The Wire Supports:

Hillary Clinton: A step forward for America

For most Whitman students, 2016 marks the first year they will be able to vote for president of the United States. However, for many seasoned American voters this year has been far from normal. Two candidates arose: one intelligent, driven, successful, prepared candidate, and another with no experience in politics and an immaturity that would bring harm to our nation and others. Donald Trump has repeatedly embarrassed our nation, offended myriad races, religions, body types, and women.

Hillary Clinton is an accomplished politician, first lady, lawyer, and activist. Throughout the entirety of this trying election season, Clinton has repeatedly stood her ground and addressed issues that affect Whitman students such as race, student loans, the environment, and education. The Whitman Wire enthusiastically endorses Hillary Clinton for president of the United States.

McMorris Rodgers embraces Trumps status quo; Pakootas offers good alternative

Those Whitman students who are registered in Walla Walla should also pay attention to what may be a watershed moment for Washington’s 5th congressional district. The district, which includes Walla Walla and most of the area east of it, has elected Cathy McMorris Rodgers for five consecutive terms, beginning in 2005.

But McMorris Rodgers hitched herself to the wrong wagon when she “enthusiastically” endorsed Donald Trump in May. She has maintained her support for America’s favorite snake-oil salesman throughout his near-constant scandals, and reaffirmed her endorsement as recently as October 7th, days after a videotape leaked which shows Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women.

McMorris Rodgers’ perennial opponent Joe Pakootas, born on the Colville Indian Reservation and former CEO of the Confederated Tribes of that reservation, has been a leader in Eastern Washington even longer than McMorris Rodgers has held her seat, and in that time has championed important environmental and other causes. The Whitman Wire endorses Joe Pakootas for the 5th district congressional seat.

Frerichs and Son for County Commission: Progressive Ideals for a better Walla Walla

The county commission wields a great deal of executive and legislative power in local government, holding responsibilities from crafting county policy and levying local taxes to administering county governmental services such as prisons, courts, public health oversight, and public works.

Jared Frerichs and Randal Son offer Whitman community members the ability to put into action the ideals they value most — care for working class families, environmental protection, public health and safety, and transparency in government.

From his advocacy for the creation of livable wage jobs to improved public health through measures such as the expansion of mental health services, including building a detox center, Frerichs is dedicated to supporting those groups most at risk in Walla Walla. Frerichs supports funding school resource officers to reach out to school students, who face the highest risk of being recruited into gangs. He also advocates for increased bike paths to not only make roads safer and more accessible for everyone but also support the town’s growing bicycle tourism.

Randal Son, a Whitman alum and community leader with over 40 years of experience in fields as varied as Valley Transit, Blue Mountain Action Council, Walla Walla Working Families Roundtable, and Many Waters Community Development, is another excellent choice for county commissioner. Son’s proven dedication to working families, sound fiscal policy, transparent, accessible government, and resource conservation guarantee he will responsibly and effectively allocate the county’s tax revenue.

The Whitman Wire proudly endorses Jared Frerichs and Randal Son for the Walla Walla County Commission.

Downing for State Legislature

Democrat Gary Downing faces an uphill race in his attempt to unseat incumbent, Republican Terry Nealy. While Downing only gained 29% of the votes in August’s primary, his presence in the State Legislature would bring a strong progressive voice to an increasingly deadlocked Olympia.

Nealy has consistently demonstrated an inability to understand the issues important to many in the Whitman community. He opposes raising the state minimum wage and one of his top priorities is the preservation of dams on the Snake River. Both candidates support additional funding for state education, but only Downing supports progressive Sanders-esque plans like closing tax loopholes for large corporations and overturning the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

Downing, who recently retired after a lengthy career in public schools, served in the Air Force and has been involved in politics for more than 40 years. With endorsements from the Washington State Labor Council and multiple local unions, he is the choice for voters worried about labor, wages, and working conditions in Washington.

Despite a conspicuous lack of dialogue from both sides regarding climate change, The Whitman Wire endorses Gary Downing to help advance a progressive agenda in Olympia.