Washington's top-two primary leaves some issues for newspaper endorsers, among which, do you endorse one candidate or two? Some of the thining behind what we may see in the next few weeks showed up today on the Vancouver Columbian's editorial page.
Their conclusion seemed to be, take the races one by one, and go where the clearer opinion leads: "The Columbian will be making single endorsements in some races where strong, single candidates have emerged. After all, we know that each voter gets one vote in each race. But in other races, we’ll acknowledge two strong candidates, knowing that two will advance to the general election. The glorious, wide-open top two primary allows us that flexibility."
So in the governor's race, where there are 10 candidates, but two that in the end will between them draw practically the votes, the paper endorsed Democratic incumbent Chris Gregoire and Republican challenger Dino Rossi. There, the winnowing to one will wait for the fall.
There was no hesitation, however, in offering single endorsements in a batch of other statewide races, all for incumbents - lieutenant governor (Democrat Brad Owen), secretary of state (Republican Sam Reed), auditor (Democrat Brian Sonntag), superintendent of public instruction (nonpartisan Terry Bergeson). But none of them have really serious contests; all are likely to be easily swept back in. In two other races (attorney general and land commissioner) that may be serious races, the paper held off on choices.
Will this be the pattern for other papers around the state?