Sunday, June 01, 2008

Next Halloween, I’m Going to Dress Up as a Rich Semler Campaign Ad

I’ve got the bumperstickers.
I’ve got the buttons.
I’ve got the 3 x 4 yard sign.
I've got all the makings of a cheap and easy costume.

What I haven’t got is the candidate any more. I wish Rich and Ginny well as they work through her health issues, though; he’s made the right decision, and I'm hoping that he'll keep his toe in the water and be a leader on education issues here in Washington, even if on a smaller scale.

The deadline to declare for statewide office is this coming Friday. The only name that I’ve heard mentioned is Bill Fromhold, who could probably get enough of the vote in the primary to be able to make it through to a general election in November. I don’t know that he’d want to take on a run for OSPI this late in the game, though, particularly given that he's already said he's not interested in the job.

A part of me wonders why we haven’t seen a conservative candidate for OSPI. From the EFF you could posit Lynn Harsh or Cindy Omlin, the executive director of the Northwest Professional Educators. Dan Grimm, the head of the Basic Ed Finance Committee, comes to mind, though I’m not sure he’s a Washington resident any longer. In the House the ranking minority member is Skip Priest, who has already passed on the chance to run, while the assistant ranking minority member is Glenn Anderson out of eastern King County, who has a decent résumé after having been on every education committee there is during his time in the House.

In the Senate the ranking minority member on the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee is Curtis King out of Yakima, but a more interesting name might be Janea Holmquist, who signed her name to the opposition statement for 4204, has been exposed to the issues by virtue of being on the aforementioned committee, and could be fairly perceived as a rising star in the state Republican party. Her senate term isn't up until 2011, though; Holmquist for OSPI in 2012?

It seems odd that, in a year where the state GOP claims to be as energized as they’ve ever been, they wouldn’t field a sympathetic candidate for the office that eats up the biggest share of the state’s budget.

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