Grone, Canell for treasurer; Hayes, Petrish for state rep. | Opinion

Whidbey Island voters have some important decisions to make in this primary election.

Two candidates are challenging embattled Island County Treasurer Ana Maria Nunez, a Democrat, including one candidate who came from inside her office.

Wanda Grone was chief deputy treasurer until she filed to unseat her boss and was quickly fired. Christa Canell, a land title and escrow manager, has also thrown in her hat.

Grone and Canell, both Republicans, have focused on criticizing Nunez in their campaigns and claim they could do a better job. We agree.

Over the last several years, under Nunez’ leadership, the office has been responsible for a number of errors.

The Clean Water Utility fee collection has been wrong twice; incorrect tax bills went out to Camano Island residents; a large sum of county tax dollars were lost in poor investment decisions; residents have erroneously received foreclosure statements due to treasurer office delays; and a backlog of supplements have yet to be brought current.

It’s time to see some fresh leadership in the treasurer’s office. If voters want change, they should move Grone and Canell forward in the primary election.

In the race for state representative, position 2, incumbent Dave Hayes faces three challengers — Brien Lillquist, a Republican; Nick Petrish, a Democrat; and David Sponheim, also running as a Democrat.

Hayes has done a good job — perhaps not groundbreaking — in his first term and deserves to move on to the General Election. Hayes, a deputy with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, has come up with some important bills that to improve law enforcement in the state.

Petrish, a Mount Vernon resident who earned an endorsement from Island County Democrats, should also move forward. As a Skagit County native, his background in the military and strong support for schools is a good fit for the district.

We look forward to vigorous debates once the primary election is over.


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