Finally, finally. Election Day draws near.
It has been a long campaign season, and it’s possible you may be feeling so down about the whole thing that you’ve buried your ballot in the back of your mind, or under your stack of unopened mail.
But voting is your responsibility, and one you should not make any excuses about. So take a deep breath, dig out that ballot and start filling that thing out.
The East Oregonian editorial board has been able to sit down with a number of candidates this campaign season, as well as proponents and opponents of measures. Perhaps you would be interested in what we learned through that process, and how we made up our minds on who to vote for. Over the last month, we have published detailed endorsements of some of the candidates and policies we can get behind.
Now that procrastination must come to an end and voting is at hand, we thought it would be helpful to briefly run down our list of contested candidates and issues:
President: Hillary Clinton (Democrat) It’s no contest from our point of view. Donald Trump is ill-informed and impulsive — a dangerous combination.
U.S. Senate: Ron Wyden (Democrat) One of America’s most useful senators last session, especially from the minority Democratic party.
U.S. House: Greg Walden (Republican) The kind of Republican we want to help restore a divided party.
Oregon Governor: Bud Pierce (Republican) A smart mind and moderate policies would be a welcome addition to Oregon politics after decades of few checks and little balance.
Secretary of State: Dennis Richardson (Republican) An important job for a Republican if the state remains under Democratic control.
Attorney General: Ellen Rosenblum (Democrat) Facing only token opposition with important work to be done.
Treasurer: Tobias Read (Democrat) Only candidate for the position who has reached out to Eastern Oregon.
State Senate District 29: Bill Hansell (Republican) The hard-working, well-connected representative is who we want speaking on behalf of northeastern Oregon.
Umatilla County Sheriff: Terry Rowan (nonpartisan) Has managed the department successfully in his first term, deserves another four years to address further problems.
Marijuana bans: In Hermiston, Pendleton and Milton-Freewater, we recommend voters repeal the ban on marijuana business and enact a local tax. Prohibition is a losing battle that could be turned instead into revenue for these cities.
Hermiston City Council: Personal choice on five councilors running for four spots. Rod Hardin is the steady hand, Doug Primmer is the hard-working everyman, Manuel Gutierrez is the voice of the little guy, John Kirwan is the hands-on fixer and Mark Gomolski is the outspoken contrarian.
Umatilla schools bond: Resounding yes. It’s a chance for the school district to upgrade aging facilities.
Ballot Measure 94: Yes. Constitutional amendment to eliminate the mandatory retirement age of 75 for state judges.
Ballot Measure 95: Clear yes. Constitutional amendment to allow public universities to invest in stocks, giving additional revenue potential.
Ballot Measure 96: No. Constitutional amendment to dedicate 1.5 percent of lottery proceeds on veterans’ services shouldn’t be mandated.
Ballot Measure 97: No. Would increase taxes on companies with more than $25 million in annual sales in Oregon without clear direction to keep the money from being squandered.
Ballot Measure 98: Yes. Require state funding for high school programs, including dropout prevention, college readiness and career training, all important pieces in fixing some of Oregon’s biggest education problems.
Ballot Measure 99: Yes. Dedicate lottery proceeds to outdoor school programs. Something all of Oregon should agree on.
Ballot Measure 100: Clear yes. Prohibit sale of endangered species and products, with important provisions added to protect legacy items.
Thanks for reading and considering and keeping your subscription this election season. It was one of the most divisive and angry that we can recall.
We’re through the worst of it and hope everyone votes Tuesday, then after the dust is settled, we look for ways to find common ground.