Huntretdell for County Exec!

Don't you sometimes wish we could just fuse the candidates' brains together?

One thing political watchers keep bringing up is how impressive the field of candidates for King County Executive is. All five major players have serious financial backing, regional appeal, and in Susan Hutchison's case, actual fans. They are smart, articulate, and for the most part have a solid handle on the job's ins and outs. Even longshot Alan Lobdell isn't your standard crazy fringe candidate—he currently works on contract with smaller cities managing major projects.But each candidate's strengths are quite different. If only we could hybridize them—Larry Phillips, Dow Constantine, Susan Hutchison, Ross Hunter, Fred Jarrett, and Alan Lobdell—into one mega-Exec: Lowsan Huntretdell!The subtle distinctions among the candidates are finally showing through. And last week at the Twin Falls Middle School cafeteria in North Bend, as they faced questions more specific to the largely rural Eastsiders, those differences became especially pronounced. Phillips is all about spending; he wants more projects and more authority from the legislature to raise taxes for them. Constantine emphasized doing a better job of managing growth. Hunter wants to overhaul and modernize the entire management process. Jarrett is all about performance measures. The onetime Republican—sounding very GOP—is all for seriously examining each county program, seeing what works and axing everything that doesn't.Beyond saying she'd lobby the legislature to get rid of the B&O tax, Hutchison says she'll be unveiling initiatives in the weeks to come and working with people for solutions. What those solutions will be is anyone's guess, but simply having her antitax perspective in the race will at least help to force candidates who are pushing for more revenue streams (ahem, Phillips) to justify their proposals. And Lobdell actually uses words like "bioswales" when talking about water management—a big issue for rural folk. He oversaw such projects in places like Mukilteo, Sumner, and Port Orchard, and is currently under contract with Snoqualmie as a special-projects coordinator, after filling in as an interim public-works director for the city.Now if only we had a mad scientist to mush all their brains together during the next thunderstorm.

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