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    At last, E-Day

    Got time to read the state's hulking voter guide at the last minute? Neither do we. Here's the two-sentence version, our quick-and-dirty recap of the presidential, federal, statewide, and local races.

    It's been a long haul, and here's the short version, two sentences on each of the major races or issues on your local ballot. Oh, and don't forget to send it in.

    • President and vice president: What more is there to say about the historic 2008 presidential race? The chance to elect an African-American as president is a first, and a woman is on a major-party ticket for only the second time.

    • House of Representatives, Washington District 8: The race between Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert and Democratic challenger Darcy Burner in suburban and rural King and Pierce counties has been wire-to-wire since Reichert won the Aug. 19 primary by 4 percentage points. While the polls said Burner pulled ahead near the end of October, recent headlines about her exaggerated claim of having a degree in economics from Harvard University could have dire consequences on today.

    • Washington governor: Republican challenger Dino Rossi has lifted the "change mantra" from the Obama campaign in hopes it will help him unseat Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, who beat Rossi by just 133 votes in 2004. In what promises to be a record turnout, the big question is whether Obama voters will lean Democratic and re-elect Gregoire or lean Change and give Rossi the governorship.

    • Lieutenant governor: If the latest polls are any indicator, it looks like incumbent Lt. Gov. Brad Owen will handily beat Republican challenger Marcia McGraw, thanks to the "prefers Democratic party" that appears next to Owen's name on the ballot. The funny part: Owen is the candidate of choice for the Building Industry Association of Washington (BIAW), state Democrats' biggest enemy and Rossi's biggest (and most controversial) backer.

    • Secretary of state: While state Republicans have plenty of reasons to dislike Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed — for one, he presided over the 2004 gubernatorial recount scandal which "stole" the election from Rossi — it appears he is well on his way to defeating Democratic challenger Jason Osgood. Stefan Sharkansky, the Sound Politics blogger who broke the story in 2004 which led to the recount, says while Reed is "one of the least competent and most dishonest elected officials in Washington politics," Osgood's "fundamentally unserious" plan for universal voter registration makes "none of the above" the best choice in this race.

    • State treasurer: Here's the interesting thing about the race to fill the seat of retiring Mike Murphy: Murphy, a Democrat, did not endorse Democratic nominee Jim McIntire. Instead, Murphy says Republican Allan Martin, who has been the assistant state treasurer for several years, is far more qualified for the job.

    • Attorney general: Incumbent Rob McKenna should have no trouble beating Democratic challenger John Ladenburg. McKenna, a Republican, currently leads Ladenburg 57 percent to 36 percent, according to a SurveyUSA poll published Oct. 28. (Far more interesting: If Rossi loses, some speculate McKenna may go for the governorship in 2012.)

    • Commissioner of public lands: To maintain his slight lead in the polls, incumbent Republican Doug Sutherland has had to weather a small-potatoes sexual harassment scandal and a Seattle Times exposé about the state's failure to regulate timber companies whose clear-cut logging led to massive mudslides. Democratic challenger Peter Goldmark hopes those issues, along with this year's supposed massive Democratic turnout, will help him beat Sutherland in what could be the closest of all down-ballot races.

    • Superintendent of public instruction: Supporters say incumbent Terry Bergeson has made several successful reforms to the state's education system during her 12 years as the superintendent of public instruction. Yet according to several polls, she trails challenger Randy Dorn, who has promised to rid the state of the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL), the controversial test which Bergeson implemented.

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    Posted Tue, Nov 4, 12:24 p.m. Inappropriate

    Not only is Owen the BIAW's candidate of choice, he's also a drug warrior, and, according to the Weekly (http://www.seattleweekly.com/2008-10-22/news/the-upside-down-race), anti-abortion and "lukewarm on gay rights." Yet Democrats who should know better keep voting for him anyway.

    Posted Tue, Nov 4, 12:44 p.m. Inappropriate

    Vote for parks and openspaces - as our city continues to grow and become dense, we need parks and open spaces to preserve our quality of life. Without this levy, funding for parks, trails and open spaces will decline dramatically. And the levy is only about $81 dollars a year, $30 dollars a year less than the expiring levy. Which means we can have parks and lower taxes. In economic bad times, it would be foolish to not continue investing in parks, which provide local nature, recreation, exercise and community, as well as good green jobs.


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