Voters in the 8th Legislative District face two decisions this year -- one easier than the other, in our minds.
Anderson vs. Delvin
First, the easy decision.
The untested Brad Anderson doesn't bring anything to the contest sufficient to sway us from supporting incumbent Sen. Jerome Delvin.
Anderson is an amiable candidate, and his conservative leanings are a good fit for the 8th District, but Delvin is all that and more.
The race between two Republicans -- made possible by the state's top-two primary system -- pairs two similar ideologies.
But Delvin matches his GOP credentials with legislative experience. With the state facing a $3 billion deficit, Olympia is in dire need of conservatives who possess institutional knowledge and political contacts.
We're just as impressed with Delvin's independent streak. He's willing to buck his caucus when it's best for his district. Ideology -- left or right -- doesn't make for good government unless it's tempered by pragmatism.
None of this is a slam on Anderson. He is making his first run at elected office, and we hope it won't be his last. Anderson is the sort of civic activist who deserves encouragement.
He sits on the Richland Parks and Recreation Commission, is the Richland Junior Chamber of Commerce president and volunteers with the March of Dimes.
It's great experience, but none of it makes him ready for the challenges facing the Legislature this next session. Delvin's record and experience prove he's the better candidate.
Moser vs. Klippert
Now, the tougher choice.
In 2008, when Carol Moser and Brad Klippert ran against each other for the state House of Representatives from the 8th District, we said this:
"Voters have two fine individuals competing for the same seat."
We stand by that, and we also stand by our original recommendation: We still think Moser will be the better choice.
According to the 2008 election results, and the primary election in August, the voters disagree. Klippert, a Republican, beat Moser, a Democrat, almost two-to-one in the primary. But the editorial board's job isn't to pick likely winners. Or support political parties. We're politically pragmatic, or try to be.
That means recommending the candidate we believe is best equipped to meet the district's needs.
Brad Klippert has done good things for his district, most especially in obtaining two more district court seats for the Tri-Cities.
He is rising in the leadership of his party.
But he's done some things that worry us too, particularly in his insistent, persistent "no" votes in the Legislature.
Yet he sponsored an amendment to make it legal for school employees to use stun guns on school grounds. The amendment failed.
Finally, he seems overly involved in seeking to impose his own social agenda on all citizens.
Moser is, on the other hand, more moderate.
She's proved that time and again in posts such as the state Transportation Commission and the Richland City Council.
Moser has a long history of working well and pragmatically with both sides of the political aisle.
She is or has been a member of the Three Rivers Community Roundtable, an adviser for Washington State University's Tri-City branch, the Association of Washington Cities and Ben Franklin Transit and numerous other important bodies.
She has been a strong advocate for quality education, economic development, transportation improvements and a healthy environment.
She's focused on plans to develop a Tri-City economy that will remain viable in the days "after Hanford."
It's a vital issue. We feel she has a clearer vision for our future and is better equipped to push for it in Olympia.
The Herald editorial board recommends Carol Moser for state House and Jerome Delvin for state Senate from the 8th District.