The Washington State Secretary of State’s Office has up on its website the 2008 Primary Election Voter’s Pamphlet. The Primary this year is on Tuesday August 19, 2008. This election will feature the new Top 2 Primary approved by voters by Initiative 872 in 2004.
Voters will be able to vote for candidates of either major party or minor parties without having to select either a Democratic or Republican or independent ballot.
This may actually create a certain amount of confusion because of how candidates have chosen to identify or not identify any political affiliation they may have.
As the Secretary of State notes:
“Each candidate for partisan office may state a political party that he or she prefers.
A candidate’s preference does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party, or that the party approves of or associates with that candidate.
Candidates may choose not to state a political party preference.”
This of course means that candidates have self identified themselves as to their party association but that, among other things, means that there is no way from their stated party preference on the ballot to determine if the candidates actually adhere or believe in the principles of the party they claim.
In addition there is a deliberate attempt by many candidates who have been Republicans in the past to try to obscure their association with the Republican Party by using a number of different ways to describe their political affiliation. It definitely appears as if they are afraid to call themselves Republicans. Do they really think that voters will be more inclined to vote for them if they try to hide their party affiliation?
In Legislative races Democrats did not have a problem calling themselves Democrats. Some 128 candidates claimed that they preferred the Democratic Party. One claimed he preferred the “True Democratic Party” and another the “Progressive Democratic Party”
But it was a different story with Republicans, or what I assume were Republicans in some cases. Some 102 candidates said they preferred the Republican Party.
But then another 25 candidates said they preferred the GOP Party. Is that something different from the Republican Party? What’s wrong with saying they prefer the Republican Party? If any of the GOP candidates get elected are they going to hold a separate caucus in Olympia from the Republican Party caucus? Two candidates said they preferred something called the “R Party”. One said he preferred the “Cut Taxes GOP Party” and another the “Grand Old Party.”
I was particularly intrigued by the “prefers R Party”. Is this a new party? I wanted to give the two candidates the benefit of the doubt and so I googled on “R Party”. Here’s what I came up with. This is the closest I could come up with – there was no immediate association of the Republican Party with the R Party. Try it yourself.
So who are the R Party candidates? One is Dan Kristiansen in LD 39 and the other is Herb Baze in LD 35. I think if elected they will be in a pretty small caucus. One wonders why they had trouble saying Republican and couldn’t get beyond the first letter.
There was a smattering of other stated party preferences:
Independent Party 3
Green Party 2
America’s Third Party 1
Progressive Party 1
Libertarian party 1
Salmon Yoga Party 1
no party preference 4