Voters are making key decisions in local elections all across the country. Oregonians in the First Congressional District will decide which two candidates to send to the special election in May. (We spoke with the Republican and Democratic frontrunners last month.) Washington voters will decide whether or not to privatize liquor sales in that state. This is an issue that failed to pass last year and if it passes this time, it could fuel a similar effort in Oregon — that’s something we’ve also talked about on Think Out Loud. Washingtonians will also weigh in on how toll money should be spent and how home care workers should be trained.
Outside of our region, some local elections have broader implications that could impact the Pacific Northwest. In the swing state of Ohio, an effort to repeal a state law that limits public employees’ bargaining rights could serve as a bellwether for the 2012 presidential election. Voters in Boulder, Colorado voted last week to create a public utility after studying Portland’s failed attempt to do so five years ago.
What ballot initiatives and candidates are you watching in Oregon, Washington and elsewhere? What factors are you considering as you cast your vote?
Update: The candidates competing in the general election for Oregon’s First Congressional District are Republican Rob Cornilles and Democrat Suzanne Bonamici. The initiative to privatize liquor sales in Washington passed as did the initiative concerning home care workers. The Washington initiative to control how toll money is spent appears to be failing by a narrow margin. Ohio voters passed the measure to overturn the state law limiting bargaining rights for public employees.
- Austin Jenkins: Reporter for OPB News
- April Baer: Reporter for OPB News
- Paul Sracic: Chair of the political department at Youngstown University
- Heath Urie: City reporter at The Daily Camera