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Endorsement Sunday: WA

Nearing the finals on newspaper endorsements, a spate of opinion pieces of note hit today’s papers around the state. An overview follows.

SEATTLE TIMES/8th House Probably not much of a surprise that the Seattle Times went with Republican incumbent Dave Reichert for re-election on the eastside. (Setting up for a Cantwell endorsement?)

What was interesting was the force behind it. While extolling Reichert’s “conscience-driven independent streak” (more than once), the edit took after Democratic challenger Darcy Burner in equally strong terms: “She missed either primary or general election votes in four years, starting in 2000. Burner shifts the blame again, arguing the only voting record that matters is Reichert’s. Right, his matters. But voting is a fundamental obligation of every citizen. It matters that she, as an adult, didn’t take it seriously. Still more disappointingly, Burner has run a mean-spirited campaign that would make Republican spinmeister Karl Rove proud. In The Seattle Times/KUOW-FM congressional debate last week, she accused Reichert of ‘lying.’ She called him ‘unprincipled’ and ‘politically crass.'” Both characterizations seem a little overstrong for two candidates who don’t exactly wear day-glo colors.

Says Sound Politics: “It’s important because the Times took the time to totally deconstruct Darcy Burner’s campaign.”

And from Horse’s Ass (from a lengthy post): “And the Times has the temerity to tar Burner with the Karl Rove brush? They attack Burner for running a negative campaign when every single mailer and commercial coming out of the NRCC and the Reichert campaign has been an attack ad? This, after Reichert aired an ad that actually fabricated a quote from the Times? Have they no shame?”

TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE/Senate The TNT signs on for Democrat Maria Cantwell for re-election. One bit notes a comparison between her and former Senator Salde Gorton, whom she unseated in 2000: “Like the former Republican senator, Cantwell is cerebral, fascinated by policy issues and a bit distant in manner. She’s not overburdened with charisma; she doesn’t remember every name, and she’s not noted for enthusiastically working crowds of strangers. But like Gorton, Cantwell is a doggedly hard worker who watches out for the state. She’s proven a worthy successor, and she’s earned re-election to the seat she won six years ago.” Republican challenger Mike McGavick gets some positive words but a conclusion that he wouldn’t necessarily be an improvement.

EVERETT HERALD/Supreme Court Another endorsement for Stephen Johnson for the Supreme Court seat now held by his opponent, Susan Owens. He seems likely to wind up with a bunch of endorsements (adding to the Vancouver Columbian‘s and the Yakima Herald-Republic‘s in the last week or so). From the Herald: “We think the current court leans too far in the direction of judicial activism, and that the addition of Johnson would bring a better balance. Johnson’s strong advocacy of open government and open public records is another major point in his favor.”

YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC/Senate First endorsement we’ve seen (so far) in the Senate race for Republican Mike McGavick, coming from Yakima. The paper’s core point was not any major criticism of Cantwell, but an impression with McGavick: “But as we look ahead, we’re willing to give McGavick a chance to try his more center-right agenda. On the campaign trail, he likes to rail against Congress and the Washington, D.C., establishment. If elected, he’ll have a chance to prove he can separate himself from the Bush administration on key issues when necessary. Bottom line: We’d like to see a John McCain style of independent Republican going to the Senate from Washington state.”

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