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District 10 lawmaker won't offer endorsement in Island County commissioner's race

State Rep. Norma Smith said she will not make an endorsement in the highly contested District 1 race for Island County commissioner.

And there's a good reason, the Republican lawmaker said.

"I need to focus on my own race," Smith said.

Smith is the second major politician in Island County to decide against making an endorsement in the commissioner's race that is too close for anyone to call.

Four are in the running for District 1 commissioner — Republican incumbent Phil Bakke, non-party candidate Curt Gordon, Democrat Helen Price Johnson and Republican Reece Rose — but only two will advance to the general election in November. The top-two primary is Aug. 19.

County Commissioner John Dean, a Camano Island Democrat, said earlier he would not make an endorsement for the sake of harmony on the three-member board of commissioners.

Smith was appointed to her Position 1, 10th District seat in the House of Representatives six days before the start of the 2008 Legislative Session. She replaced Chris Strow, who resigned last year and briefly considered running for the District 1 county commissioner seat.

Smith, who is running against Democrat Tim Knue to retain her House seat, picked up a few key endorsements of her own recently.

She has been endorsed by Oak Harbor Mayor Jim Slovik and Mount Vernon Mayor Bud Norris.

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