What about the ‘other’ races?

Minds are mostly made up about the race for president and major state races. But what about those three judicial contests and that razor-thin race for Congress? Here’s how I’m voting and why.

Minds are mostly made up about the race for president and major state races. But what about those three judicial contests and that razor-thin race for Congress? Here’s how I’m voting and why.

Congress, 8th District

Democrat Darcy Burner is campaigning like she’s running against George W. Bush. But she isn’t. Congressman Dave Reichert is an independent-minded moderate with strong environmental credentials. That is why both the Seattle Times and the PI, neither of which likes Bush, have endorsed Reichert.

Another reason to support Reichert is that it’s not clear who Burner really intends to represent. Reichert believes he’s there to support the people back home, not parties and interest groups. But Burner’s major constituency seems to be the national network of “netroots” activists who are both liberal and archly partisan. That might fly in Seattle. It shouldn’t fly here.

Then there’s the issue of character. Reichert has a reputation for being honest and up-front. But twice now, Burner has been caught inflating her job credentials. Two years ago, her campaign misrepresented her status at Microsoft, where she was just a middle manager. And this year she told several audiences that she had an Economics degree from Harvard. No she doesn’t, and when the Seattle Times caught her, Burner’s instinctive reaction was to attack Republicans for playing “stupid semantic games.” That tone - strident, aggressive, diversionary – is classic Darcy Burner. The numbers in this race are close, but they shouldn’t be. Dave Reichert by a mile.

Judges

All state Supreme Court races and Appeals Court contests were effectively decided in the August primary. But there are three Superior Court judicial races people should pay close attention to.

Position One. Sue Parisien has made just one mistake in her bid to become a Superior Court judge: she filed against the best candidate for the job in any of the Superior Court contests this year. Tim Bradshaw is one of the finest prosecutors in King County, with two decades of courtroom experience that includes some of the county’s most notorious murder trials.

Nearly every group – left, right and center – has given Bradshaw their highest rating and/or endorsement. In my view, Tim Bradshaw is more equipped to sit on the state Supreme Court than several justices now on it. He richly deserves to be elected to the Superior Court. And Sue Parisien, who is both capable and articulate, should run again, against a less deserving opponent.

Position 22: The clear favorite here is Julia Garratt, whose experience includes the State Parole Board and the Superior Court as a Judge Pro Tem, as well as stints as both a prosecutor and a public defender. Her opponent, Holly Hill made the same mistake as Parisien. She simply ran against the wrong opponent.

Position 37: A closer call here. Jean Rietschel and Barbara Mack have both run strong campaigns. Both care about victims of domestic violence. The more liberal Rietschel, is a municipal judge and former public defender. Barbara Mack is a senior deputy prosecutor with more than two decades experience nailing bad guys for everything ranging from murder and sex crimes to fraud. I’m with the cops on this one: Barbara Mack for Superior Court Judge.

John Carlson hosts a daily radio program on KOMO 1000, “The Commentators,” with KOMO 4’s Ken Schram each weekday from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m. E-mail him at johncarlson@komoradio.com.

Minds are mostly made up about the race for president and major state races. But what about those three judicial contests and that razor-thin race for Congress? Here’s how I’m voting and why.

Congress, 8th District

Democrat Darcy Burner is campaigning like she’s running against George W. Bush. But she isn’t. Congressman Dave Reichert is an independent-minded moderate with strong environmental credentials. That is why both the Seattle Times and the PI, neither of which likes Bush, have endorsed Reichert.

Another reason to support Reichert is that it’s not clear who Burner really intends to represent. Reichert believes he’s there to support the people back home, not parties and interest groups. But Burner’s major constituency seems to be the national network of “netroots” activists who are both liberal and archly partisan. That might fly in Seattle. It shouldn’t fly here.

Then there’s the issue of character. Reichert has a reputation for being honest and up-front. But twice now, Burner has been caught inflating her job credentials. Two years ago, her campaign misrepresented her status at Microsoft, where she was just a middle manager. And this year she told several audiences that she had an Economics degree from Harvard. No she doesn’t, and when the Seattle Times caught her, Burner’s instinctive reaction was to attack Republicans for playing “stupid semantic games.” That tone - strident, aggressive, diversionary – is classic Darcy Burner. The numbers in this race are close, but they shouldn’t be. Dave Reichert by a mile.

Judges

All state Supreme Court races and Appeals Court contests were effectively decided in the August primary. But there are three Superior Court judicial races people should pay close attention to.

Position One. Sue Parisien has made just one mistake in her bid to become a Superior Court judge: she filed against the best candidate for the job in any of the Superior Court contests this year. Tim Bradshaw is one of the finest prosecutors in King County, with two decades of courtroom experience that includes some of the county’s most notorious murder trials.

Nearly every group – left, right and center – has given Bradshaw their highest rating and/or endorsement. In my view, Tim Bradshaw is more equipped to sit on the state Supreme Court than several justices now on it. He richly deserves to be elected to the Superior Court. And Sue Parisien, who is both capable and articulate, should run again, against a less deserving opponent.

Position 22: The clear favorite here is Julia Garratt, whose experience includes the State Parole Board and the Superior Court as a Judge Pro Tem, as well as stints as both a prosecutor and a public defender. Her opponent, Holly Hill made the same mistake as Parisien. She simply ran against the wrong opponent.

Position 37: A closer call here. Jean Rietschel and Barbara Mack have both run strong campaigns. Both care about victims of domestic violence. The more liberal Rietschel, is a municipal judge and former public defender. Barbara Mack is a senior deputy prosecutor with more than two decades experience nailing bad guys for everything ranging from murder and sex crimes to fraud. I’m with the cops on this one: Barbara Mack for Superior Court Judge.

John Carlson hosts a daily radio program on KOMO 1000, “The Commentators,” with KOMO 4’s Ken Schram each weekday from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m. E-mail him at johncarlson@komoradio.com.