Can independents vote in the North West? : Today so far

There is a small trend of independent candidates running for office in the North West.

This post originally appeared in KUOW’s Today So Far newsletter on October 14, 2022.

At this point, is anyone taking campaign ads seriously? Is performative demonization a bit thick and more sensational these days? And it’s not even a presidential election year.

It doesn’t matter who the candidate is, love him or hate him, or be indifferent to him (if that’s still allowed), they all have the same ingredients: fodder for your base, some war culture, mix a title with a hint of fear, then a pinch of truth (not too much) to help it down. Top it all off with a shot of your opposition that was taken mid-sentence (so they look a little off) and set it to an eerie soundtrack worthy of a Michael Bay movie.

I’m not saying there aren’t serious issues at stake, or risks, or concerns about our upcoming elections. But the current crop of campaign ads I see carry the quality of late-night infomercials.

“Is your economy unhealthy? All Patty Murray wants is to spend your tax money on Jack LaLanne juicers, Ninja blenders and George Foreman grills (boom boom!). Say ‘no “to the kitchen ninjas and say no to Murray.”

“When Tiffany Smiley isn’t posing for pictures with that person you don’t like, she says she’ll buy all the Thigh Masters, Slap Chops and a subscription to Miss Cleo’s Psychic Friends Network (boom boom!) .Say ‘no’ to psychic scammers and say no to Smiley.”

Yes, I know these made up examples are very stupid. In my defense, I got a little delirious after being bombarded with so many of these ads. Don’t even get me started on PAC-supported ads. By the time November rolls around, people will either be so discouraged by it all that they’ll skip the vote, or just angry enough to fill out a ballot…maybe that’s the point.

By the way, the scammers have noticed all these inflamed tensions and burning issues and are making a big payday out of it.

Perhaps the sensational tone woven throughout the campaigns is, in part, why independents are getting a lot of attention this year. Tom Banse of the Northwest News Network covered a trend (a small trend) of independent candidates in the Northwest this election season. This group of candidates is seen as a kind of test to see if a “third way” is possible in our strict two-party system.

Oregon State Senate candidate Rich Vial called himself a Republican, but he’s more comfortable with the “non-partisan” label these days. It’s a similar story for Chris Vance, who Washingtonians may remember as Washington’s former Republican Party chairman. Vance has cut ties with the state GOP, however, and is running for the state Senate as an independent. Betsy Johnson is running for governor of Oregon. Once a Democrat, she chooses to renounce all party affiliation as she runs for office.

Another aspect of this nonpartisan issue is the race for Washington’s secretary of state. Democrat Steve Hobbs was named to the post after Republican Kim Wyman resigned from the SOS office in October 2021 to take up a position in the Biden administration (she expressed concerns about the state of the GOP before that). Since Hobbs is nominated to fill the role, voters must give their final approval via a new election in November. Julie Anderson emerged to challenge him. Anderson is not affiliated with any party. In fact, she partly runs on the idea that the secretary of state’s office shouldn’t be partisan.

“I don’t think it makes sense — and voters tell me it doesn’t make sense — for the secretary of state to be on a team,” Anderson told Northwest News Network.

Anderson is currently Pierce County Auditor, a nonpartisan position since 2009.

Hobbs says he doesn’t care if the office is partisan or not; it will not influence his performance in the role. What matters is the person, he argues, and how they work with others, regardless of party. Learn more about the SOS race with Anderson and Hobbs here.

Yet another angle in all of this is the front part. It is not specific to Washington, but aims to be a national movement that is neither left nor right. It is founded by former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, as well as former Republicans (mostly those who dislike Trump). Banse reports that efforts to establish local chapters in Oregon and Washington are underway.

So far, the Forward Party has endorsed GOP and Democratic candidates in national races. In Washington state, he backed Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez, a Democrat running against Joe Kent in the 3rd congressional district. While Gluesenkamp Pérez has a “D” next to her name, her campaign ads insist she is an “independent voice” that aims to “throw a spanner in extreme partisanship in Washington DC.”

Read more about Banse’s reporting on independents during the November poll here.


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Choices, wins and losses – finishing high school is like playing a video game. RadioActive’s Alayna Ly turns senior year into a video game to explore the transition from high school to…whatever comes next. Can you level up without crashing? (Lucas Galarneau)


I recently came across some Washington city nicknames and saw that Cosmopolis was “the city of the world”.

Now, that might draw people’s sneers given that the town has a population of just under 2,000, and given the reality definition of a cosmopolis is a city with people from many different places and cultures. The “world” cities of the Northwest today may be Seattle, Portland and Vancouver, BC, but people in the early pioneer days had high hopes for the Grays Harbor area. A city placed there could certainly be a cosmopolis. At the time, it was a bit like that.

Like the city notes on own website, Washington Gov. Isaac Stevens was making agreements and treaties with various tribes in the Northwest in 1855. On the banks of the Chehalis River, where Cosmopolis now stands, Stevens held a conference of people from different regions and cultures – the Chinooks, Chehalis, Quen-ai-ult, Quaitso, Satshop, Upper Chehalis and Cowlitz. Modern perceptions often forget that the Northwest was home to many diverse tribes just a few hundred years ago. It was not just one group of “Indians”. They each had their own alliances, enemies, treaties, trade agreements, etc. So a reunion with many tribes, with hundreds of people, in 1855 was like an international gathering of its day.

The idea of ​​Cosmopolis was established a few years earlier in 1852 when a land claim was filed. However, the town was not incorporated until 1891. It is the oldest town in Grays Harbor.


Caption: This scanning electron microscope image shows a neuronal culture growing on a high-density multi-electrode array.  This system allowed researchers to train neurons to play the video game Pong.

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Brain cells in a lab dish learn to play Pong – and offer a window into intelligence

A dish of living brain cells learned to play the 1970s arcade game, Pong. About 800,000 cells linked to a computer have gradually learned to detect the position of the game’s electronic ball and control a virtual racket, a team reports in the journal “Neuron”.


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