Okay, sports fans. It’s primary season in Grays Harbor. That means yours truly is skipping merrily through the candidate list as the race to clear the primary picks up steam. Ballots should start hitting mail boxes any day. They’re due back no later than August 5. Start your engines and strap in for my picks in these local races:
County Commissioner #3. Partisan Office, 4-year term: Vickie Raines (NP).
Congress, 6th Congressional District: Marty McClendon (R)
State Representative, 24th Legislative District, Pos. 1. Partisan Office, 2-year term: (Incumbent is Kevin Van De Wege [D]) Tinkerbell
State Representativ, 24th Legislative District, Pos. 2. Partisan Office, 2-year term (Incumbent is Steve Tharinger, [D]): Smee
State Representative, 19th District, Pos. 1: Brian Blake (d) (Yes. That’s a small “d.” Intentional, not a misspelling.)
State Representative, 19th District, Pos. 2: Any Lost Boy you can round up. (Bibliophiles and J.M. Barrie fans may detect a pattern here.)
Sheriff. Partisan Office, 4-year term: Rick Scott
Assessor. Partisan Office, 4-year term: Loni Hooper (I)
Auditor. Partisan Office, 4-year term. Incumbent Vern Spatz (D) is running unopposed.
Clerk. Partisan Office, 4-year term. Incumbent Cheryl Brown (D) is running unopposed.
Coroner. Partisan Office, 4-year term. Incumbent Lane Youmans (D) is running unopposed. (Why is Coroner a partisan office? Do dead people care?)
PUD Commissioner (3). Non-partisan office, six-year term. Russ Skolrood.
Prosecutor. Partisan Office, 4-year term: Katie Svoboda is certainly capable. If time and grade is your measure, Mike Spencer is probably your pick.
Treasurer (Partisan Office, 4-year term.) Incumbent Ronald Strabbing is running unopposed.
Grays Harbor Hospital District: No.
The hospital had to make the decision to go public or convince Gov. Jay Inslee to use his veto powers to strike the public hospital district requirement from a bill that was approved unanimously by the House on March 7 — if they wanted to receive higher Medicaid reimbursement the bill seeks for “sole community hospitals,” or exclusive providers of health care to rural, or isolated populations.
President of the hospital’s board of directors, Pete Scroggs, previously told The Daily World that the “public option” has been something CEO Tom Jensen has been exploring in addition to other options to address the hospital’s financial problems. The board constructed a steering committee to look into the pros and cons of such a change.
Currently the hospital is facing financial struggles because it serves a large percentage of Medicaid patients without enough reimbursement from the state to cover the hospital’s costs. The legislation would allow eligible hospitals to charge Medicaid, which is administered by the state, 150 percent of the special rate.
Language added to the bill stating a hospital must be owned and operated by a state or political subdivision, those like Olympic Medical Center in Port Angles, in order to receive reimbursement, was included as a last resort, said Sen. Jim Hargrove, because the bill had no chance of passage otherwise. Hargrove, co-sponsored the bill, Senate Bill 5859, alongside Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond.
“They can become a public hospital, and basically that’s the only way I could get it out (of committee),” he said, adding as a member of the minority during a tight supplemental budget year he felt it would not pass without the language.
If you don’t see an open office here, it’s because I don’t care. Haven’t decided on court/judicial positions yet. Can I get back to you on that?
Meanwhile, is this fun, or what?!
Photo credit: Morio, Wikimedia Creative Commons