The surprise has faded a little, now that I’ve had a few weeks to get used to the idea, but my first thought is still “wow!” whenever I think of how local people jumped on the bandwagon for candidate filing week.
Maybe it’s in opposition to — or in support of — a series of development projects that are at the top of people’s minds in recent weeks, or maybe people have found more personal motivations to file for office. Regardless of why it happened, parts of this Valley are going to see political races like they haven’t seen in years.
In Snoqualmie, there’s a five-way race for Mayor coming up on the Aug. 1 primary ballot, plus a three-way race for Position 2, which was just filled by appointment in April. The contenders for mayor include the 12-year incumbent, a former mayor, a councilman halfway through his elected term, a longtime local business owner and new resident, and a longtime resident.
The top two vote-getters in the primary races will make the ballot for the general election; the others can still run as write-in candidates.
And in the general election, there are almost no candidates from the Upper Valley running unopposed. There will be contests for every Snoqualmie City Council seat, every Snoqualmie Valley School Board seat, and all but one North Bend Council seat.
The second reaction I usually have, when considering how to cover all of these races and maybe even help voters to make their choices, is more of a groan than a word. How can we define the issues and the candidates, and give our readers the information they need to distinguish the candidates they want to represent them, from such a densely packed field?
Luckily, I am not the only one to have this thought. The board of directors of the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce has also been thinking and planning along the lines of how to get out the informed vote and we have joined forces to accomplish that goal.
The Chamber has already planned and booked two events in which you, the voters, will be able to ask the Snoqualmie Mayor and City Council primary candidates your burning questions on July 11, and King County Council candidates the same on Sept. 27. You will have to do it through the forum moderators, but the opportunity is still there.
Starting now, the Valley Record is calling on you, our readers, to submit the questions you most want to ask your local candidates and would-be elected officials. For the next two weeks — the deadline is noon, Wednesday, June 21, — we will be collecting all of your questions for candidates and cramming as many of them as we can into a candidate forum script for the Snoqualmie City candidate forum.
After the Labor Day holiday, we will again call on you for questions to ask of the King Count Council candidates, in time for their forum Sept. 27, as well as for the general election candidates for Snoqualmie Mayor, Snoqualmie City Council, North Bend City Council, and Snoqualmie Valley School Board. Forums for these races have not yet been scheduled, but we will announce them here as soon as they are confirmed.
It’s your chance to ask your questions. Send your questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at P.O. Box 300, Snoqualmie, WA 98065. Include the race your question is for, along with your name, email address and phone number (for verification purposes only).
CANDIDATE FORUMS – SAVE THE DATE
Tuesday, July 11 – Primary candidates for Snoqualmie Mayor and Snoqualmie City Council.
The forum begins with an informal social at 5:30 p.m., followed by questions and answers from the candidates from 6 to 8:30 p.m., at the Club at Snoqualmie Ridge.
Wednesday, Sept. 27 – King County Council District 3 candidates, Kathy Lambert, incumbent, and John Murphy.
The forum coincides with the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce luncheon, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at The Club at Snoqualmie Ridge.
For updates, check our website at www.valleyrecord.com, or visit www.snovalley.org.