Interesting races aplenty
Take the organized chaos of the First Congressional District. Make that districts.
The House seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, who resigned to devote full attention to his campaign for governor, is being contested twice -- once within its current boundaries and once within the dramatically new lines that came with redistricting.
In the latter race, for a two-year term beginning in January, five Democrats -- Darcy Burner, Suzan DelBene, Steve Hobbs, Darshan Rauniyar and Laura Ruderman -- are vying against Republican John Koster and independent Larry Ishmael in the primary. In the former, to fill the seat roughly for the month of December, a field of 11 candidates rushed to the starting line, including five of the seven running for the full term.
You'll definitely need a program to keep track of the players, but we can promise you this contest won't be dull.
Other competitive races will be fun to watch, too. In the 39th Legislative District, the House seat being vacated by Republican Kirk Pearson, who is running for state Senate, drew four GOP and two Democratic suitors. The district leans hard Republican, and since the top two vote-getters in the August primary will advance regardless of party preference, it's possible we could see an all-GOP final.
One local race, for an open position on the Snohomish County Superior Court, is all but certain to be decided in August. Millie Judge and Jack Follis are vying to replace the retiring Larry McKeeman, and state law dictates than any judicial candidate winning more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary wins the seat.
Of three state Supreme Court races, at least one is likely to be decided in August -- between Justice Steve Gonzalez, who was appointed to the bench last year, and Bruce O. Danielson. The other two contests have three and four candidates, so there's a greater chance they won't be decided until November.
Other statewide races could be exciting, too. All but one drew three or more candidates.
Longtime Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a Democrat, is being challenged by two Republican veterans of the Legislature, former Sen. Bill Finkbeiner and current Rep. Glenn Anderson.
The race to replace retiring Secretary of State Sam Reed drew seven candidates, including former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, current state Sen. Jim Kastama and former state Sen. Kathleen Drew, all Democrats, and Republican Kim Wyman, the current Thurston County auditor.
Oh, and there's also a presidential contest this year.
Even if elections don't normally get your juices pumping, this one just might. Some of the final results might disappoint you, but if you like political action, the process of getting there won't.