issues, suggests he would be a reliable partner for transit agencies around the state, although he shows no indication of wanting to curtail endless road expansion.

Principal opponent Rob McKenna says nothing about transportation in the issues section of his website. More worryingly, Mr. McKenna has a long record of being a Sound Transit skeptic, favoring highways over rail spending. He was particularly active on this front from around 2000 to 2003. Ancient history, perhaps (and he did recently preside over the defeat of the Kemper Freeman lawsuit). But he hasn’t articulated a change of heart, and his instincts are clearly to fund roads and lower taxes rather than create high-quality transit; it’s unlikely he’d be interested in finding new revenue sources to accelerate rail expansion.

Rob Holland

District 11, Rep. 2: Rob Holland stands out from the field of five candidates. Scanning the five websites shows that transportation is not a major issue in this race, but Mr. Holland has a transportation background at the Port of Seattle. In these very pages he bucked his colleagues there by favoring the SR99 replacement option that maximized delivery of transit. He told The Stranger he favors new taxes for transit, which is a much clearer statement of support than virtually any other candidate this cycle.

Brett Phillips

District 36, Rep. 2: In a field full with basically pro-transit candidates, Brett Phillips  demonstrates a focus on transit and understanding of the immediate challenges it faces. Moreover, his endorsements indicate a good interface with groups in our corner of the policy world.

Jessyn Farrell

District 46, Rep. 2: Jessyn Farrell’s background includes the Transportation Choices Coalition, and that experience shows in an issues page that discusses transportation and land use in rich detail. She has deep understanding of the issues and experience with relevant legislation in Olympia. Her opponents don’t indicate any priority on transportation at all. There are a few candidates that stand out every election cycle by being worth not only your vote, but your time and money. Ms. Farrell is the one in a competitive race this time around.

Supreme Court: Light rail opponents are always suing Sound Transit over something or other, so who sits on the court matters. As judicial candidates traditionally don’t speak about potential issues before the court, it’s also hard to know how they’ll vote unless there’s a track record. However, at Position 2 Justice Susan Owens has spent her 11 years on the bench beating back desperate attempts to halt rail construction. At Position 9, John Ladenburg spent time as Pierce County Executive and Sound Transit Board Chair. One of his opponents, Richard B. Sanders, in his previous tenure on the court has consistently found excuses to try to freeze the rail project.

25 Replies to “STB 2012 Primary Endorsements”

  1. Why do you not comment on races with two candidates? It’s my understanding that some races with two candidates will be decided in this election, e.g. Supreme Court pos. 8.

    1. My understanding is that Court races are the only ones decided this way.

      And yes, all should be encouraged to vote for incumbent and rational human being Steve Gonzalez over unqualified candidate and [ot] Bruce Danielson.

      1. The “unqualified” quote comes from the president of the Kitsap County Bar Association. He’s so off-the-radar of the legal community that some independent civic organizations couldn’t rate him at all. (Gonzalez has been rated “well qualified” across the board.)

        And no, Danielson is not literally [ot]. Just a crackpot. Fortunately, you cannot, by definition, commit an act of slander against a public official. Hyperbole is perfectly acceptable here.

      2. Fortunately for all who love substantive debate, STB tries to enforce a standard of civility higher than what’s considered libelous.

        There are plenty of factual criticisms to make of Bruce Danielson, and plenty of other places on the internet to let loose.

      3. Bruce, Martin, Gonzalez uses transit to get around during his race whenever possible. He’s clearly an ally. He should have an endorsement.

  2. Thanks for these endorsements, and the thoughtfulness you put into them.

    You might not want to sit out some of those judicial races where, if anyone gets a majority in the primary, only that name appears on the general election ballot.

    You may not want to be on the sidelines while Former Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders, once thought to be somewhat libertarian until we figured out he was only talking about economic freedom for corporations and protecting white people from black people, attempts to resurrect his career. Tim Eyman doesn’t need his old friend back on the Supreme Court.

    1. If you’re worried about this, then do something about it. There is plenty to do. Volunteer,contribute, get active online. Don’t let McKenna’s opponent lose for lack of trying on the citizens part.

      But take heart, after only 2 positive commercials airing for less than 3 weeks, Jay Inslee has jumped ahead in the polls decisively. We have a long ways to go but that should give you some solace that the race is not already lost.

    2. Oh pleazzzzzzzzzzzzzzze.

      Rob McKenna “going to be terrible”.

      Now try imagining higher taxes you did NOT consent to, the WEA continuing to tax and spend this state into the ground and a Republican Party taken over by the Hadian-Eyman wing?

      That’s terrible.

      I really don’t think McKenna is going to have time to micromanage Sound Transit. Let’s turn down the thermostat a bit, shall we?

  3. I am surprised that Saunders is coming back for more. You’d think he’d have learned his lesson.

  4. I agree it’s pretty freakish to see McKenna ads at the top of this blog, directly over the blogs endorsement of Inslee…

      1. To clarify for the peanut gallery, if you click on them, McKenna’s campaign money goes directly to Seattle Transit Blog.

      1. Message? Sure. The question is, will he provide positive policies? Lots of politicians provide a positive MESSAGE.

  5. BTW, for all my support of one Rob McKenna, gotta say I really like Jessyn Farrell. Such a shame she’s a D and running for the state legislature because I don’t see what good she’d do there. Without naming and shaming a friend, I hear him all the time as a prog state rep a) throw up his arms in frustration that he can’t get much done and b) wants to not listen to me and instead wait for Eyman to go away instead of go to voters.

    I might give Mrs. Farrell $20 at some point as a thank you for her previous efforts, but I have to warn you that Eyman’s safeguard – if you can let me call it that – of a simple majority of state legislators to go to voters on taxes is going bye-bye when my guys take over the State Senate. Fair warning.

    Time to invest in direct democracy, eh?

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