The Republican presidential contenders continue to pound it out. No surprise there. Presidential elections always cause a lot of fervor.
But local and state elections sometimes can be a little mundane.
Not this year.
At the state level, we have an open seat for governor, secretary of state and attorney general. A whole regime change is guaranteed.
But while the statewide races are worthy of discussion -- and no doubt you will see a lot more ink on the topic as the elections get closer -- there's even more excitement closer to home.
On the local level, Benton County Commissioner Leo Bowman started a flurry of activity when he announced his retirement almost two weeks ago.
Now his one open seat has triggered a full-fledged avalanche.
So far, there are three strong candidates in the running for Bowman's seat, including state Sen. Jerome Delvin, Richland School Board President Rick Jansons and retired Benton County Sheriff Larry Taylor.
When Delvin said he would toss his hat in the ring for the county commission, state Rep. Larry Haler expressed an interest in running for the Senate down the road.
Of course he can't run until the seat is open, and Delvin has no plans to vacate his Senate seat until he secures one on the board of county commissioners. Even then, state law says he doesn't immediately have to step down.
In theory, he could be a state senator and a county commissioner until both seats appear on the same ballot. So he could hold onto his senate seat for another couple of years after winning a county race, although he says that's not his intention.
But back to the story.
So, when Haler said he may pursue the Senate seat, that appeared to be enough for Kennewick City Councilman Bob Parks to announce his candidacy for Haler's current seat. (He had formed an exploratory committee the week before, so the formal announcement wasn't much of a leap.)
Haler, by the way, also intends to run for the seat he currently holds.
Of course, if Parks wins the representative seat, there is a question about his city council position, which doesn't expire until the end of 2013.
Or if Jansons wins the commissioner seat, his school board seat also runs through the end of next year.
All the way around, local elected officials are going to be jumping around more than Sandy Koufax's curve ball -- all because one commissioner decided to retire.
And these are only the ones who have announced their intentions so far. Filing week isn't until May. Anything can happen in the next couple of months.
We aren't making any recommendations, but we are eagerly watching this election season unfold.
And we do have a suggestion: Make sure you are registered to vote.
You can register online at the Washington Secretary of State's website -- www.sos.wa.gov -- or in person at any state driver licensing office.
In general, a national election will elicit more passion from the electorate than a local race. This was evident in the beginning of March when so many people turned out for the Republican caucuses in Benton County that party officials had to turn hundreds away.
The numbers in a presidential election are always higher than in an off year or, gasp, a springtime school levy election.
In reality, though, the people in office who are closer to home have a more direct effect on your daily life than the occupant of the Oval Office.
We're glad to see an interest in politics and to know people are engaged in the election process on all levels.
It's going to be an exciting year at the ballot box. Be sure to register -- you'll want to be part of it.