March 23, 2020
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Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib announces he will not run for reelection, opening up statewide elected position

There will be no incumbent lieutenant governor on the ballot in Washington this year. Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, a Democrat, announced last week that he be joining the Jesuits religious order. The unexpected announcement opens up one of nine statewide offices to an open race in the August primary and November general election.

With Gov. Jay Inslee viewed as a possible cabinet appointee if a Democrat wins the presidency, Washington's lieutenant government position -- which takes over the governorship if it is vacant -- is considered of special interest this year.

Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, who ran for the position in 2016, announced that he would be a candidate this year.

Senate Floor Leader Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood, and state Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown (a former Democratic legislator and Senate majority leader) said they might also consider running.

Two Republicans are currently raising money to run for lieutenant governor: former Democratic Seattle council candidate Ann Davison Sattler and Joseph Brumbles. Brumbles unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Rep. Denny Heck, D-Olympia, in 2018.

The Seattle Times has more.

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Be There for Local Business

In this unprecedented time of coronavirus, we need to be there for local businesses

By Maribel Perez Wadsworth and Kevin Gentzel, USA Today

The safety measures that have forced us indoors and away from others to help stop the spread of COVID-19 are the right thing to do. We're confident our strength and resilience will carry us through. But we also recognize our small business owners need us more than ever as they take their own precautions.

To emerge from this with our communities strong and intact, we need to ensure that what make them special -- the coffee shop down the road, the local car dealership and our neighborhood music teachers -- are able to stay afloat.

While we may not be able to give them our patronage in person right now, there is much we can do to show our support.

Visit your favorite restaurant's website and purchase gift cards for yourself and others to keep some money flowing to their bottom lines. If those restaurants are still offering takeout or delivery, make a point to order from them now and again soon. And get gift cards for massage studios, arts and crafts stores, local jungle gyms and myriad other businesses.

If your local shops sell their merchandise online, make purchases -- even if the goods won't be available right away.

If you're shopping online for things you'll need while in self-quarantine, like home exercise equipment or activities for the kids, seek out local businesses to make these purchases...

Read the full column in USA Today
Speak Up for Clean Power

Don't let Snake River dams be a coronavirus casualty. Call in to save them

By The Tri-City Herald Editorial Board

In our community-wide effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus, we must not become so focused on the pandemic that we neglect other, critical issues facing the Tri-Cities.

Of upmost importance is protecting the Snake River dams, which continue to be in jeopardy.

Last week's time for phone-in comments on the recently released, federal draft Environmental Impact Statement has come and gone, but there are three more scheduled over the next two weeks, and Tri-City participation is crucial.

Considering many people have hunkered down in a semi-quarantine, this could be a good way to spend some time. Why not prepare a statement and send in your testimony, either online, by mail or by calling it in?

Knowing you are helping to protect reliable power production and the region's economy could be invigorating. And it could take your mind off the disease for a little while...

Read the full editorial in The Tri-City Herald