Political office starts at the local level

March 29th, 2017 by Ken

It’s election season in our community.  On the ballot this year are local city council seats.  Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater, all have positions up for election in November.   In addition, the Port of Olympia has two races.   Also on the ballot this year are school board and fire commission seats.    For a full list, go on-line to Thurston County Elections.

In my household, elections are the subject of the day, almost every day.   But, for the most part, no one really cares about local city, port, school board and fire commission races, except for those involved.  And, that’s a shame.   It’s been said over and over again that these local races have a greater impact on your life than any national or state election.

The people holding these seats decide what you’ll pay for water and sewer.  They’ll determine what your child learns in school.  They’ll decide how long it takes Medic One to get to your home in case of an emergency.

If you’re interested, the time is now to begin planning.   Filing period isn’t until May, but serious candidates must be organized and going shortly.  It takes time to get a campaign in place and it takes time to raise the money needed to run a serious campaign.   It’s estimated that it will take between $10,000 and $15,000 to run a contested race for city council.   School board seats and fire commission seats cost less, but special interests often play a role in those contests.

If you’re interested in higher office, you need to start at the local level.   State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler started as a member of the North Thurston School Board.   So did State Senator Sam Hunt.

Not all people who run for these local offices have higher expectations.  But, it’s the place to start.   And, if you’re not planning on running for any office at all, educate yourself on the issues and the candidates running for these local seats.   Be an educated voter.

Posted in Local Politics, The Real News

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