Ballots for the Nov. 8 general election are arriving in Clatsop County mailboxes, and no matter who wins, the most important thing is to exercise your right in the democratic process by voting.
The Daily Astorian recommends:
• President: Democrat Hillary Clinton. Her Republican opponent, Donald Trump, has too many deep flaws to be at the helm of our country, and Clinton has the experience to lead our nation.
• U.S. Senate: Incumbent Democrat Ron Wyden, whose lengthy tenure in the Senate will pay far more dividends to Oregon than his inexperienced challenger, Republican Mark Callahan, could provide.
• U.S. House: Incumbent Democrat Suzanne Bonamici, who faces Republican newcomer Brian Heinrich. Bonamici has served the congressional district well and deserves another term.
• Governor: Incumbent Kate Brown, a Democrat who inherited the governor’s office when Gov. John Kitzhaber resigned amid scandal. Brown has a greater chance of helping Oregon during the remaining two years of Kitzhaber’s term than her inexperienced Republican opponent, Bud Pierce. Brown, though, needs to step up her visibility and leadership.
• Secretary of State: Republican Dennis Richardson would provide needed balance among the state’s top leaders. He is a better fit for the job than his Democratic opponent, Brad Avakian, the blustery head of the state’s Bureau of Labor and Industries. In a job that needs impartiality, Richardson is a far more steady hand than Avakian, who is known for partisan activism.
• Attorney General: Incumbent Democrat Ellen Rosenblum is a clear choice over Republican challenger Daniel Crowe, and her performance merits another term.
• Treasurer: Democrat Tobias Read stands apart from his three opponents. Read has a more complete resume with experience as a state representative and expertise while working with the U.S. Treasury.
• Measure 97: “No.” The gross receipts tax on C-corporations with more than $25 million in sales is misleading and fatally flawed. It’s a costly, hidden sales tax that would create as many problems as it tries to solve.
• Measure 98: “Yes.” The measure fills an educational need by earmarking general fund money for dropout prevention programs that include vocational and career technical education.
• Measure 99: “No.” Outdoor school can be funded by a variety of public and private sources other than using state lottery money specified for economic development.
• Measure 94: “Yes.” This measure would rightfully eliminate forced judicial retirements.
• Measure 95: “Yes.” Universities need investment options that this measure would allow.
• Measure 96: “Yes.” Oregon’s veterans aren’t a special interest group and they deserve the support this measure provides.
• Measure 100: “Yes.” This measure would prohibit the sale in Oregon of products and parts of 12 endangered animals.
• State Representative District 32: Deborah Boone’s legislative accomplishments should earn her a seventh term in the state House. She is being challenged by Republican Bruce Bobek.
• Astoria City Council: Bruce Jones, a retired U.S. Coast Guard commander, stands out for his career achievements and strategic planning experience. His opponent is Cory Pederson, a symphony conductor and music teacher.
• Gearhart Mayor: Voters should elect Matt Brown, who has a better chance of helping reslove the community’s recent divisiveness than his opponent, Bob Shortman.
• Seaside School Bond: “Yes.” The bond issue would allow the district to move three schools out of the tsunami danger zone.
• Pot Taxes: Voters in Astoria, Seaside and Cannon Beach should say “Yes” to taxing recreational sales. Voters in Cannon Beach will also decide whether sales should be allowed within the city.
• Warrenton Charter Amendment: “No.” The initiative would require double-majority voter approval before the city can transfer or dispose of assets valued at $100,000 or more and would tie the hands of those who are elected to do that job.
Three other contested races are on the ballot that The Daily Astorian chose not to endorse in: a seat on the Warrenton City Commission with incumbent Pam Ackley being opposed by Ryan Lampi; Cannon Beach City Council with Herb Florer, Brandon Ogilvie and Nancy McCarthy vying for two spots as a councilor at large; and in Seaside with Don Johnson and Tom Horning vying for a City Council seat.