CMR vs. Whom?
The Washington State Primary (ballots due August 4) is underway--and there is a curious hitch. It is possible that U.S. Rep. for the 5th Congressional District (CD5--Eastern Washington) Cathy McMorris Rodgers will be running in the General Election in November against a primary challenger who is no longer in the race. On the third day of Spokane County primary election ballot mailing (and long after the paper ballots had been printed), Chris Armitage, the more progressive of CMR's two Democratic challengers, dropped out the race. (See P.S. below).
The remaining Democratic challenger for CMR's CD5 seat is Dave Wilson, but, since Armitage is still on the ballot, some have already voted, and others may not be aware that Armitage has dropped out, it is possible that McMorris Rodgers and Armitage could still be the "top two" in the primary. According to Vicky Dalton, our highly respected Spokane County Auditor (who manages elections in the county), in that case election law would put Armitage opposing CMR in the November General Election, even though he is no longer running.
Bottom line: If you haven't already turned in your primary ballot, vote for Dave Wilson. The Progressive Voters Guide has been updated to reflect the change.
If you haven't yet received your ballot (for Washington State voters), something is amiss. First check MyVote.wa.gov to see if your address is correct. Contact the Spokane County Elections Office (or your county’s elections office) by email or phone. Here’s the link to those numbers and emails for Spokane County: https://www.spokanecounty.org/Directory.aspx?did=10
I offered these resources in a prior email, but here they are again:
If you have time to dig more deeply, you can listen to interviews with candidates pertinent to Spokane County by searching candidate names at https://www.spokanepublicradio.org/search/google#stream/0.
The League of Women Voters did Zoom interviews with many area candidates; These videos are available here: https://my.lwv.org/washington/spokane-area/article/view-videos-august-2020-primary-candidate-forums
For candidates at the state level you can determine who is funding there candidacy by visiting the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission website: https://www.pdc.wa.gov/ Navigation on that site takes some learning, but there is a lot of interesting information. For example, one can quickly see that only six of the thirty-six candidates for Washington State governor have significant financial backing: https://www.pdc.wa.gov/browse/campaign-explorer.
Keep to the high ground,
P.S. Last Friday, July 17th, in a surprise announcement to his supporters and on Facebook, Chris Armitage announced he was dropping out of the race. In an email he said, "Over the last few months my mental health has declined, and that trend continued until I reached a point where I knew that I could no longer be here for myself let alone our community." He goes on to say, "As this decline continued, I was made aware of an allegation that what I considered at the time to be a consensual relationship was not." The whole situation reads as unfortunate, but details are scarce. Chris Armitage invested a great deal of time and effort in his campaign since he announced his run in December, 2019.
The same day as Armitage's Twitter announcement Kip Hill covered the story in the Spokesman, but was able to offer nothing more than what was in the original announcement, leaving many questions unanswered. Jim Camden, in a Spokesman article on Tuesday, July 21, covered the implications of Armitage leaving the race.