EDITORIAL | Election forums: be there or be square

Ready or not, here Election Day comes. The big moment when we select a new president, and potentially new county and state leadership as well, is just one month away.

So who’s ready?

Some races are no doubt easier to decide than others, with many having long since made up their minds, yet others may have you scratching your head. That’s where we come in. Along with ramping up our election coverage this month, The Record is kicking of a month of voter information by partnering with the Clinton Progressive Association to hold two election forums next week. It’s a chance to hear from the candidates directly and even ask them the very question that’s kept you up at night.

• What will you do to try and get a new 144-car ferry and overhead passenger loading at Clinton?

• How do you plan to address the opioid epidemic on Whidbey?

• Which presidential candidate are you voting for?

All great questions to be sure, and the attending public will have a chance to raise their hand during both forums: the format will see questions posed by both a Record moderator — Editor Justin Burnett — and from those in the crowd.

The forums are set for 6:30 Monday, Oct. 3 and Wednesday, Oct. 5 at the Clinton Community Hall off Highway 525.

The first evening is dedicated to local races, specifically the open seats for Island County commissioner. Vying for district 1 is second-term incumbent Helen Price Johnson, a Clinton Democrat, and political newcomer Gary Wray, a Coupeville Republican. Also present will be incumbent Jill Johnson, an Oak Harbor Republican wrapping up her first term, and her challenger, John Fowkes, a Democrat from Oak Harbor who’s seeking his first public office.

Wednesday is dedicated to Legislative District 10 races and Initiative 732. Incumbent Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, and challenger Angie Homola, D-Oak Harbor, will face off for the district’s Senate seat. Bailey is a longtime state lawmaker, and Homola is a former county commissioner.

Vying for position 2 in the House are incumbent Dave Hayes, R-Camano, and Doris Brevoort, D-Mount Vernon. Position 1 incumbent Norma Smith, R-Clinton, is also set to attend but her challenger, Michael Scott, L-Camano, will not be present so the two will have statements read only.

Finally, representatives from Carbon Washington and the Washington State Labor Council will offer pro and con arguments on I-732, a measure that would impose a carbon emission tax on certain fossil fuels and fossil-fuel-generated electricity, reduce the sales tax by one percentage point and increase a low-income exemption, and reduce certain manufacturing taxes.

Both forums, we hope, will help voters decide who best should represent them in Island County and Olympia. We hope to see you there.