The elephant vs. the bull moose.
Voters in the 13th District will find themselves choosing between two large mammals for the state House. The candidates behind these parties are even more different from each other than the mascots.
Incumbent Bill Hinkle is the minority whip. He is Republican through and through. Despite his leadership position, Hinkle is frustrated with the way things are going in Olympia.
He hates the Democrats' idea of spending themselves out of (or further into) a budget hole and their propensity for raising taxes.
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Hinkle has taken the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge.
You don't have to talk to Hinkle for long to get a feel for his frustration with the majority party, although he says he works well across the aisle.
He has been in the House for eight years.
In the other corner is Anthony Novack, political newcomer. He favors neither the Republicans nor the Democrats and is running under Teddy Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party, so basically he's an independent.
A biological scientist for the Department of Fish and Wildlife by profession, Novack wanted to offer the 13th District a choice on the ballot. He thinks the incumbents have enjoyed opponent-free races for far too long.
He says he's fiscally conservative and socially liberal, and sees an opportunity for a guy like him in the Legislature to serve as a "referee" or "mediator" between the opposing political factions.
He also conceded that he is like David running against Goliath, or even perhaps Don Quixote, although he's not overly fond of windmills.
We agree with Novack that the citizenry is better served when they have choices on the ballot, especially in the case of a long-term incumbent. A challenger forces candidates to campaign, debate and mingle with constituents.
We're glad to see Novack in the race.
Still, we recommend voters return Hinkle to Olympia, and we hope he has a renewed perspective of those he represents.
The Tri-City Herald recommends Bill Hinkle for the 13th District House of Representatives.