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The Times recommends: Re-elect Lt. Gov. Brad Owen
Lt. Gov. Brad Owen is a seasoned public servant. For continuity and consistency, he receives this paper's endorsement for re-election in the Aug. 7 primary.
Seattle Times Editorial
VOTERS should pick Lt. Gov. Brad Owen in the Aug. 7 primary election. His reputation for wielding a fair and bipartisan hand over the state Senate is much-needed.
Owen has held the job for 16 years and seeks a fifth term. This is a job where experience and deep knowledge of Senate procedures is key. Presiding over the Senate is the chief role of lieutenant governor and by all accounts, including from Owen's competitors for the job, he has run a tight ship and managed Senate affairs fairly.
When Senate Republicans invoked a little-used procedural tactic — the Ninth Order of Business — to wrestle control of the budget from the majority Democrats, Owen kept tight control over a contentious process that lasted into the next morning.
When the Legislature is not in session, Owen promotes trade, adding heft to international trade delegations. That's a critical role for a trade-dependent state.
Four years ago, the Times Editorial Board endorsed Owen's Republican challenger, Marcia McCraw, for a chance at new ideas and energy.
This time around, Owen's opponents are former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Finkbeiner and former state Rep. Glenn Anderson, a Republican from Fall City.
Finkbeiner is smart and possesses the political chops but he has contributed to the political divisions that created a fractured Legislature. A 2004 editorial chastised the former senator from Kirkland for being closely associated with campaign fliers attacking lawmakers who voted for a gas-tax increase. Finkbeiner voted for that same increase. Cynical politicking, we noted at the time.
Anderson pledges more problem-solving and advocacy. But he lacks experience in the Senate. Owen's reputation as a strong and fair arbiter propels his candidacy above the others.