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County council is partisan though not officially | Letter

There have been a few letters recently that contain a lot of nonsense about non-partisan election races. It’s a transparent attempt to discredit Cindy Wolf’s candidacy and, by implication, Ryan Palmateer’s.

Political parties exist for a number of reasons. One of them is to advise their members which candidates in any given election best represent the values and policies that party espouses. When political parties issue endorsements in a non-partisan race that does not suddenly make the race partisan.

This allegation gets trotted out periodically in this county. It almost always comes from the local Republican party or one of the party faithful because the county is so heavily Democratic. The Republicans find it threatening when the Democrats endorse non-partisan candidates. However, in the current races for two county council seats, the Republicans endorsed Christine Minney and Rick Hughes. The Democrats endorsed Cindy Wolf and Ryan Palmateer.

Hughes was a known Republican before his first run for county council and Minney appears to be the candidate of Friday Harbor business interests. Wolf is a Democratic precinct committee officer and Palmateer is the executive secretary of the SJC Democratic party. So who is honestly surprised by any of these endorsements? Trust me, no one is. And, guess what, tomorrow the county council and the current council races will still be non-partisan. Please don’t buy into the nonsense. (Full disclosure: I’m an Independent and have been for years.)

Richard Grout

San Juan Island

Editor’s note: Rick Hughes has not identified his personal politics publically, however, he has publically endorsed several Democrats in their partisan campaigns and is also endorsed by them.