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  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 9:08am

Jaded voters of Snohomish County, rejoice. The candidates in the partisan race for county executive – Republican Dave Earling, a long-time Edmonds City Council member, and Aaron Reardon, a state senator from Everett – actually offer two good options.

Both men have solid political and business experience. Both men have good knowledge of the issues facing Snohomish County. In many areas, such as growth and economic development, both men have similar ideas.

A strength of both candidates is that neither seems particularly beholden to party ideology in a partisan race. Earling talks favorably about mass transit, and Reardon speaks for business friendly concepts and has criticized three-term executive Bob Drewel, a Democrat, on issues such as growth management. Both Earling and Reardon fit the description of “moderates.”

Earling brings great personal qualities into this race as well as great experience. He’s an easy-going sort who is approachable. He’s made plenty of hard decisions during his 12-year tenure on the Edmonds City Council and sticks by them. It is doubtful there is a more steeling crucible than that of Sound Transit and as a board member, Earling has emerged stronger for it.

In the state House and now Senate, Reardon has been part of a difficult shepherding of the state budget through continued tough times, an equally fortifying experience

While Earling mentions that many of the issues facing the county are “complex” ones – and he is correct in that assessment – Reardon presents voters with specific and well-crafted plans to address those issues.

And that’s why the nod in this even race goes to Reardon. He wants to streamline county government to make it more efficient. Reardon wants to ensure the county meets its priorities yet recognizes it cannot engage in free-spending. His Olympia experience should provide him with the tools to make Snohomish County a better place.

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