It’s time for those who’ve entertained the idea of running for elected office to make a leap.
Next week, May 14-18, is Filing Week in Washington state.
That means anyone planning to run for public office has until 4:30 p.m. on May 18 to submit their paperwork and pay their fee to the Island County Elections Office.
There’s a long list of Island County positions that will be on the ballot, but so far only two are contested.
Two men from the Island County Sheriff’s Office — Chief Criminal Deputy Rick Felici and Deputy Lane Campbell — announced they will run for sheriff; current Sheriff Mark Brown isn’t seeking reelection.
Janet St. Clair, a Democrat from Camano Island, announced she will run for position 3 on the Island County Board of Commissioners, which is currently held by Republican Rick Hannold. He is running for reelection.
The current prosecutor, coroner, treasurer, assessor, auditor, court clerk and district court judge have all said they will seek reelection. So far, nobody else has announced they will run for any of those positions.
Running for a county office is a great opportunity for community-minded folks who want to make a difference. Each of these positions is vital to the county and interesting in different ways.
Only the prosecutor and judge positions come with prerequisites — namely, a law degree.
Uncontested races are bad for democracies. Candidates need to be challenged and ideas need to be debated. Healthy discourse doesn’t happen if there’s nobody to offer new ideas and insights.
Good ol’ boys clubs and politics as usual flourish when there’s a dearth of new blood.
Sure, running for public office is a lot of work if done right. Being an elected official can seem like a thankless job.
But serving your community to the best of your abilities should be worth the trouble. And it’s honorable to run for office, whether or not you win.